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Get to know the teams in the Double-A South

Trash Pandas enter fray with historic Southern League franchises
March 30, 2021

As the 2021 season approaches, MiLB.com introduces the 11 leagues created by the restructuring of Minor League Baseball across four levels of play. Below is a team-by-team introduction to the Double-A South, including affiliation, previous circuit and most recent championship. (Note: "Established" refers to the first year of a team's

As the 2021 season approaches, MiLB.com introduces the 11 leagues created by the restructuring of Minor League Baseball across four levels of play. Below is a team-by-team introduction to the Double-A South, including affiliation, previous circuit and most recent championship. (Note: "Established" refers to the first year of a team's continuous operation in that market regardless of league or level.) Learn about other leagues here: Triple-A East, Triple-A West, Double-A Northeast, Double-A Central.

Old meets new in the eight-team Double-A South as the Rocket City Trash Pandas make their long-awaited debut May 4 in Chattanooga against the Lookouts -- a historic franchise with one of the oldest monikers in baseball. Rocket City's home opener at brand-new Toyota Field is slated for May 11.

The Birmingham Barons, who celebrate their own rich history by playing one game each season at century-old Rickwood Field, also will compete in the Double-A South's North Division. Rounding out that group are the Tennessee Smokies, who trace their roots back to 1932.

Familiar foes also converge in the South Division as the Biloxi Shuckers, Mississippi Braves, Montgomery Biscuits and Pensacola Blue Wahoos were close rivals in the Southern League. Established in 2005, the Biscuits are the oldest club of the bunch, followed closely by the M-Braves (2005) with the Blue Wahoos (2012) and Shuckers (2015) being relative newcomers.

North Division

BIRMINGHAM BARONS

Affiliate: Chicago White Sox (since 1986)
Location: Birmingham, Alabama (629 miles from Guaranteed Rate Field)
Ballpark: Regions Field (opened April 10, 2013)
Established: 1981 (the Barons also played in Birmingham from 1901-65; baseball in Birmingham dates back to 1885)
Previous league: Double-A Southern League
Last championship: 2013

Did you know? NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan spent his lone Minor League season with the Barons in 1994, when they played in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, Alabama.

Michael Jordan collected 88 hits and scored 46 runs in his lone season of pro baseball. Birmingham Barons

CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS

Affiliate: Cincinnati Reds (since 2019)
Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee (360 miles from Great American Ball Park)
Ballpark: AT&T Field (opened April 10, 2000)
Established: 1976 (the Lookouts also played in Chattanooga from 1885-86, 1901-02, 1909-61 and 1963-65)
Previous league: Double-A Southern League
Last championship: 2017

Did you know? Named for nearby Lookout Mountain, the Lookouts' nickname dates back to 1885. Only the Buffalo Bisons (1877) have a longer history.

ROCKET CITY TRASH PANDAS

Affiliate: Los Angeles Angels (since 2020)
Location: Madison, Alabama (1,992 miles to Angel Stadium)
Ballpark: Toyota Field
Established: 2018
Previous league: Double-A Southern League
Last championship: None

Did you know? Though they announced their space-themed name and logos in 2018, the Trash Pandas are still waiting to play their inaugural game.

TENNESSEE SMOKIES

Affiliate: Chicago Cubs (since 2007)
Location: Kodak, Tennessee (564 miles to Wrigley Field)
Ballpark: Smokies Stadium (opened April 20, 2000)
Established: 2000 (the franchise traces its history back to the 1932 Knoxville Smokies)
Previous league: Double-A Southern League
Last championship: 2004

Did you know? Although Smokies Stadium is approximately 15 miles north of Dollywood -- the amusement park owned by country music superstar Dolly Parton -- the biggest crowd in its history came for another music legend: Jimmy Buffett Night, June 17, 2017.

South Division

BILOXI SHUCKERS

Affiliate: Milwaukee Brewers (since 2015)
Location: Biloxi, Mississippi (991 miles from Miller Park)
Ballpark: MGM Park (opened June 6, 2015)
Established: 2015
Previous league: Double-A Southern League
Last championship: None

Did you know? Due to construction delays, the Shuckers did not play their first home game of the 2015 season until June 6, opening their inaugural season with a 54-game road trip.

MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

Affiliate: Atlanta Braves (since 2005)
Location: Pearl, Mississippi (381 miles from Truist Park)
Ballpark: Trustmark Park (opened April 18, 2005)
Established: 2005
Previous league: Double-A Southern League
Last championship: 2008

Did you know? When Drew Waters won the Southern League MVP in 2019, he was the first M-Braves player ever to claim that honor.

MONTGOMERY BISCUITS

Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays (since 2004)
Location: Montgomery, Alabama (493 miles from Tropicana Field)
Ballpark: Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium
Established: 2004 (previous Montgomery clubs date back to 1892)
Previous league: Double-A Southern League
Last championship: 2007

Did you know? A portion of Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium's structure is a refurbished train shed that extends down the first-base line. Before that site had been home to a train shed, it was a cotton depot-turned-Confederate military prison.

PENSACOLA BLUE WAHOOS

Affiliate: Miami Marlins (since 2021)
Location: Pensacola, Florida (674 miles to Marlins Park)
Ballpark: Blue Wahoos Stadium (opened April 5, 2012)
Established: 2012 (previous Pensacola clubs date back to 1903)
Previous league: Double-A Southern League
Last championship: 2017

Did you know? Professional golfer and former Masters champion Bubba Watson is a part-owner of the Blue Wahoos.