The Nashville Sounds minor league baseball franchise has played in Nashville, Tennessee, since its inception in the 1978 season. As of the completion of the 2016 season, 1,166 players had competed in at least one regular season game for the Sounds. Of those players, 825 have also played in at least one game for a Major League Baseball team.
The team was established as an expansion team of the Double-A Southern League in 1978, in which it competed through 1984. While at that class level, Nashville was affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds (1978–79) and New York Yankees (1980–84). The Sounds moved to the Triple-A American Association in 1985 and then to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 1998. At this class level, the team has been affiliated with the Detroit Tigers (1985–86), Cincinnati Reds (1987–92), Chicago White Sox (1993–97), Pittsburgh Pirates (1998–2004), and Milwaukee Brewers (2005–14). Nashville has been the Triple-A farm team of the Oakland Athletics since 2015.
Players Steve Balboni, Brian Dayett, and Magglio Ordóñez have each won minor league Most Valuable Player awards. Ordóñez also won the American Association Rookie of the Year award in 1997. League Pitcher of the Year honors have been awarded to Bruce Berenyi, Geoff Combe, Andy McGaffigan, Jamie Werly, Stefan Wever, Chris Hammond, Scott Ruffcorn, Jeff Abbott, R.A. Dickey, Johnny Hellweg, and Jimmy Nelson.
Sixty-three of the team's players have distinguished themselves by winning a Major League Baseball award, being named to a major league All-Star team, or being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Ryan Braun, Barry Larkin, Don Mattingly, and Willie McGee have each won Most Valuable Player Awards. Doug Drabek and R.A. Dickey have won the Cy Young Award. Jason Bay, Ryan Braun, and Chris Sabo have won Rookie of the Year Awards. Bob Melvin and Buck Showalter have each won the Manager of the Year Award. Hoffman, Larkin, and Mattingly have won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. Larkin also won the Roberto Clemente Award. Prince Fielder and Aramis Ramírez have won the Hank Aaron Award. José Rijo is the only former Sounds player to win a World Series MVP Award. John Axford, Keith Foulke, Trevor Hoffman, and Jeff Montgomery have won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award. Fielder also won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. Eleven alumni have won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, and twelve have won a Silver Slugger Award. Fifty-nine alumni have been selected to play in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Larkin and Tim Raines have both been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.