DECEMBER 2021  |  ISSUE 21

A monumental day on Sunday as six players were voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  This included Buck O’Neil, Minnie Miñoso, Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, and Tony Oliva. 

O’Neil was an instrumental player Negro Leagues and founded the Negro League Hall of Fame and Museum. He was also the first Black coach in Major League Baseball. 

Please join us in celebrating all the newest inductees into Cooperstown!

Sometimes we don’t know our “calling” right away. Kendra Bacon found hers after graduating from college in a completely different field.
Bacon is a special education teacher at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna. She initially wanted to pursue a broadcast journalism career. However, her heart steered her in a different direction.
“I always had a passion to work with kids who have special needs,” said Bacon. “I spent an entire year as a substitute teacher in special education classrooms and immediately knew this is what I wanted to do.”
After finishing her master’s degree in special education at the University of Illinois, Bacon spent five years teaching in Kansas before coming to Tennessee in 2017. While at Stewarts Creek, she has worked with two different programs in the Rutherford County School District that help students transition out of high school after receiving their special education diploma.
One program is the Transition Academy, which exposes students to a variety of community experiences as well as independent living skills that would not be possible in the traditional school setting.
Another program is Project Search, which is a work internship program for students who are ready to go to work.
“I’m so thankful that our school district has these types of programs in place for our students to learn and grow,” said Bacon. “These are true life experiences that they can’t get in a traditional classroom.”
She thinks these programs can be educational for others to see people with special needs working in society.
“I want society to be exposed to people with disabilities in the community,” said Bacon. “I want others to treat them like a human being and not be afraid. People with disabilities are people, they just have different things going on...but we all have things going on.”
Bacon is thrilled at the prospect of Nashville having its own Major League Baseball franchise, not just for her students, but for her own two boys.
“My husband and I have a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old, and we just took them to their first (Chicago) Cubs game over the summer,” said Bacon. “Seeing their reactions when they saw the stadium, the players on the field, the gigantic video boards...they’ve been talking about it ever since. I can’t wait for a time when we can take them to games here on a regular basis.”

Sports. Music. Sometimes, they go hand-in-hand.
We’ve heard the old adage that many musicians dream of being professional athletes, and many professional athletes dream of being musicians.  
Add Bart Millard to that mix.
The MercyMe lead singer grew up in Texas as a Rangers fan.  Now he’s using his many years of music experience to help advise Music City Baseball to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville.
“I love the fact that it’s Music City and I love the fact that there’s an advisory board of musicians behind this,” said Millard. “I think it’s crucial. That’s one of the things that sets us apart from other cities are the people advocating for this team. These are people who live in the city of Nashville. I love the fact that they lean into and say, ‘this is exactly who we are.’"
Millard is proud to have the opportunity to roll up his sleeves with the effort as well, enjoying the team environment with Music City Baseball’s entire roster.
“I’ve been blown away by how the whole team treats you as you’re their equal,” said Millard. “If you’re an advisor, it’s just amazing how sometimes I may feel like I’m bothering them if I have an idea and they’re like, ‘let’s set up a meeting.’ It’s really cool the respect they give you and not just go, ‘well he’s just a musician he doesn’t know much about baseball.’"
As a musician who grew up as a passionate baseball fan, he understands the beauty of baseball.
“Baseball is one of the last places where I think time stands still when you go to a game,” said Millard. “You go to a game and you see those dads bringing their kids to a game for the first time…it’s something long before I got married or became a dad, I saw that and said, ‘I want to do that one day the way my dad did for me.’"
As a father of five children, Millard understands the legacy his involvement in this effort can bring once his kids get older.
“I want them to take their kids one day and say, ‘my dad was a part of this.’"



The next Topps baseball card featuring one of our music advisors will be announced next week! Any guesses on who that would be?

HINT:  His famous "lefty" first pitch performance in Houston is quite memorable.  
We are thrilled to add another super “Star” to our Music Advisory Board. Multi-PLATINUM selling country star Brett Young announced his involvement last month through a family Wiffle Ball tournament hosted by The Troubadour Golf & Field Club.
Young joins fellow musicians Luke Combs, Justin Timberlake, Darius Rucker, and Mickey Guyton among others, in supporting the push to bring Major League Baseball to the state of Tennessee.
Young, who played collegiate baseball at Ole Miss, has a rich history with the sport.
“I’ve been a baseball fan my entire life and I’m looking forward to working with Music City Baseball and other music advisors to secure a team in Nashville,” said Young. “It’s the perfect fit for an MLB team, and the plans Music City Baseball have for a family and entertainment complex are unparalleled.”
The partnership comes on the heels of the release of Young’s inaugural holiday album, “Brett Young & Friends Sing the Christmas Classics” (BMLG Records). Young is slated to return to “CMT Crossroads” stage for the first-ever Christmas-themed episode on Wednesday, December 8th at 8p/7c. The 60-minute special will feature Young alongside an all-star lineup of friends and collaborators Boyz II Men, Chris Tomlin, Colbie Caillat, Dann Huff, Darius Rucker, Gavin DeGraw, and Maddie & Tae.
“Having Brett join our team was a no brainer for us. We are thrilled to have his support as we continue to raise awareness and excitement about the potential of having a Major League Baseball team in Nashville,” said John Loar, Managing Director of Music City Baseball.

We had quite a bit to be thankful for last month. One organization that we are always thankful for is Empowerment Pursuit, which empowers Nashville youth through sports, education, and community development. The organization was founded by MCB Baseball Advisors Ro Coleman and Jarrod Parker.


Music City Baseball is proud to partner with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to bring the Nashville Stars to Major League Baseball. Kiona Sinks from the NLBM spent some time visiting and talking with a number of people in the Nashville community, including the “Stars and Cigars” event, a visit to the National Museum of African American Music, and a walk dedicated to the legendary Buck O’Neil.


We enjoyed attending the “PM Brewing Up Business” event with the Nashville LGBT Chamber. The event was co-hosted by Thistle Farms and Premiere Transportation on November 18. Pictured (left-to-right) are Lauren Bland from the LGBT Chamber and Michele Frazier from Music City Baseball.


Looking for holiday gifts? Shop at the official Nashville Stars store!
Our store is 25% off (excluding Ebbets and Bobblehead products), and 50% of all proceeds go to benefit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The sale runs through the end of 2021.
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