Nashville Sounds, Greer Stadium: The Herschel Greer Stadium was built in 1978 for the Nashville Sounds. Many who grew up in and around Middle Tennessee have fond memories of games at the Nashville stadium. Hot dogs, cold beer and mustard covered pretzels are likely included in some of your memories.
The Nashville Sounds became a part of Nashville when Larry Schmittou decided he wanted to bring baseball back to Davidson County. In the 1970’s, Schmittou inked a deal with the City of Nashville for the plot of land below Fort Negley. The fort was a forgotten part of the American Civil War and had not been developed into a tourist stop until 2004, years after the construction of the baseball stadium.
Schmittou was born into baseball and even named after “Larry” Gilbert, manager of the Nashville Vols Minor League Baseball Team (1938-1948).
The Nashville native began his coaching career as a junior at Cohn High School, coaching for a youth baseball team of children who were 12 and under. After graduating from Peabody College (later merged with Vanderbilt), he became a teacher for the Nashville Public Schools and eventually moved on to become the head coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team from 1968 to 1978.
Schmittou was also an entrepreneur. In the late 1970’s, he owned several minor league baseball teams, but the Music City was always in his heart as the Nashville Sounds was his very first minor league team.
As for the name of the Greer Stadium, it also has to do with Tennessee baseball history. The stadium was named after Herschel Lynn Greer, a Nashville businessman and the very first president of the Nashville Vols baseball team. Greer died in 1976, so the naming of the stadium came after his death.
In 2014 the stadium closed down as the Sounds moved to their newly built First Tennessee Park. The new park is built on the Sulphur Dell site, which was the original location of the Nashville Vols baseball team.
By the way, the original name of the Sulphur Dell ballpark was the Sulphur Springs Ball Park, named after a Sulphur spring near the site. The word “Spring” was eventually dropped and changed to “Dell” by a Nashville sportswriter, suggesting that “Dell” rhymed with more stuff in his unique sports stories.