The Seattle Mariners fielded a team in the Appalachian League from 2008-2014, calling Pulaski home. Their final season in town was a dismal one, attendance-wise. They drew a dismal 26K+ total attendance, averaging less than 900 fans a game. Seattle decided to pull up stakes after ’14, and when that happened, Pulaski was quickly scooped up by the New York Yankees.
The Yankees were so excited about the potential of this community embracing their affiliate that they decided to help the town prepare. They invested millions of dollars in upgrades, additions and renovations, to Calfee Park, and even helped fund an extended living facility in town so that the players could live in Pulaski for the duration of the season. (By contrast, the Mariners players stayed at a hotel outside of town during the course of the season.)
In return, the community embraced the team, and boy did they embrace them!
The Appalachian League attendance totals came out for the season this week, and not only did Pulaski win the attendance crown this year, but they broke Greenville’s 9-year hold on the crown! That is right, for the last 9 years, the G-Astros were the top draw in the Appalachian League, but in 2015, their streak came to an end, as Pulaski edged them out by approximately 2800 fans, meaning more than double what Pulaski did in their last season with the Mariners. Pulaski also finished as the top average-per-game draw in the league, again more than double their 2014 figure.