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08/25/2008 6:58 PM ET
Yanks, RiverDogs extend deal

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The New York Yankees and the Charleston RiverDogs jointly announce that the two have agreed to extend their Player Development Contract for another four years.

The RiverDogs, owned and operated by The Goldklang Group, partnered with the 26-time World Series Champions in 2005 and the two parties signed a contract this week to continue the relationship. The Group's principal owner, Marv Goldklang, also is a part owner of the Yankees.

"We are very pleased to extend our relationship with the RiverDogs organization and the city of Charleston for an additional four years," said Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. "The outstanding commitment from the Charleston RiverDogs to the development of our young players is imperative to generating the next class of Yankee greats"

"We are both pleased and excited to renew the relationship between the Charleston RiverDogs and New York Yankees," said RiverDogs President Mike Veeck. "The Yankees are a first class organization all the way through, and if the next four years are as successful as the past four, this will be another win-win situation for us and the Yankees."

Since the RiverDogs and Yankees began their partnership in 2005, the Class A affiliate that plays in Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park has witnessed attendance records while winning on the playing field.

In 2005, the RiverDogs drew 249,374 fans and finished with an 80-58 record. The team captured the first half Southern Division Championship under manager Bill Mosiello but fell in the playoffs to Kannapolis.

In 2006, Charleston had an all-time attendance record of 267,908 and matched their 80-58 mark. The season was highlighted by first baseman Ben Jones etching his name in Charleston professional baseball record books by becoming the city's all-time career leader in home runs (35) and RBI (165). He also took home the team's triple crown with a .298 average with 21 home runs and 88 RBI.

The 2007 season witnessed another all-time attendance mark of 284,718 fans as first-year manager Torre Tyson guided the squad to a 78-62 record. The season was highlighted by 3B Mitch Hilligoss' establishing a team and South Atlantic League record 38-game hitting streak from April 18-June 1.

This season the RiverDogs battled for the first half division championship before falling short on the last day of the half, and are on pace for another Top-5 all-time attendance mark.

"I knew several years ago at Hudson Valley's Hot Stove Banquet when Brian Cashman was the speaker that we wanted to build a relationship with the Yankees," said Veeck. "Brian stayed afterwards, took pictures and signed autographs for hundreds of fans, and it was clear right then that with that kind of class demonstrated by a general manager of a Major League organization, it was the right thing to partner with the Yankees.

"It has been a great relationship thus far, and I expect that the next four years will be even better."