|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|Colors||Light blue & red
Nashville's first minor league baseball team, the Nashville Americans of the Class B Southern League, did not return to play after the 1886 season. In 1887, the city fielded a team called the Nashville Blues. They joined five other teams in the Southern League: the Charleston Quakers, Memphis Browns, Mobile Swamp Angels, New Orleans Pelicans, and a team from Savannah. Mobile and Savannah would later leave the league during the season and be replaced by the Birmingham Ironmakers. The Blues played their home games at Athletic Park, which would later come to be known as Sulphur Dell. Nashville was managed by player-managers George Bradley, who also played as a third baseman, and Jim Clinton who was a left fielder. Both were major league veterans, having played in the majors for nine and ten years, respectively.
The team's first contest was an pre-season exhibition game against the Syracuse Shamrocks. George Bradley pitched Nashville to an 11–10 win. The Blues later played a three-game exhibition series against the National League's Detroit Wolverines. Detroit defeated the Blues in all three games, 14–4, 8–0, and 12–2. Before the second game of the series against the Wolverines, Southern League president John Morrow visited the Belle Meade Plantation and horse farm in Nashville. He was accompanied by members of the Nashville Blues and visiting members of the press. General William Hicks Jackson, owner of the plantation, entertained the group with a showing of his horses, including the Thoroughbred Iroquois.
At the time, the state of Tennessee had a blue law which banned the playing of baseball on Sundays. After being advised that the law was unconstitutional, the Blues played their first scheduled Sunday game against Savannah. Prior to the contest, a group, including several Nashville ministers, gathered to see that the law was enforced. The game was played without incident, but the Davidson County grand jury later sent indictments to players from both teams who participated in the game and officials of the Nashville Base Ball Association. The charges were later dropped and games continued to be played on Sundays without reprimand.
After the first 19 games, the Blues held a 16–3 (.842) record. Financial problems plagued the team throughout the season. Circumstances were so dire that the team had to sell off players in order to remain solvent. One such player was ace pitcher Al Maul, who held a 9–3 record before having his contract sold to the National League's Philadelphia Quakers.
At one point in the season, Blues' pitcher Larry Corcoran was scheduled to pitch at Nashville's Athletic Park against the Memphis Browns. Before the game, Corcoran was found to be drunk. Memphis' Bob Black allegedly got Corcoran intoxicated so Memphis would win, thus aiding individuals from Memphis who had wagered money against Nashville. Blues manager George Bradly learned of the plan, removed Corcoran from the game, and pitched Nashville to a win himself. Corcoran was later fined, suspended, and sold to the National League's Indianapolis Hoosiers for US$500.
Financial problems continued, eventually forcing Nashville to withdraw from the Southern League on August 8. This caused them to forfeit a $1,000 deposit guaranteeing they would finish the season. It was estimated that the Blues lost as much as $18,000. Their final record was 32–32 (.500).
- P Players are listed at a position if they appeared in 30% of their games or more during their Tigers career, as defined by Baseball-Reference.com.
- Traughber, Bill (April 26, 2010). "Looking Back: The 1887 Nashville Blues". Nashville Sounds. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- "1887 Nashville Blues Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- "1887 Southern League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- "Nashville Baseball Timeline". Sulphur Dell. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
- "The Pulaski Citizen". The Pulaski Citizen. Pulaski, Tennessee. August 11, 1887. p. 2. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Milan Exchange". The Milan Exchange. Milan, Tennessee. August 13, 1887. p. 4. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
- "Timeline" (PDF). Southern Association Baseball. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
- "1893 Southern Association Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 29, 2015.