Pioneer Park
Greeneville, Tennessee
Year Opened
2004

Current Team
Greeneville Astros

Affiliate
Houston Astros

League
Appalachian League

Capacity
2,400

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium A- Atmosphere A- Concessions B-

Photos taken in 2008
Pioneer Park, located on the campus of Tusculum College, is clearly the jewel of Appalachian League ballparks. After seeing all the parks in the league, there are none that are even close to being as nice. The ballpark, with its red brick exterior, fits in nicely to its surroundings which include a new football field. The main entrance plaza is quite fancy and features a neat baseball shaped and colored garden. On the interior, the layout is quite similar to what you'll find out other new parks. Fans enter onto a wide concourse which overlooks the field. There are a few luxury boxes, but they are not built over the concourse here, but rather on the same level as the concourse. The press box is also located here, which means there is a rather large “dark” spot behind home plate where fans on the concourse can't see the actions. Seating is made up of all green stadium style seats, all with good sightlines of the field due to the steep pitch of the seating bowl. There is also a grassy berm in the left field corner where fans can sit and kids can play. A kid's play area is also located on the concourse above the berm seating in left field. Concessions are bit limited in terms of variety and the prices are certainly higher than you will find at other Appy League parks. Besides the normal ballpark fare, only bratwursts were offered. But the quality of concessions seemed to be decent. One nice touch at Pioneer Park is the Greeneville Baseball Museum that is located off the concourse behind 3rd base. Included are three large cases of memorabilia, including one dedicated to Dale Alexander, the most famous baseball player from Greeneville. The atmosphere here is more typical of minor league than what you'll find at other Appy League parks, as there are lots of sound clips and music played between batters and innings. The PA announcer is definitely enthusiastic and into the game, though he tried to be a comedian a bit too much. Several between inning games were performed, included Race The Mascot, the hamster race, Let's Make a Deal, and Tex Toss. The Astros have two mascots, Tennessee Tex and Tess, who are both active and visible throughout the game. After the 7th inning stretch, the mascots showed they could dance as well as they boogied to “Rocky Top”, which seems to have become a tradition here as all the fans were into it as well. I really appreciate seeing teams try to develop their own traditions – too many have just gotten lazy and will play “Sweet Caroline” or “Cotton Eye Joe”. The Astros deserve credit for coming up with something unique. The only downside to the atmosphere is that Pioneer Park still seems to be a “cool” hangout for teenagers, so the place is crawling with people who probably aren't there for the game. But overall, it is a very enjoyable atmosphere. Pioneer Park, while not including many bells and whistles found at other new parks, is still a great place to catch a game. While I'd prefer not to see more parks like this in the Appy League, having one is fine.
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