GREENEVILLE, TN- The Greeneville Astros announced today that longtime mascots Tennessee Tex and Tennessee Tess have decided it is time for them to move on and leave the job of leading the roar of the crowd at Pioneer Park to someone else. The announcement was made by Tex and Tess along with Greeneville Astros general manager David Lane during a news conference at Pioneer Park on Wednesday morning.
After a 10-year career for Tex, he has decided to hang up his giant cowboy hat and oversized boots once and for all. During his successful run as the club's primary mascot, Tex introduced fans in Greeneville to his famous flat foot dance to Rocky Top, began the Lil' Outlaws Kids Club, rallied the team to several memorable wins and helped the club make it to two Appalachian League Championships.
Throughout his first two seasons in Greeneville, Tex took on his mascot duties alone. Then, during the 2006 season, his long lost sister Tess arrived to help. Over the next eight seasons, they entertained numerous crowds at Pioneer Park and throughout the community with their broad smiles, big hugs and energetic high fives to the delight of adults and children alike.
During the teary-eyed news conference in which Tex and Tess reminisced about their accomplished careers, they indicated that they will miss putting on their uniforms every day but will miss the fans the most. As the announcement concluded, they held up signs with their final words to Greeneville Astros fans which read, "It's been a great run. Thank you, Greeneville. Happy Trails."
As the mascots left the room, Lane said, "We want to wholeheartedly thank Tex and Tess for creating thousands and thousands of memories over the years. We will miss them, and we wish them well."
A tribute video to Tex and Tess is posted on the team website as well as on their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Name the Mascot Contest
With Tex and Tess gone, Lane addressed the direction the club would be taking to fill the both literal and figurative big shoes they are leaving behind. Moving forward, the task will be the responsibility of an individual that already has ties to the Astros.
Lane announced that the Houston Astros' well-known mascot, Orbit, has a cousin from the Great Bullpens of the Grand Slam Galaxy that will be arriving next year from space to be the new mascot for the Astros in Greeneville. However, his galaxy name does not translate to English so the Astros will be holding a contest to name their new mascot.
"The Astros will be asking the children of Greeneville to help us in naming our new mascot," Lane said. "We will be contacting local schools soon to ask for their help with this task."
Details of the contest will be distributed to local schools in the coming weeks. The winner of the contest will receive a free kid's club membership and also get to throw out a ceremonial first pitch with the new mascot on Opening Day, which will be Thursday, June 19, 2014.
The Greeneville Astros are the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. For more information on the Astros, call (423) 638-0411 or visit www.greenevilleastros.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.