Sevier County native Broadus Milton “Bruce” Connatser started playing baseball in the fields around the family farm. He broke into the big leagues when he was 28 years old on Sept. 15, 1931, with the Cleveland Indians. Connatser was born on Sept. 19, 1902, in the Walnut Grove Community near Sevierville. He was a son of Stewart M. Connatser and Laura Massey Connatser

Before Connatser started high school, his family, which included two sisters, Mary and Cora, and a brother, Arly, moved to Chilton County, Alabama. He was a standout baseball player in high school and continued to play the sport while attending the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. After college, he began playing on minor league teams mostly in the south.