Day 68: June 15, 1991

Knoxville, TN

Park # 74

What I Remember

There is a reason why Camden Yards in Baltimore evoked a feeling of nostalgia from the very moment its gates were opened for the first time. It was the warehouse building that serves as the backdrop to the view from the stands and houses the Orioles offices. For decades, baseball in this country was played in the inner city, often in an industrial section of towns, and the former B&O warehouse made the park feel like a classic even when it was brand new and the neighborhood around it, the Inner Harbor, was gentrified.

Bill Meyer Stadium in Knoxville, though, was a throwback to those days. It was downtown and also had a warehouse beyond the outfield wall but there was no gentrification there. My biggest recollection of that stop in Knoxville was of seeing broken windows in the warehouse and asking if they had come from home runs smashing through them (we were told that some indeed were.)

It was a nice old stadium, originally opened in 1953, with a high covered grandstand and towering light standards ringing the field. But the park was aging and before I came back to the area on my 2003 Extra Innings Tour the Blue Jays had changed their name to Smokies and moved to a bucolic new stadium in a suburb with the apt name of Kodak, Tennessee.

The Game

Jacksonville Suns 7 Knoxville Blue Jays 1

The Box: (Click on the arrows to see more images)

The Knoxville Blue Jays did not do very well on the field in 1991 but the team did produce a long time major league star. As you will see on the scorecard in the gallery below, Jeff Kent was batting 5th in the lineup for Knoxville that night, he started a 17-year career in the majors the next season and collected almost 2,500 hits.

The Video:

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