JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Thousands came out to the first Appalachian League games of the season Thursday night.
After Major League Baseball reformatted the Appalachian League and turned it into a collegiate summer league, tonight marked the start of a new era for newly formed teams across the region.
One of those games was Johnson City Doughboys vs. Bristol State Liners held at Cardinal Park. Fans said it’s something they’ve been waiting for a long time.
“I’m just happy to be back,” Doughboys fan Ryan Gaitor said. “Hasn’t really been much to do since COVID has happened, so now that the Doughboys are here, I’m excited.”
“It’s great to be out and do something and to be without a mask for a while,” Game attendee Allen Jackson said.
“It’s good to see the people out,” Doughboys Fan Bryan Lauzon said. “Some people I haven’t seen out in well over a year. So it is nice to see them in town.”
The game brought many community members back to a familiar spot. Gaitor said he grew up watching the Cardinals year after year.
“It’s really good to see baseball back in Johnson City,” Gaitor said. “At Cardinal Park.”