HomeOpinionOPINION: Rockabillys deserve support in 2023

OPINION: Rockabillys deserve support in 2023

Looking ahead to 2023, one of the more underrated things to look forward to in Madison County is the pending return of professional baseball to Jackson.

The Jackson Rockabillys will play in the Prospect League with their first home game coming in early June, and it’ll be the first time since 2019 in which a team plays in the stadium as its permanent home facility.

By the way, to clarify, we’re calling the stadium officially Jackson Baseball Stadium for now. It’s been called Pringles Park, The Big Chip and The Ballpark at Jackson in the past. And there will be different segments of baseball fans in Jackson who will always refer to the stadium in that manner probably until the day they die.

There was talk in the first few months after In The Big Inning signed on to bring the Jackson Rockabillys to the Hub City about possible stadium naming rights being sold again, so we could see another change. But for now, it’s Jackson Baseball Stadium.

Anyway, it’s a great thing to have pro baseball in Jackson to look forward to this summer.

I got here in 2008 when the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx were a couple of years into their tenure as the Double A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, which came after a time with the Chicago Cubs and before a few years with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

While the Rockabillys may not be a part of the MLB minor league system, there’s still something to be said for the ability we have to be able to take in a baseball game in a larger stadium in the summer without having to go to Memphis or Nashville to do it.

And while there was an MLB-affiliated team in Jackson, the support for that team was abysmal most of the time.

There were games early in the week when it felt like if you talked loudly during an at-bat, you were talking too loud in church during a prayer and all 50 people in the stadium would be able to hear you.

When the former franchise was still affiliated with the Mariners, the biggest name in Mariners history, Ken Griffey Jr., made a visit to Jackson as the hitting instructor for the farm system, and no one knew it because the two games he was in town for had virtually no attendance and he was able to walk around on the concourse with no one seeing him.

During the 2021 season when the Winnipeg Goldeyes were here on a temporary basis to get past their travel difficulties due to Canada’s restrictions related to their COVID-19 protocols, a number of baseball fans who were happy to simply see two teams playing in the stadium no matter where they were from were grieving the fact that it looked as if baseball in Jackson were going the way of the dodo bird.

They wondered if things had been different had there been more support for the team.

While we can’t change the past, we can affect the future.

So if baseball fans in Jackson want to see the Rockabillys thrive and see a resurgence of pro baseball on the local level, the biggest thing to make that happen is taking your baseball-loving rear-ends to Jackson Baseball Stadium a few times in the months of June and July and showing up for games.

The plan for The Post is to have someone there covering on a regular basis and having regular features on the players and the team for the fans’ enjoyment.

So we plan to support the Rockabillys. Hopefully Madison County and other surrounding areas will too.

Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at brandon@jacksonpost.news. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.



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