Johnson City, TN
Review by Gary
Sporting one of the coolest logos in all of baseball, which pays homage to World War I infantrymen, the Johnson City Doughboys are the members of the recreated Appalachian League, now a summer collegiate circuit. The team replaced the dearly departed Johnson City Cardinals, who used TVA Credit Union Ballpark as their nest from 1975 to 2020. Built in 1950, this stadium holds 3,800 spectators and boasts a vintage metal roof with steel girders that covers nearly every seat in the grandstand. While there are a few reserved rows down front, most of the seating is comprised of General Admission bleachers.
Newer renovations include upgraded field lighting and “The Perch”, a two-tier bar down the left-field foul line, one of several party areas where fans can congregate and enjoy food stuffs. These social areas allow the ballpark to be family-oriented near the home plate grandstand and provide more of a festive atmosphere down both lines.
On the downside, the layout of seating, walkways, and the location of some of the vendors doesn’t quite jive. Fans in the grandstand have to navigate sinuous walkways to the party areas or traverse a narrow central hallway back to the concession area and teensy gift shop behind the bleachers, out of view of the game.
The entire infield area is synthetic while the outfield is natural grass. The outfield wall measures 14 feet in height from corner to corner and is festooned with local eastern Tennessee advertising. The dimensions are pretty standard, with a 330’ marker at the left field pole, 315’ down the line to right, and 400’ to dead center. Beyond the outfield fence are rolling tree-lined hills that frame the view from the stands quite nicely.
The Doughboys uniform numbers use a stenciled font reminiscent of the lettering found on World War I-era supply boxes, which nicely accents the superb logo on the front of the jersey and caps. TVA CU Ballpark is a quaint, intimate place to catch a ballgame with neither loud music nor obnoxious on-field announcers to distract folks from the game.