Top Menu

In memoriam: Farrell Owens

Nashville SoundsFarrell Owens, who worked with Larry Schmittou to bring the Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) to the Music City in 1978 and served as the team’s first GM/VP, passed away. He was 76.

The origin story of the Sounds is one of the best in Minor League Baseball, and Owens was in the middle of the action. It begins with Larry Schmittou hit with a salary cut as recruiting coordinator for the Vanderbilt Commodore football team. In a search to replace the $6,000 reduction, he hit on the idea of bringing Minor League Baseball back to Nashville after seeing the revival of the Chattanooga Lookouts success; Nashville traditionally had been a stalwart in the Class AA Southern League. Enlisting fellow Cohn High School graduate Owens in the effort, the pair embarked on a quest to acquire a team and money to build what would become Herschel Greer Stadium. Owens was an investor in the team, along with a slew of country-music stars like Jerry Reed, Conway Twitty and Cal Smith. Greer Stadium became the place to be seen for country-music stars, sporting its famous guitar scoreboard (re-created in the team’s new home, First Horizon Park).

After the success of the Sounds at Double-A, the Triple-A Evansville Triplets team was acquired, placing the Sounds in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

Owens later was involved in other sports-related ventures after leaving the Sounds. Most recently he was part of John Loar’s efforts to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville.

Mark McCarter shares the origins of the Sounds and what made the team special in Never a Bad Game: Fifty-Plus Years of the Southern League.

Here is the obituary from The Tennessean.

, ,