Astros Information

The old adage "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" had a new meaning to local baseball fans beginning in 2004 when Greeneville was selected as the new home of the Houston Astros' Appalachian League affiliate.

The Appalachian League is a training league for Major League clubs. Teams are normally comprised of draft choices and other young players who dream of climbing the ladder of the parent organization.

Tusculum College's Pioneer Park is the official home of the Greeneville Astros.

The Astros moved the team from Martinsville, Va., which had been the home of the Rookie League franchise since 1988.

The Greeneville plays in the Western Division of the Appalachian League, which also includes the Kingsport Mets, the Johnson City Cardinals, the Elizabethton Twins and the Bristol White Sox.

The Eastern Division of the Appy League has Pulaski, Va.; Burlington, N.C.; Princeton, W.Va.; Bluefield, W.Va.; and Danville, Va.

Professional baseball returned to Greeneville for the first time since 1941, when the old Burley Cubs, an Appalachian League team, broke up.

"The Astros have high standards, from the type of players we draft, to the type of people we hire, to the type of facilities we play in," said Tim Purpura, assistant general manager and director of player development for the Houston Astros, in 2004.

"From the major league team to the Appalachian League, we have developed the finest facilities to play in."

Purpura went on to say that from the new baseball stadium in Houston, Minute Maid Park, to their minor league parks, the Astros' facilities are top-notch.

"Tusculum completes the picture," he said. "No. 1 is the field: the dirt, the grass, the track, everything is first rate.

"You look at Tusculum College, and what they have to offer is outstanding. It's a great player development facility, and a great place for the fans to watch them play.

"It will be one of the finest in the country, bar none."

There are 35 players on the team's roster.

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