Nashville Sounds set home attendance record, draw largest crowds in minor league baseball

·11 min read

The Nashville Sounds broke their single-game attendance record at First Horizon Park when 12,409 fans showed up Saturday to see them play the Memphis Redbirds.

The Sounds lost 10-0, but the attendance figure was definitely worth celebrating. It snapped the record of 11,824 set on March 24, 2019, when Nashville played the Texas Rangers in an exhibition game.

The Sounds have played at First Horizon Park since 2015.

It was the 11th sellout of the season for the Sounds.

Nashville leads all of Minor League Baseball in total attendance and per-game attendance. After 48 home games, the Sounds are averaging 8,029 fans and the season total is 385,392.

That average is up from 6,721 in 2021, which also led Minor League Baseball. Nashville finished with 436,868 total fans at First Horizon Park in 2021 and still has 27 home games left.

The Sounds bounced back after Saturday's loss with a 10-8 win Sunday over Memphis. Their next home series is July 26-31 against Charlotte.

Sounds retiring Tim Dillard's jersey number

The Sounds will retire longtime fan favorite Tim Dillard’s No. 17 in a ceremony on July 29 before they play Charlotte.

Dillard, who lives in Nashville, pitched with the Sounds for parts of nine seasons from 2007-14 (Milwaukee Brewers) and 2019 (Texas Rangers). He is among franchise leaders in nearly every major pitching category.

He is the all-time leader in wins (48), innings pitched (710), games (242) and strikeouts (437), and ranks third all-time in starts (69).

The right-hander will become just the third Sounds player to have his number retired, joining Skeeter Barnes (00) and Don Mattingly (18).

Ex-MBA, Vanderbilt kicker Jeff Owen named Dollar General CEO

Former Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt punter/kicker Jeff Owen was named chief executive officer of Dollar General. Owen had served as chief operating officer since 2019. He has been with the company since 1992 when he began his career as a store manager trainee.

Owen was The Tennessean All-Metro Class AAA place kicker as a senior at MBA in 1987. He also played running back in high school.

At Vanderbilt, Owen connected on 18 of 25 field goals and scored 74 points during his career (1989-91). He punted 13 times for a 37.7-yard average during his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Players with local connections going into Georgia hall of fame

Two former Tennessee Vols – Eric Berry and Chip Kell – and two from Tennessee State – Larry Kinnebrew and Richard Dent – are in the inaugural Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame class.

Berry, from Creekside High in South Fulton, was a two-time All-America safety at UT who went on to be an All-Pro in the NFL.

Kell, an offensive lineman from Avondale High in Atlanta, also was a two-time All-American at UT.

Kinnebrew, a running back from East Rome High, is among the top five all-time leading rushers at TSU. He spent seven seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills and rushed for 3,133 career yards and 44 touchdowns.

Dent was a defensive end who played a Murphy High in Atlanta. He helped lead TSU to a 35-6-1 record and two Black National Championships before going on to play 15 seasons in the NFL. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

A total of 36 former players are in the class.

Trevecca's Karen Booker adds brother, former Vandy star to staff

Vanderbilt guard Derrick Wilcox (3) drives past Tennessee’s Travis Henry (25) on his way to the basket during the first half of the Commodores' 68-56 victory over the Vols before 15,646 at Memorial Gym on Feb. 1, 1989.
Vanderbilt guard Derrick Wilcox (3) drives past Tennessee’s Travis Henry (25) on his way to the basket during the first half of the Commodores' 68-56 victory over the Vols before 15,646 at Memorial Gym on Feb. 1, 1989.

New Trevecca women’s basketball coach Karen Booker added her brother Cyrus and former Vanderbilt star Derrick Wilcox to her staff.

Karen Booker, who was hired in June, played at Franklin and Vanderbilt.

Cyrus Booker, one of 12 siblings, also played at Franklin where he averaged 16 points and 16 rebounds. He went on to play at Harvard where he averaged 10.2 points.

He began his coaching career on the men’s staff at Fisk (1983-85) before becoming an attorney and Vanderbilt law professor.

In 2019 he returned to coaching at Fisk where he remained as an assistant on Kenny Anderson's staff through the 2021-22 season.

Wilcox was a point guard at Vanderbilt who helped lead the Commodores to the 1990 NIT championship.

Trevecca athletics director Mark Elliott was an assistant at Vanderbilt when Wilcox, who scored 908 career points, played. Barry Booker, the younger brother of Karen and Cyrus, was one of Wilcox’s teammates at Vandy.

Karen Booker had already hired Tedra Eberhart-Lee, who played at Kentucky, as an assistant.

Lou Holtz will speak to local FCA group

Lou Holtz will be the featured speaker at the Northern Middle Tennessee Fellowship of Christian Athletes Fundraising Banquet in the fall.

The banquet is set for Oct. 27 at Long Hollow Church. There will be a meet and greet at 5 p.m.

Anyone interested in attending should contact Jason McCormick at

Celebrities playing in Eddie George's golf tournament

Eddie George has lined up an impressive group of celebrities for his second annual golf tournament, which is July 31-Aug 1.

The former Tennessee Titans running back, who is headed into his second year as the coach at TSU, has almost 50 confirmed participants for the event at Old Hickory Country Club

The list includes Dent, Marcus Allen, Eric Dickerson, Lawrence Taylor, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Sterling Sharpe, Archie Griffin, Terrell Owens, Jevon Kearse, Frank Wycheck, Kordell Stewart, Ozzie Smith, Joey Galloway, Greg Lloyd, Samari Rolle, Keith Bulluck, Keith Byars, Seth Joyner, Jeff Fisher, Orlando Pace, Kevin Dyson, Ed Reed, John Starks, Ron Harper, Marcus Spears, Derrick Mayes, Raymont Harris, Al Smith, Hue Jackson, Harold Green and Tracy Bonner.

TSU staff members playing include athletics director Mikki Allen, chief of staff Dusty Bennett, assistant coaches Brandon Fisher, Clyde Simmons, Joe Bowden, Pepe Pearson, Kenan Smith, Keith Burns and Richard McNutt.

There will be a silent auction, kickoff party and after party July 31 with the tournament on Aug. 1 after breakfast.

To participate, contact Katrina Chambers at or by calling 615-916-0449.

Kerry Collins joins Franklin staff

Former Tennessee Titans quarterback Kerry Collins has joined the Franklin High staff as a volunteer coach.

Collins, 49, remained in Nashville after he retired in 2011 following 17 seasons in the NFL.

Collins, who is coaching the team’s quarterbacks, spent five seasons with the Titans. He left in 2010 and spent his final season with the Indianapolis Colts.

Tennessee women's football team names coach and GM

Constance Luttrell was named coach of the Tennessee Trojans women's semipro football team which will begin playing in spring 2023.
Constance Luttrell was named coach of the Tennessee Trojans women's semipro football team which will begin playing in spring 2023.

Constance Luttrell was named coach and Lisa Limper was named general manager of the Tennessee Trojans semipro football team.

The Nashville-based team will begin play April 2023 in the Women’s National Football Conference.

Luttrell, who began her career coaching golf at Cumberland in 2000, started coaching football at T.W. Hunter Middle School in Hendersonville in 2005. She was named the 2015 Sumner County coach of the year.

In 2020 Luttrell joined the staff at East Robertson High as defensive coordinator.

Limper spent more than 10 years as an assistant football coach at Hillsboro and Glencliff.

“We are ecstatic to have (Luttrell) as our head coach,” team co-owner Rachel Ortiz-Marsh said. “Her experience at both the middle school and high school levels as a head coach and defensive coordinator will greatly benefit our team and players. She and Lisa are dynamic, phenomenal women that are fully invested in what we are building.”

Lipscomb's Adnan Hodzic going into A-Sun Hall of Fame

Former Lipscomb basketball star Adnan Hodzic will be inducted in the Atlantic Sun Conference Hall of Fame.
Former Lipscomb basketball star Adnan Hodzic will be inducted in the Atlantic Sun Conference Hall of Fame.

Lipscomb basketball standout Adnan Hodzic is in the Atlantic Sun Conference 2022 Hall of Fame class.

The Bosnian native was a four-year starter (2007-11) who scored 2,002 career points and grabbed 840 rebounds.

He was the 2009 A-Sun player of the year, an honorable mention Associated Press All-American and three-time all-conference first teamer.

Hodzic is the second all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Lipscomb's NCAA Division I era.

Tennessee Tech basketball great Belton Rivers dies at 37

Tennessee Tech basketball standout Belton Rivers died on July 16. He was 37.

Rivers, a guard from Atlanta, made the All-OVC team in 2006-07 and the OVC All-Newcomer team in 2005-06.

He was the OVC's second-leading scorer as a senior (17.8 points) and third in 3-pointers (92). Rivers scored 570 points that season, which is tied with Willie Jenkins for ninth in Tech history.

Local golfers finish in top 14 of U.S. Adaptive Open

Two local golfers — Jordan Thomas and Luke Carroll — placed in the top 14 in the 2022 U.S. Adaptive Open, a USGA-sanctioned event at Village of Pinehurst in North Carolina.

Thomas, 33, finished fifth after posting a 10-over 226 in the three-day event. He shot 78-74-76. He won his division (multiple limb amputee) by 18 strokes.

Carroll was 14th with a 19-over 235 (79-82-74). At 16 the rising junior at Father Ryan was the youngest player in the field.

Bill Breen makes an eagle to qualify for Senior Open

Nashville golfer Bill Breen made an eagle on the first playoff hole during the qualifying round for the Senior Open at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Breen sank a 40-foot putt on the par 5 to secure one of  four playoff spots.

Breen, 55, won the Tennessee Senior State Open at Stonehenge Golf Course and tied for second in the Players Championship at Stones River in June.

Local high school great Odell Binkley dies at 90

Odell Binkley
Odell Binkley

Odell Binkley, one of Nashville’s greatest high school athletes of all time, died Sunday. He was 90.

Binkley, whose nickname was “Dinky” because of his small stature, played football, basketball and baseball at North High. He also was a standout AAU boxer.

In football, he was a running back and defensive back who won the 1950 Hume Award, which goes to Nashville’s best high school player.

Nashville Interscholastic League Magazine placed Binkley on the All Decade Of The Fifties second team.

In basketball, Binkley was a two-year starting guard.

In baseball, he was a shortstop who made the inaugural Tennessean All-City Western Division Team as a junior when he posted a .448 batting average. He made the team again as a senior after leading the Yankees to the NIL championship.

Binkley went on to become a prominent local businessman and developer. He owned and operated C&D Construction and Demolition Landfill in Hermitage where he worked daily until his death.

Cookeville and Tech player promoted at Winthrop

Mitch Hill
Mitch Hill

Former Cookeville High and Tennessee Tech basketball player Mitch Hill was promoted to assistant by Winthrop coach Mark Prosser.

Hill was hired as director of basketball operations in 2021 after spending the previous season at Western Carolina under Prosser in the same position.

Hill is Cookeville's all-time leading scorer with 1,649 points. He averaged 22 points as a senior.

He played at Tech from 2011-14 and spent two seasons with the Golden Eagles as a graduate assistant.

Little named assistant at Austin Peay

Carl Little, who spent last season as director of basketball operations at Austin Peay, will also serve as an assistant in 2022-23,

Before his arrival at Austin Peay, Little spent two seasons as director of player development at North Carolina Central.

Little played at Virginia State.

Franklin's Davis Bove wins Americas Triathlon Cup

Davis Bove
Davis Bove

Davis Bove of Franklin won the Americas Triathlon Cup Long Beach at Alamitos Beach in California, the proposed site of the triathlon competitions for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028.

Bove, a former Centennial cross-country runner now at LSU, posted a time of 14:41 in the 5k to pull away from Canadians Martin Sobey and Pavlos Antoniades and then captured a photo finish win in 52:01.

Sobey finished in 52:02 and Antoniades in 52:04.

The race served as the 2022 Under-23 U.S. National Championships.

Fee dropped for Music City Grand Prix volunteers

Volunteers are still needed for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix IndyCar Series race, which is Aug. 4-7 downtown.

The volunteer program was recently underwritten, meaning there is now no cost for those who volunteer. Those who already paid to volunteer are eligible for a refund by contacting the volunteer team at

Volunteers receive uniforms (two polos, one T-shirt and a hat), parking, transportation and meals during their shifts. Volunteers must be 16 and register for a minimum of two shifts throughout the event week.

Registration is at

If you have an item for Midstate Chatter contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 on on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville Sounds set home attendance record at First Horizon Park