The Bristol Sox, an Appalachian Rookie League affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, play at Boyce Cox Field at Devault Memorial Stadium in Bristol, VA. The stadium opened in 1969 seating 2000. This is the first Appalachian Rookie League that we have visited. The teams have the name of their major league affiliate. These teams have a lot of young players on them. We are staying in Johnson City, TN and are able to visit five different teams without having to change motels. We stopped in Bristol on our way to Johnson City to check out the ballfield location. Jim talked with a gentleman in the office and he then showed us the field and talked a little about the league. We were told that there is talk at the major league level about doing away with the 3 Rookie leagues. There was an article about the talk in the Johnson City Sunday newspaper. It was at the game that night that we learned he was Boyce Cox, the General Manager, who the field is named for. Mr. Cox told us that the organization is run by 29 unpaid volunteers and a paid scorekeeper. The ball field is maintained by the Bristol Parks & Recreation Department. The concession stand, under the grey building broadcast area, is run by the Virginia High School boosters with the profits benefiting the high school. It was the Bristol opener and they beat the Johnson City Cardinals 12 to 7. The box score was Cardinals R-7, H-11, E-4 and Sox R-12, H-14, E-3. The field lines are RF-310', CF-400', LF-330'. Reserved seating means you can sit in the reserved seating area in any seat, except the ones with an orange tape which are season tickets holder seats. One picture was taken in the broadcast area before the game. Mr. Cox is sitting down. Ding Bat is the mascot. The video team is from Appalachian Regional Community TV, Ernie Benko in the red shirt on the left is the CEO. The team videos each game and then replays it two weeks later on community TV. At the end of their first game the Bristol Sox celebrated. Jim would like to thank Mr. Cox for the game used Appalachian League baseball for his collection. Before the game the Bristol Sox in cooperation with the City of Bristol dedicated a picnic shelter adjacent to the stadium, in memory of two long term members of the Bristol Sox volunteers E. J. Johnson and Bill Halstead. Many fans bring their own lawn chairs and sit in a terraced lawn area on the third base side. New name and logo of Pirates 2014.
Attractions
Bristol Motor Speedway - a half-mile racetrack is 5 miles south in Tennessee, is on the NASCAR circuit.
Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum--pays tribute to Bristol's recognition as the official "Birthplace of Country Music" by the U.S. Congress. Free