Adam English Named Nashville Sounds General Manager, Chief Operating Officer

The Nashville Sounds Baseball Club has named Adam English as the team’s new General Manager and Chief Operating Officer.

English joins the Sounds after serving as the Vice President and General Manager for the Gwinnett Stripers, the Triple-A Affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. English joined the Stripers in November of 2018. Prior to his three seasons with Gwinnett, English was with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats from 2013-18.

He started with Sacramento as the Director of Ticket Sales and received promotions to Senior Director of Ticket Sales and Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, English was with the Single-A Lexington Legends from 2010-13 as the Director of Ticket Sales and later the Assistant General Manager. He began his professional career in sports with Ripken Baseball in 2006.

“This is a very exciting day for the Nashville Sounds organization,” says Sounds co-owner Frank Ward. “Adam English brings over 17 years of experience in professional baseball and is a talented and dedicated executive in the business. He brings a wealth of knowledge in leadership, corporate partnerships and fan experience to Nashville. I look forward to Adam’s relationships with our staff, fans, partners, community organizations and the Milwaukee Brewers.”

“It’s my honor to take over as General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of the Nashville Sounds,” shares English. “Frank Ward and the Sounds are widely recognized as leaders not only in Minor League Baseball but the entire sports industry. Nashville is a great sports town, and MiLB is all about community. I cannot wait to get involved in Middle Tennessee and make an even greater impact. First Horizon Park is a world-class facility and I’m dedicated to continuing to improve upon the fantastic fan experience already in place.”

English currently serves on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is also a member of the Gwinnett Rotary Club and previously served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sacramento.

Nashville Sounds Draw Largest Season Attendance In Minor League Baseball

First Horizon Park. Photo: Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

As the Nashville Sounds played their final homestand of the 2021 season, they welcomed fans all weekend, ending the season with an attendance of 436,868, the highest in all Minor League Baseball.

The Sounds finished the season 41-24 at First Horizon Park–the fourth-best home record in the Triple-A East. Nashville has won eight of their last nine games overall and nine of their last 11 at First Horizon Park.

However, the club saw less fans this season than in 2019 and before, notably due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the Sounds welcomed 578,291 fans to First Horizon Park, the fifth straight year of over 500,000. It was the fourth time in the five-year existence of the park with over 550,000 fans. The average attendance of 8,631 fans per game was the second-highest average in the Pacific Coast League.

All of Minor League Baseball was cancelled in 2020, so many teams took a major economic hit by not having fans come to games. Though the club’s attendance was lower than years past, even in the middle of a pandemic, the Sounds welcomed almost half a million fans.

College Corner: Vandy Baseball, UTK Football And Neyland Stadium, Belmont’s Evan Bradds

Vanderbilt Baseball Drops Full 2022 Schedule

Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt has released its 2022 baseball schedule and will play 55 games, 34 of which will be hosted at Hawkins Field, the complete 2022 schedule was unveiled Monday by head coach Tim Corbin who is entering his 20th season with the Commodores.

The Dores will start their season with a nine-game homestand, playing Oklahoma State (Feb. 18-20) then a weekend series against Army (Feb. 25-27), as well as midweek games against North Alabama (Feb. 22), Evansville (Feb. 23) and Central Arkansas (March 1). Vandy will take a long trip to Hawaii for its first road trip of the campaign, facing off with the Rainbow Warriors for a four-game road series.

Vanderbilt opens SEC play at home for the second year in a row, as the squad welcomes Missouri to Hawkins Field from March 18-20. The Commodores will also host league foes Tennessee (April 1-3), Florida (April 15-17), Texas A&M (April 29-May 1) and LSU (May 19-21).

The Commodores will face cross-town rivals Belmont (March 22) and Lipscomb (March 29) in neutral-site contests at First Tennessee Park.

 

 

UTK Updates Football Ticket Pricing, Additions To Neyland Stadium

Neyland Stadium. Photo: By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee Athletics has finalized plans to implement a more simplified and modernized football ticket purchasing process beginning with the 2022 season.

Many season-ticket holders, beginning in the fall of 2022, will experience a price reduction. Access to season tickets will also be expanded to more of the Tennessee fanbase, as some areas within Neyland Stadium will not require an annual donation.

Along with the ticket changes, multiple new premium areas are scheduled for construction as outlined during this summer’s launch of the My All Campaign.’Sections impacted by new planned premium areas include the lower west (sections R-W, rows 1-22) and the upper north (sections YY7-YY9). Current season-ticket holders in these sections will have the right of first refusal for seats in this revamped space. There will be increases to the per-seat gift requirements coinciding with the enhanced amenities.

“From what I’ve heard thus far, I believe our fans are excited about the upgrades taking place at Neyland Stadium and the new areas we’re introducing next season,” says Tennessee Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Danny White. “With the lay of the land changing in several sections, it’s important to me that we communicate with our ticket holders throughout this process. They’ll have the rest of this season to assess which seating options work best for them.”

Fan experience upgrades include two new videoboards on the north and south ends of the stadium, a lower-west premium club, enhanced chairback seating in multiple lower-west sections and a party deck social gathering space on the stadium’s upper north end.

 

Former Belmont Basketball Star Evan Bradds Promoted Within Celtics Staff

Evan Bradds. Photo: Courtesy of Belmont Athletics

Former Belmont men’s basketball player Evan Bradds has been promoted to a player development coach role within the NBA’s Boston Celtics organization. Bradds is the Bruins NCAA Division I era career scoring leader.

Bradds graduated from Belmont in 2018 and joined the Celtics organization the same year. Bradds served as an assistant coach for the Maine Red Claws until he was called up to be a video assistant for the Celtics prior to Boston’s 2018 NBA playoffs run.

The Celtics are under the direction of first-year head coach Ime Udoka as Garrett Jackson, DJ Macleay and Steve Tchiengang were named to the team’s player enhancement staff with Bradds.

Sounds Kick-Off Fan Appreciation Week With Final Homestand

The Nashville Sounds will be holding Fan Appreciation Week as they start their final homestand of the 2021 Triple A season on Wednesday, Sept. 22. The Sounds will play in a five-game series against the Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

The five-game set against Columbus is the beginning of the Triple-A Final Stretch, the new postseason tournament for all 30 Triple-A clubs. Following the home series, Nashville concludes the Triple-A Final Stretch with five road games against the Indianapolis Indians. The Triple-A team with the best overall winning percentage during the 10-game stretch will be crowned the champion.

All week fans can enjoy discounted food and beverages like, $2 12 oz. Pepsi fountain soda, $2 hot dogs (Friday-Sunday), $1.50 Frito Lay chips, select $5 and $6 canned and draft beer specials, Season Ticket Member of the Game recognition for all five games, $3 mini-golf (Friday and Saturday), and a silent auction to benefit the Nashville Sounds Foundation on Saturday and Sunday. Items include autographs from Christian Yelich, Rickey Henderson, Roger Clemens and others.

On Wednesday, the Sounds will be having Tito’s Tail Waggin’ Wednesday where fans can bring their favorite four-legged friend to First Horizon Park. Proceeds from all dog tickets will benefit Comfort Connections. There will also be a Sounds and Nashville SC Ticket Bundle where all fans who purchase a ticket to the Sept. 29 Nashville SC vs. Orlando City match using the listed link will also receive a Select Section ticket to the Sept. 22 Sounds vs. Clippers game.

On Thursday, the Sounds will host Throwback Thursday presented by Budweiser as the Sounds wear throwback uniforms to commemorate the team’s original 1978 uniform style. Fans will also be able to purchase Pepsi fountain soda and Budweiser products at a discounted rate.

On Friday and Saturday, the club will give away a 2022 Magnet Schedule to the first 1,000 fans, presented by FOX 17. Up to 2,500 fans can receive a free Hardees Famous Star coupon as an exit giveaway on Friday. Finally, on Sunday, the final home game for the Sounds in 2021, the first 100 kids ages 12 and under will receive a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, presented by ABRAMS.

Vanderbilt Releases SEC Baseball Schedule For 2022

 

Photo: courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt and the Southeastern Conference have dropped the schedule for its 2022 baseball season. Each school will play 10 three-game weekend series.

The 30-game conference slate gets underway March 18-20 as the Commodores welcome Missouri to Hawkins Field, marking the second consecutive season that Vanderbilt will open conference play at home.

Vandy will open SEC play with a series against the Tigers and will be the first of three consecutive weekends against SEC East opponents as Vanderbilt travels to South Carolina (March 25-27) before returning home to host in-state foe Tennessee (April 1-3).

Vanderbilt will also welcome Florida (April 15-17), Texas A&M (April 29-May 1) and LSU (May 19-21) to Nashville as part of its conference home slate. In addition to their trip to South Carolina, the Commodores will visit Auburn (April 8-10), Kentucky (April 22-24), Georgia (May 6-8) and Arkansas (May 13-15). Vanderbilt will be making its first visit to Auburn since 2018 while the Arkansas trek will be the Commodores’ first series in Fayetteville since 2017.

The Commodores will release their non-conference schedule at a later date. The SEC Tournament is scheduled for May 24-29 in Hoover, Alabama.

The SEC slate is subject to change for television scheduling.

Nashville Sounds Donate $10,000 To Flood Recovery

The Nashville Sounds are giving back to those affected by the recent floods by donating $10,000 along with supplies to the communities in and around Humphreys Country. In addition to the monetary donation, the Nashville Sounds Foundation is currently accepting donations via Venmo at @NashvilleSoundsFoundation. The Sounds will also be donating all dog ticket money ($5 per ticket) from the July 27 Tito’s Tail Waggin’ Tuesday game to the Humphreys County Humane Society.

The team accepted donations throughout the recent homestand and will continue to do so until Friday, Sept. 3. Fans can bring items such as diapers, paper towels, batteries, towels, baby formula, and other things to the Club and Suite entrance at First Horizon Park. All items donated will be dropped off at McEwen High School.

“The loss of life and devastation from the recent flooding is tragic,” says Sounds Co-Owner Frank Ward. “The Midstate area has been through a great deal of unfortunate events over the last 18 months and the Nashville Sounds Baseball Club will continue to assist in every way possible. Aside from a monetary donation, rest assured our incredible front office will lend helping hands over the coming weeks and months.”

The Nashville Sounds Front Office will be volunteering their time by assisting in the recovery efforts in Humphreys County and the surrounding areas. Led by award-winning Head Groundskeeper Thomas Trotter, the Sounds’ grounds crew will assist in the rebuilding of numerous baseball fields in the area. Additionally, the Nashville Sounds Foundation has set up an Amazon Wish List for those unavailable to drop off items at the ballpark.

The Nashville Sounds Announce 2022 Schedule

The Nashville Sounds have released their schedule for the 2022 season which includes 144 games with matchups against the Braves, Cardinals, and Reds affiliates. The Sounds will open the 2022 season at First Horizon Park on Tuesday, April 5 against the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Opening Day is part of a season-opening six-game homestand against Durham and will mark the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate’s first visit to Nashville.

“We’re excited to continue getting back to a sense of normal at First Horizon Park,” says Sounds co-owner Frank Ward. “We greatly appreciate the tremendous support our fanbase has shown us this year. Being able to announce our 2022 schedule now helps everybody start planning their next adventure at the ballpark.”

Like in 2021, the Sounds will have every Monday off during the season with three exceptions: the first Monday game of the season is on Memorial Day, May 30, at Durham;  Monday, July 4 at Columbus; and the final Monday of the season, Sept. 19, at Louisville. Additionally, for the first time in club history, the team will play on the road at the St. Paul Saints (Minnesota Twins) from April 26-May 1, at Durham from May 30-June 5 and Aug. 23-28, and at Norfolk from Aug. 2-7.

The lone holiday the Sounds will play at home is Mother’s Day against Norfolk on Sunday, May 8. The team will be on the road for Easter, April 17, at Gwinnett; Father’s Day, June 19 at Memphis; and Independence Day at Columbus. The Sounds will also host an Independence Day celebration on Sunday, July 3 against Indianapolis.

First Horizon Park and the Sounds will host nine different homestands to fill the 72-game home slate. The longest homestand is a 12-game, 13-day stretch from June 21-July 3 when the Sounds host Gwinnett and the Indianapolis Indians.

Season ticket membership packages for returning and new customers will begin Thursday, Aug. 19 with early-bird specials. A full 2022 promotional schedule will be released in early March. Individual game tickets will be available for purchase in mid-March.

Former Vanderbilt Pitchers Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker Receive National Recognition

Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter

Former Vanderbilt pitching duo Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker received national recognition from Baseball America. Rocker has been named Player of the Year, while Leiter was named Freshman of the Year. The two became the first pair of teammates ever to win the awards in the same season.

Leiter and Rocker led the Commodores to a second straight College World Series appearance, eventually losing to Mississippi State. Rocker led the program to a College World Series win in 2019. In 2021, Rocker and Leiter tied for the nation-lead in strikeouts, posting 179 apiece, becoming the first teammates in at least 30 seasons to lead the country in strikeouts. The duo were also recognized as finalists for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy.

A unanimous First Team All-American, Rocker posted a 14-4 record on the mound this season, including a 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament. The junior right-hander became only the second player since 1988 to lead the nation in both strikeouts and wins in the same season. Leiter registered 201 strikeouts across his two seasons. The right-hander closed out the season ranking third in the country in hits allowed per nine innings with a mark of 3.93.

Both pitching phenomena’s were drafted top 10 in the 2021 MLB Draft with Leiter going No. 2 overall to the Texas Rangers, eventually signing and receiving a $7.9 million signing bonus. Rocker was drafted by the New York Mets with the No. 10 overall pick. The Mets decided not to sign Rocker after fears over his physical.