ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. — We’re only a day away from Minor League Baseball filling the lull of summer in the Tri-Cities. Appalachian League opening day is Tuesday, and the Elizabethton Twins welcomed the new team Monday.
Ray Smith opens his 22nd season in charge of the E-Twins, and 29th year overall with the team, and he’s built one of the most consistent clubs in the Appy League in that time.
That’s no small feat considering the system of Minor League Baseball. You don’t get players back to rebuild year after year. This is a world where they give you 50-60 games, then you start over again.
For the longtime manager, though, that’s all part of the fun.
“We’ve got a new cast of characters every year, so you never really know what to expect,” Smith said. “They come in here with that wide eyed, young enthusiasm and Big League dreams, so we’re just trying to do what we can to help them to reach their potential and maximize their abilities.”
Elizabethton opens the season Tuesday night at Bluefield. Kingsport hosts Johnson City, and Bristol welcomes Greeneville. All those games are at 7 p.m.