A number of former Tennessee Smokies are on the rosters of the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians ahead of Game 1 of the 2016 World Series on Tuesday night.
The Smokies are the AA minor league affiliate of the Cubs.
Tuesday marks the Cubs' first World Series appearance since 1945.
The Cubs (1908, 108 years) and Indians (1948, 68 years) have the longest championship droughts in Major League Baseball.
The players who successfully made the playoff roster for the Cubs and played for the Tennessee Smokies throughout their career include Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, Miguel Montero, Wilson Contreras, Jorge Soler, Kyle Hendricks, Carl Edwards Jr. and Albert Almora Jr.
Tommy La Stella, Chris Coghlan and Jake Arrieta have all made rehab appearances for the Smokies. However, La Stella was left off the Cubs roster in the NLCS to make room for left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny.
La Stella flied out to center field in his lone at-bat of the postseason while pinch hitting for Cubs pitcher Jon Lester in Game 1 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants.
Cleveland Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer played for the Smokies in 2009 and 2010. Toronto Blue Jays infielder Darwin Barney (the Blue Jays lost to the Indians in the ALCS in five games) is also a former Cubs and Smokies player.
The Cubs could see the return of left fielder and catcher Kyle Schwarber as a designated hitter at some point in the World Series. Schwarber tore two ligaments in his left knee in the third game of the regular season in a collision with centerfielder Dexter Fowler. Schwarber played for the Smokies in 2015.
The Indians host the Cubs at Progressive Field in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series at 8:08 p.m. ET Tuesday.
(© 2017 WBIR)