The Greeneville Astros of Greeneville, Tennessee, played fourteen seasons in the Appalachian League. As is typical in the league, the team was owned by their parent club, the Houston Astros. Prior to moving to Greeneville, the team had been in Martinsville, Virginia, where they were known as the Martinsville Astros.
Their aesthetic identity hewed predictably close to that of their parent club, and as the Houston Astros changed their look in 2013, so too did Greeneville. Though they matched Houston step for step, the minor league club found ways to flex their creative muscles. In the earlier years, the team designed a clever cap emblem featuring an interlocking star and cursive G. Their early primary logo featured the word Greeneville with the center E emphatically capitalized. Presumably, this was to differentiate the team/city from the minor league clubs in Greenville, South Carolina–the Braves, Bombers, and Drive. This absurd logo is one of the more brazen and humorous methods used by a team in efforts to differentiate from similarly place-named teams.
The team’s greatest legacy is serving as a lower rung in a farm system that produced a World Series-caliber lineup. Among others, the Greeneville Astros proudly listed Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr., and other future ‘Stros among their alumni. The great J.D. Martinez also spent part of a season in Greeneville while coming up through Houston’s system.
Throughout the team’s existence, the Greeneville Astros could accurately be described as one of the more vital franchises in the sleepy Appy League, and they perennially led the league in attendance. They made good promotional efforts–including a mascot named Gizmo, who appeared to be a possible nephew of Houston’s mascot, Orbit.
Following the 2017 season, Houston decided to sell the team and operate without a Rookie-level affiliate. After a bit of a bidding war among a handful of teams, the franchise was sold to the Cincinnati Reds, and they are now known as the Greeneville Reds.