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Tennessee Smokies is a name of one of the Minor Leagues of Baseball, which is based in the Knoxville, Tennessee metropolitan area. The team plays as a part in the Southern League as a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball right from September 21, 2006.
The team usually plays at the Smokies Park, which is located near Sevierville of Tennessee in the town of Kodak. The stadium was opened in the year of 2000, and it has 6,412 seats for fans. The team has got a nickname, Smokies, in reference to the Great Smoky Mountains being present in the region. an interesting fact about these mountains is that they are often clouded in a hazy mist that seems as smoke rising from the forest.
The Smokies were the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals before 2005 and it was an ally of the Toronto Blue Jays right before. Later the Cardinals purchased the El Paso Diablos, which was the Arizona Diamondbacks' AA affiliate. The Diamondbacks kept the Smokies as their new AA affiliate. The Chicago Cubs had signed a two-year player development contract with the Smokies through the 2008 season. Some of the major major league baseball players, who have been a part of the Smokies are Roy Halladay, Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green, and Felipe Lopez.
As the team had a name of Knoxville Smokies, due to the reason mentioned above, after many years the name was changed in 2000 as the team moved from the place. Knoxville's were among the first to organize baseball franchise, the Appalachians, which had played in the original South Atlantic League in the year of 1909.
The club was dropped out of the Sally League that season, but - after Knoxville fielded teams in the Class D Southeastern and Appalachian leagues - returned to the South Atlantic loop, now Class B, as the Smokies from 1925-29. On July 22, 1931, the Mobile Bears franchise of the A1 Southern Association had made a move to Knoxville and played as the Smokies through July 5, 1944.
The Smokies had joined the Class B Tri-State League in 1948, and played there until the loop folded in 1955. At one time in 1956, when the Montgomery Rebels of the Class A South Atlantic League wanted a new place, they had moved to Knoxville. The Smokies continued in the Sally League through 1963, when it was reclassified Class AA, and were charter members of the Sally's successor, the Southern League, in 1964. Apart from a four-year (1968-71) hiatus, they have continued in the Southern loop ever since.
Knoxville returned in the baseball arena in 1972 as the Knoxville White Sox or Knox Sox and the Chicago White Sox's AA club. They had shifted their affiliation to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1980; the contract had been continued till 1999. The team had a change in name as the Knoxville Blue Jays, right from 1980 to 1992; it was in another way named as simply the K-Jays. From 1955 to 1999, Knoxville baseball teams played in Bill Meyer Stadium, formerly known as Knoxville Municipal Stadium. The stadium was named for Knoxville native son and former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Billy Meyer.
The biggest ever crowd has been seen Smokies Park May 24, 2008. John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves was making a rehab appearance with the Double-A. affiliate Mississippi Braves. It was due to the news of his appearance that had drawn the attention of a crowd of 7,381 to the ballpark.