First Tennessee Park Open to the Public Today

NSThis past weekend I had tickets to see the Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants in Denver. My youngest daughter lives there with her husband and son, and although it was raining we just knew the clouds would part and we’d be singing the National Anthem around 2 PM.

I’d never been to Coors Field; it has been on my ballpark bucket list for some time and I was anxious to see the park and watch the game. From the outside, it’s a beautiful facility.

Standing at the Will Call ticket window about two hours before the game I could tell there was plenty of bustle up and down the streets and sidewalks as fans began to gather in anticipation of the first pitch. As the nice lady behind the glass handed the ticket envelope to me, a man behind her said that the game had been called due to rain.

Bummer.

I have viewed games in many ballparks over the years including Sulphur Dell, Knoxville’s Bill Meyer Stadium, Memphis’ Blues/Tim McCarver Stadium, Birminhgam’s Hoover Stadium and Rickwood Field, Charleston’s Watt Powell Park, and Columbus Cooper Stadium. I have always been partial to minor league parks.  Not many old ones are still around.

Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, Riverfront Stadium and Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Chicago’s Wrigley Field and U. S. Cellular Field, the Astrodome, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, St. Louis’ Sportsmans Park and old Busch Stadium, and Yankee Stadium come to mind as highlights of major league visits.

There are  dozens of others on my list when I consider spring training games and more minor league parks, especially the ones I have been able to view only from the sidewalk outside the stadium, usually peering through an opening in the fence. That’s something else I have been partial to: taking in the beauty, imagining the history, remembering a story or two about a player and team.

Peering through the fence is fine, but a unique opportunity is available to us today in Nashville. Between 1 – 4 PM, our new First Tennessee Park is open to the public. There will be tours of the entire facility, including the locker rooms and batting cages that one will probably never be able to see again.

Free food and games for the kids will help to make this an opportunity to remember. Fan or not, this is a chance to see what ballparks are all about.

And I can tell you from experience: it’s the finest minor league facility in the United States, hands down.

We can pretend to imagine what great history this ballpark will give us, what great players and teams will perform there. But we have an opportunity to view our new First Tennessee Park and take in the beauty today.

And you won’t have to peer through a fence.

© 2015 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.

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