Smokies honor the man who brought them to Kodak

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT)-- If you go watch the Tennessee Smokies play this season, you'll notice a patch on all their jersey's. The team is paying tribute to man who helped bring them to Sevier County nearly 20 years ago, the late mayor of Sevierville, Bryan Atchley.

The letters BA are sewn into the back of each players jersey. Daughter Ann Marie says, "Dad's legacy is not just here. it's going throughout the southern league." "Oh i mean he wanted them bad. I mean he wanted them bad. it was just an idea that my father had and he made it a realization."

Mayor Atchley died back in December with his legacy already a treasure to the Smokies organization. The patch has been there all season and before one game in June, the club unveiled a sign,
"to see that unveiled and to know that'll be there permanently that anytime anybody comes through these gates, people will know what my dad did for this franchise, this city, and this county." says Bryan Jr.

It's a constant reminder that those two letters represent the very heart of this professional franchise. The Atchley family also recently presented the Smokies with a frame of every ticket and game program from that first season in Kodak. The late Mayor saved it in his home for nearly two decades.