The Nashville Sounds have been named the Minor League Baseball Organization of the Year at the Baseball Winter Meetings Opening Night Reception and Awards Program at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Sunday, Dec. 4.
The coveted award celebrates the overall achievements of the Minor League Baseball club which demonstrates excellence across all business functions and in baseball operations. It’s the first time Nashville has won the award in its 45-year franchise history.
“We are grateful and humbled to be recognized with this award as it truly represents our entire organization,” says Sounds General Manager/COO Adam English. “None of this is possible without the incredible support from our ownership group starting with Frank Ward. His commitment to success and the resources provided is extraordinary. Our entire staff is extremely dedicated as we seek to provide the best possible experience at First Horizon Park to attendees and players alike. We are proud to share this award with our partners and the best fans in Minor League Baseball.”
2022 was a remarkable season for the Sounds both-and-off the field. The Sounds won the International League West Division with a 91-58 record, the only team in Minor League Baseball to surpass the 90-win mark. The on-field success was partnered with the highest attendance in Minor League Baseball. A total of 555,576 fans entered the gates of First Horizon Park in 73 home dates, an average of 7,611 fans per-game.
First Horizon Park hosted the two largest crowds in ballpark history in 2022. On Saturday, July 16, 2022, a staggering 12,409 fans packed the ballpark. The mark eclipsed the previous high of 11,824 fans on March 24, 2018, when First Horizon Park played host to a Texas Rangers exhibition game. Less than one month later, 12,140 fans attended a Saturday night game against Gwinnett. Overall, First Horizon Park hosted 13 sellouts in 2022, an increase from 10 sellouts in 2021. 2022’s overall attendance of 555,576 was an increase of over 118,000 fans from 2021 and was the eighth-highest single-season attendance in the 45-year history of the Sounds.
Sounds Manager Rick Sweet was at the helm for all 91 wins the club captured in 2022, bringing his all-time Minor League managerial win total to 2,192, fifth-most all-time. Along with numerous attendance and revenue records, the Sounds set single-season franchise records in runs scored (809), strikeouts by pitchers (1,265) and fielding percentage (.985). The 91 wins were the second-most in franchise history.
Specialty jersey auctions helped the Nashville Sounds Foundation raise over $13,000 for non-profits such as American Cancer Society, Notes for Notes, Conexión Américas, the MTSU Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. The Nashville Sounds Foundation also provided four graduating high school seniors with $2,500 scholarships to be used during their freshman year of college.
The team’s 2022 promotions schedule included 26 giveaway dates, nine postgame fireworks shows, a variety of themed weekends and several specialty nights. The promotions were highlighted by Play Ball Weekend (June 10-12), COPA de la Diversión Weekend (June 24-26), Tim Dillard’s jersey retirement and bobblehead giveaway (July 29) and a very special Norman “Turkey” Stearnes feature on Saturday, June 11 as part of Nashville’s commitment to The Nine program.
As part of Play Ball Weekend in mid-June, the Sounds hosted a series of free baseball and softball clinics at First Horizon Park. Along with the Play Ball Weekend festivities, the Sounds welcomed the family of Norman “Turkey” Stearnes to First Horizon Park for a special night. Stearnes was a pioneer in the rich history of the Negro Leagues in Nashville and is the only native Tennessean in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Together with the Sounds newly-formed The Nine committee, the Stearnes family was honored in an on-field pregame ceremony. A sellout crowd of 11,008 fans were treated to the first of two Norman “Turkey” Stearnes Shirsey Giveaways.