|May 26, 2011 - The City of Knoxville will celebrate naming its adult baseball league in honor of the late City Councilman Ed Bailey with a first pitch ceremony at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31st at Ridley-Helton Field.
Bailey, a Knoxville resident and longtime Councilman who died in 2007, was an outstanding catcher who played major league baseball for 14 seasons.
This brief event will be held prior to the City Council's regular meeting that evening at the City County Building. Mayor Daniel Brown, current City Council members and City Council members who served with Mr. Bailey have been invited to attend the ceremony.
City Councilman and Vice Mayor Joe Bailey is the son of Ed Bailey.
The City of Knoxville's Parks and Recreation department has hosted an adult baseball league for many years. The teams – players have to be at least 18 - tend to feature a mix of college-aged players as well as older players who are still young at heart.
There are 13 teams in the highly competitive league and Ridley-Helton is the feature site for the games, though they are also played on fields throughout the city.
Ed Bailey, a native of Strawberry Plains, played baseball at the University of Tennessee before being signed by the Cincinnati Reds organization in 1950. He served in the United States Army for two years, 1951-52, before making his major league debut with Cincinnati in 1953.
Bailey ultimately played 14 seasons in the major leagues, mostly with Cincinnati, though he also played with San Francisco, the Milwaukee Braves and Chicago Cubs before finishing his career in 1966 with the California Angels. He was named to five National League All-Star teams and played in the 1962 World Series.
After retiring from baseball he worked as a congressional aide with the late U.S. Rep. John Duncan Sr., before serving on City Council from 1983 until 1995.