Friday, August 23, 2013

The New Dell?



It's all the talk in Nashville,

Mayor Karl Dean is having conversations with state officials about building a new $40 million professional baseball park near downtown, just north of the State Capitol.  It would be the new home of the AAA Nashville Sounds,taking the franchise back to the area's baseball roots.....



Dating back to days right after the Civil War, Sulphur Dell was the home of baseball in Nashville for over a century. That included the Nashville Vols playing in the old Southern Association from 1900 to 1961. The team had close ties from its beginning with Vanderbilt, including the name of the ball park itself coming from Grantland Rice, one of the University's most well known graduates and even today considered one of the greatest sports writers of all time.....



You probably don't remember professional baseball in Nashville during our years at Vanderbilt. That's because after the Southern League folded following the 1960 season (and a one-year baseball revival in 1963), the ballpark closed, and Sulphur Dell, at the time the oldest baseball park in the nation, was torn down in 1969, the year we came to campus.
 
 
 
 
It was Vanderbilt baseball coach Larry Schmittou (center in the photo above) who brought pro baseball back to Nashville. After putting Vanderbilt on the map in college baseball by winning divisional and SEC championships while we were in school, he left Vandy and made the new Nashville Sounds one of the top minor league franchises in the nation from 1978 until he sold the team a few years back.

Now with the stadium Schmittou built on city park property in South Nashville (Greer Stadium) beginning to show its age (35 years after this season), we see this latest move to build a new park back where it all began.

Will there continue to be a Vanderbilt connection? With Coach Tim Corbin building the Commodores into a perennial national power, the new Dell might certainly be an interesting place for the team to play each season, perhaps especially a non-conference series against another national powerhouse teams, games that might attract crowds larger than what Hawkins Field on campus could not accomodate?

1 comment:

vandy pitcher said...

coach corbin will NEVER consider playing games away from hawkins field....he has great home--team advantages by playing at home.......but what we DO need to do :: raise seating to aprox 7500.......right now its about 3500.....mark bode ( 1970--1973 )