Much like their counterparts on the Tennessee side of the Smokies (The Tennessee Smokies), the Asheville Tourists were the 2012 league champions in the Class A South Atlantic League. This championship team with the odd name supplies the people of Asheville and Western North Carolina with some of the finest baseball that you will ever see in the state of North Carolina.
Baseball in Asheville dates back to 1897. Back then the team was part oft he North Carolina team and though there were certainly breaks in the history of baseball in Western North Carolina (World War I for instance), baseball has been alive and well in the city of Asheville for well over 100 years. Owners have changed, players have changed and the teams that use the minor league teams in Asheville to farm their new talent from have changed but the fact that Asheville has a great history with the sport has never changed. Currently, the team which has been based out of Asheville since 1984 and has had the name the Tourists since well before that point, is a farm team for the Colorado Rockies. They are owned by former US Senator Mike DeWine and his son Brian DeWine is the team president.
The Asheville Tourists have a couple of interesting pieces of trivia:
- They are the only professional sports team that has the word ‘Visitors’ over the visiting team on the scoreboard and ‘Tourists’ over the home teams side of the scoreboard.
- They also got a mention in the movie Bull Durham. They were the team that Crash Davis finishes his career at after he lives the Durham Bulls.
Asheville Tourists Mission Statement:
To provide the families and residents of Western North Carolina a special and affordable place to make memories together experiencing America’s Past Time. To intertwine the Great Game of Baseball with the community through charitable acts and community involvement. To pass the game onto the next generation and enhance the quality of life in the community, thus remembering why baseball truly is America’s Past Time.
The Asheville Tourists play ball at McCormick Field. This field was built in 1924 and was named after a local doctor. The baseball stadium seats around 4,000 people. The field was renovated in 1992 and the right field wall was heightened to about 36 feet which almost as tall as the Green Monster at legendary Fewnway Park. This is one of the great ball fields in minor league baseball.
If you are visiting the Smoky Mountains, stop by the Asheville Tourists and take in a game. Spend the day with a ball park hot dog in your hand and a smile on your face.
30 Buchanan Place