A month ago assistant general manager Doug Scopel gave me a nice tour of the new Nashville Sounds ballpark. With the on-going construction we side-stepped pipes, boards, and electrical supplies along with the workers who were bustling about their business. I had been given a similar tour when Autozone Park was built in 2000, so I knew how important it was to watch my step.
I was honored that Doug would be so kind, and he was more than accommodating in providing information and answering questions that I had. I’ve got to be honest that I wasn’t sure what I my perception was going to be, but once I was there I couldn’t have been more impressed. There were plenty of options for the Sounds management team to consider, such as how large to make the dugouts, how wide to build the concourse, and how much emphasis to place on the players’ batting cage and swing areas.
And the view, oh my, fans are going to love the view.
Since my visit to First Tennessee Park was “off the record” I was not able to take photographs, although I did get to sneak this one in as I was leaving:
Today, I revisited First Tennessee Park with a media group. Once again Doug lead the tour and allowed everyone plenty of time to take photographs and ask questions. Sounds general manager Garry Arthur, owner Frank Ward, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, and groundskeeper Thomas Trotter were there, too, and each one was available for questions and answers.
Mayor Dean and Frank Ward did the honors of putting home plate in place at its new home in the ballpark. Not just any home plate, however; Greer Stadium’s home plate had been saved just for that purpose. It wasn’t so much a ceremony, but I have to admit it was touching as if to say a final “so long” to Greer.
This time I took plenty of photos and even recorded the Mayor’s address to the media from behind the plate. The helicopter buzzing above was a little disconcerting, but I believe he was able to establish once again how happy he is with how things have turned out. Images will be forthcoming, but there is one that I took just before leaving the infield; big difference from a month ago, wouldn’t you say?
And before heading out of the construction zone, I was able to reach down and scoop up a pocketful of infield dirt mix, too. That will be tucked away for the ages.
© 2015 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.