Brumley T. Greene, 84, an active and influential figure in numerous areas of community life including especially sports and the preservation of the local legacy of the Magnavox Company, died late Thursday afternoon at a Knoxville hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Greene, a retired educator and coach in both the Greeneville City Schools System and the Hamblen County School System, was well known in the community and the area for his love of sports as well as his exceptional knowledge of the history of sports in Greene County.
A 1949 graduate of Greeneville High School and an athlete himself, Greene played football for the Greene Devils as well as baseball. He signed a Class AA professional contract with what was then the New York Giants organization and pitched for three summers from 1948-1950.
He served as a teacher and/or coach in the Greeneville City Schools in 1955-1957 and from 1995-2008, and as a teacher and coach in the Hamblen County School System from 1970-1995.
Greene left education for about a decade beginning in 1957 to take a middle management position with the Magnavox Company of Tennessee, where he had begun playing on the company's semi-professional baseball team in 1956.
He continued playing for Magnavox through 1960, after which he became pitching coach and business manager until their last team in 1970.
The Magnavox team was well known nationally in baseball circles, winning 15 consecutive state National Baseball Conference titles and earning eight appearances at the national tournament in Wichita, Kan.
He also served as NBC Baseball Commissioner for the state of Tennessee from 1959-1971.
Greene spearheaded a drive to build a year-round batting facility at Greeneville High.
He also established the GHS Sports Hall of Fame Committee in 2007, with the purpose of recognizing the accomplishments of those of the past who had encouraged him and to inspire current GHS athletes toward excellence on and off the field.
He was very knowledgeable concerning the Magnavox Company and in recent years had worked closely with Greeneville businessman and philanthropist Scott Niswonger, George Collins of Tusculum College, and Nathanael Greene Museum Director Earl Fletcher in efforts to preserve the legacy of Magnavox in Greeneville/Greene County.
In 2009, those efforts resulted in the production of a special Greeneville Sun publication focusing on the company, its successor companies here, and their impact on this community.
The publication, financed by Niswonger, had originated as an idea by Greene, who also provided much assistance in the research required for the project.
Two years later, in early 2011, the continuing efforts of Niswonger, Collins, Fletcher and Greene resulted in the opening of a gallery at the Nathanael Greene Museum dedicated entirely to presenting highlights of the company's history and achievements, and its very extensive local impact.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later. A partial obituary is on this page.
Sun Sports Editor Emeritus Wayne Phillips and Editor John M. Jones Jr. contributed to this article.