Tennessee Smokies
Team logo Cap insignia
Minor league affiliations
ClassDouble-A (1963–present)
Previous classes
LeagueSouthern League (1964–present)
DivisionNorth Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
TeamChicago Cubs (2007–present)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles (4)
  • 1974
  • 1978
  • 2004
  • 2023
Division titles (10)
  • 1974
  • 1978
  • 1984
  • 1993
  • 2004
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2022
  • 2023
First-half titles (8)
  • 1978
  • 1982
  • 1984
  • 1997
  • 1999
  • 2004
  • 2010
  • 2011
Second-half titles (10)
  • 1978
  • 1985
  • 1986
  • 1991
  • 1993
  • 1998
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2013
  • 2023
Team data
NameTennessee Smokies (2000–present)
Previous names
  • Knoxville Smokies (1993–1999)
  • Knoxville Blue Jays (1980–1992)
  • Knoxville Sox (1972–1979)
  • Knoxville Smokies (1925–1967)
  • Knoxville Pioneers (1921–1924)
ColorsRoyal blue, light blue, red, tan, white[1]
MascotHomer Hound[2]
BallparkSmokies Stadium (2000–present)
Previous parks
  • Bill Meyer Stadium (1957–1967, 1972–1999)
  • Municipal Stadium (1954, 1956–1957)
  • Chapman Hwy. Park (1953)
  • Smithson Stadium (1931–1943, 1946–1952)
  • Caswell Park (1921–1929)
Boyd Sports[3]
General managerTim Volk[3]
ManagerLance Rymel
MediaMiLB.TV and WNML

The Tennessee Smokies are a Minor League Baseball team based in Kodak, Tennessee, a suburb of Knoxville. The team, which plays in the Southern League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. They play at Smokies Stadium, directly off Interstate 40 at Exit 407, which seats up to 8,000 fans. The team was based in Knoxville and called the Knoxville Smokies among other names for many years before moving to Kodak and changing its name prior to the 2000 season. The team's nickname refers to the Great Smoky Mountains mountain range which permeates the region; mountains in the chain are often clouded in a hazy mist that may appear as smoke rising from the forest. The team plans to move into a new facility in Knoxville beginning in the 2025 season when they will be renamed the Knoxville Smokies once again.[4][5]


Prior professional baseball in Knoxville

Knoxville has hosted Minor League Baseball teams since the late 19th century. The city's professional baseball history dates back to 1896 with the formation of the Knoxville Indians who played two seasons in the Southeastern League.[6] They were followed by the Knoxville Reds (1902–1905). In 1904, the Reds won the city's first professional championship in the Tennessee–Alabama League.[6] The Knoxville Appalachians began play in 1909 as members of the original Class B South Atlantic League. They dropped out of the "Sally League" that season, but continued in the Class D Southeastern League (1910) and Appalachian League (1911–1914). The Appalachians adopted the Reds moniker from the previous Knoxville team in 1912.

The club returned to the South Atlantic loop, now Class B, as the Smokies from 1925 to 1929. On July 22, 1931, the Mobile Bears franchise of the A1 Southern Association moved to Knoxville and played as the Smokies through July 5, 1944, when the club returned to Mobile. The transfer marked the end of Knoxville's membership in the Southern Association.

In 1946, the Smokies joined the Class B Tri-State League and played in it until the loop folded in 1955. But in July 1956, when the Montgomery Rebels of the Class A South Atlantic League needed a new home, they transferred to Knoxville. The Smokies' manager that season was Earl Weaver who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.


The Smokies were reclassified as Double-A with the rest of the Sally League in 1963, and were charter members of the Sally's successor, the Southern League, in 1964. Apart from a four-year (1968–1971) hiatus, they have continued in the Southern loop ever since.

Knoxville returned in 1972 as the Knoxville White Sox or Knox Sox, the Chicago White Sox's Double-A club. They transferred their affiliation to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1980, a link that lasted until 1999. For the first 13 of those years, the team was officially known as the Knoxville Blue Jays, or locally referred to as simply the K-Jays. The historic Smokies moniker was reintroduced beginning in the 1993 season.

From 1954 to 1999, Knoxville baseball teams played in Bill Meyer Stadium, formerly known as Knoxville Municipal Stadium, on Neal Ridley Field.[7] The stadium was named for Knoxville native son and former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Billy Meyer. The field was named in memory of Neal Ridley, a former team owner, in 1984, following his death the previous year.[8][9]

From 1999 to 2005, the Smokies were the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. However, when the Cardinals purchased the El Paso Diablos, which had been the Arizona Diamondbacks' Double-A affiliate, the Diamondbacks retained the Smokies as their new Double-A affiliate. On September 21, 2006, the Chicago Cubs, who had previously had a Double-A affiliation with division rival West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, reached a two-year player development contract with the Smokies through the 2008 season.

Chicago Cubs (2007–present)

In December 2008, Hall of Famer and former Chicago Cubs All-Star second baseman Ryne Sandberg was named manager for the 2009 season. Sandberg led the Smokies to a second-half Southern League North Division crown and a 3–1 divisional playoff series win over the Huntsville Stars. The Smokies would eventually fall 3-games-to-1 to the Jacksonville Suns for the 2009 Southern League Championship.

In June 2013, the then-Smokies' ownership group, led by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, sold the team to Randy Boyd, a local Knoxville businessman. Though a devoted baseball fan, Boyd is not involved in the day-to-day management of the team, delegating those responsibilities to CEO Doug Kirchhofer and General Manager Brian Cox.[10] In 2016, speculation began that Boyd was wanting to move the Smokies back to Knoxville after he had purchased several parcels in downtown Knoxville. Boyd said he had envisioned a baseball stadium on that site, but at that time had no plans to bring the baseball team back to Knoxville until 2025, when the current stadium contract expires.[11][12]

On July 11, 2014, The Chicago Cubs and Tennessee Smokies announced an extension to their Player Development Contract (PDC) for the maximum possible term of four years. The agreement meant the Smokies were to remain the Cubs' Double-A affiliate through the 2018 season.[13]

On October 22, 2014, the Smokies revealed new logos, colors, and uniforms that reflected their ongoing relationship with the Chicago Cubs organization.[14]

Smokies Stadium experienced its largest baseball attendance ever of 7,958 on May 13, 2017, against the Montgomery Biscuits. The Smokies lost the game 3–1, which was also Star Wars Night.[15] The previous attendance record was the 7,866 on July 24, 2015, against the Chattanooga Lookouts. The Smokies won the game 8–4, which was also Toy Story Night and Daddy-Daughter Date Night.[16]

In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Smokies were organized into the Double-A South.[17] In 2022, the Double-A South became known as the Southern League, the name historically used by the regional circuit prior to the 2021 reorganization.[18]

In 2021, Tennessee Smokies owner Randy Boyd announced that the team would be moving back to Knoxville in a new stadium built in the Old City neighborhood, with the plans to play at the new stadium in 2024.[19] It was announced the team would revive its former name of the Knoxville Smokies upon the move.[20][21]

The 2022 Smokies qualified for the Southern League playoffs by virtue of having the second-best full-season record in the Northern Division behind the Rocket City Trash Pandas, who won both halves of the season.[22] Tennessee defeated Rocket City, 2–1, to win the Northern Division title and advance to the finals against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.[23]

Season-by-season results

Season Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2000 71–69 4th Rocket Wheeler
2001 80–60 2nd Rocket Wheeler
2002 69–71 6th Rocket Wheeler
2003 72–67 4th Mark DeJohn Lost to Carolina Mudcats, 3–1, in semifinals
2004 69–71 6th Mark DeJohn Defeated Chattanooga Lookouts, 3–1, in semifinals
Declared co–Southern League champions with Mobile BayBears*
2005 64–76 7th Tony Perezchica
2006 70–69 5th Bill Plummer
2007 73–65 2nd Pat Listach Lost to Huntsville Stars, 3–2, in semifinals
2008 62–77 5th Buddy Bailey
2009 71–69 2nd Ryne Sandberg Defeated Huntsville Stars, 3–1, in semifinals
Lost to Jacksonville Suns, 3–1, in championship
2010 86–53 1st Bill Dancy Defeated West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, 3–1, in semifinals
Lost to Jacksonville Suns, 3–1, in championship
2011 83–57 1st Brian Harper Defeated Chattanooga Lookouts, 3–0, in semifinals
Lost to Mobile BayBears, 3–1, in championship
2012 72–68 3rd Buddy Bailey
2013 76–62 T-1st Buddy Bailey Lost to Birmingham Barons, 3–2, in semifinals
2014 66–73 2nd Buddy Bailey
2015 76–63 3rd Buddy Bailey
2016 58–81 9th Mark Johnson
2017 68–70 T-6th Mark Johnson
2018 67–71 T-5th Mark Johnson
2019 58–81 9th Jimmy Gonzalez
2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 46–63 7th Mark Johnson
2022 71–66 2nd Michael Ryan Defeated Rocket City Trash Pandas, 2–1, in semifinals
Lost to Pensacola Blue Wahoos, 2–1, in championship
2023 75–62 1st Michael RyanKevin Graber Defeated Chattanooga Lookouts, 2–0, in semifinals
Defeated Pensacola Blue Wahoos, 2–0, in championship
Totals 1,603–1,564 2 League titles, 6 Division titles

* Due to Hurricane Ivan, the finals series was cancelled. Tennessee and Mobile were declared co-champions.

Pre-2000 playoff results

Television and radio

All Tennessee Smokies games are shown live on MiLB.TV. Some games are televised on Marquee Sports Network, which is not available in Tennessee. All games are also broadcast on 99.1 The Sports Animal and AM 990 (WNML) in Knoxville. The current voice of the Smokies is Mick Gillispie. The secondary broadcaster is Andy Brock. The pre and postgame shows are hosted by Jackson Williams and Joseph Bonanno. Bear Trax is a weekly television show hosted by Mick Gillispie and Charlie Walter about the Smokies and airs at 11pm ET on WTNZ Fox43.


Players Coaches/Other



  •  1 Pablo Aliendo
  • 28 Casey Opitz
  •  4 Wally Soto




  • 28 Lance Rymel


  •  3 Derron Davis (bench)
  • 18 Rachel Folden (hitting)
  • -- Henry Haack (assistant pitching)
  • 40 Marco Romero (assistant)
  • -- Jamie Vermilyea (pitching)

60-day injured list

  • 00 Burl Carraway (full season)
  • 36 Manuel Espinoza (full season)
  • 44 Richard Gallardo
  • 29 Brody McCullough

7-day injured list
* On Chicago Cubs 40-man roster
~ Development list
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporarily inactive list
Roster updated June 24, 2024
→ More rosters: MiLB • Southern League
Chicago Cubs minor league players

Notable alumni

Sam Fuld with the Smokies in 2008


  1. ^ Green, Andrew (October 15, 2014). "Smokies Unveil New Logos, Colors, Uniforms". Tennessee Smokies. Minor League baseball. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  2. ^ "Community". Tennessee Smokies. Minor League baseball. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Front Office". Tennessee Smokies. Minor League baseball. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  4. ^ "Smokies baseball team delays move to Knoxville until 2025". 4 April 2022.
  5. ^ "With a year till opening day 2025, will Knoxville's Smokies baseball stadium be ready?". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved 2024-04-19.
  6. ^ a b "Knoxville Baseball Year-By-Year History" (PDF). 2019 Tennessee Smokies Media Guide. Minor League Baseball. 2019. p. 66. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  7. ^ "Bill Meyer Stadium through the years".
  8. ^ Ridley/Helton Ballfield, cdnsm5-hosted.civiclive.com, Retrieved 2024-01-24
  9. ^ "Knoxville Blue Jays". 26 September 2015.
  10. ^ Knoxville News-Sentinel archives – June 28, 2013
  11. ^ "Randy Boyd pays $6M for Knox Rail Salvage property". WBIR.com. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  12. ^ "Boyd: Smokies baseball to stay in Kodak until at least 2025". WBIR.com. 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  13. ^ Tennessee Smokies Press Release – June 11, 2014
  14. ^ Tennessee Smokies Press Release – October 15, 2014
  15. ^ "The Largest Crowd in Smokies Stadium History Shows Up for Star Wars Night". Minor League Baseball. May 13, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  16. ^ Tennessee Smokies Press Release – July 24, 2015
  17. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  18. ^ "Historical League Names to Return in 2022". Minor League Baseball. March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  19. ^ Reichard, Kevin (2021-11-17). "New Knoxville ballpark receives final city approval". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved 2021-11-18.
  20. ^ Becker, John; North, John (February 16, 2021). "'The People's Park': Randy Boyd shares vision of proposed $65M stadium project". WBIR-TV. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  21. ^ Wilusz, Ryan. "Why 'Knoxville' will be part of the team name when Smokies baseball moves downtown". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved 2024-01-24.
  22. ^ "Standings". Archived from the original on September 25, 2022. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  23. ^ Cheris, Aaron. "Trash Pandas Eliminated With 3-1 Loss". Archived from the original on September 25, 2022. Retrieved September 23, 2022.