Bill Murray's road trip reaches Charleston

'Extra Innings' web series chronicles RiverDogs' ballpark eclipse

In a recent episode of "Extra Innings," Bill Murray and his brother, Brian, attend an astronomy class in advance of the eclipse.

By Benjamin Hill / MiLB.com | December 11, 2017 10:50 AM

For Minor League Baseball fans, the solar eclipse is the gift that keeps on giving.

On Aug. 21, all seven teams in the "Path of Totality" held eclipse viewing events in the ballpark. One of these teams, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, won the 2017 "Promo of the Year" MiLBY Award for its efforts.

Now, nearly three months later, the eclipse is back in the spotlight. The latest installments of Bill and Brian Doyle-Murray's "Extra Innings," an unscripted Facebook Watch streaming series chronicling the brothers' Minor League road trip, takes place in Charleston, South Carolina, during the eclipse.

That "Extra Innings" would end up in Charleston is no surprise, as Bill Murray is a co-owner of the South Atlantic League's Charleston RiverDogs. In the series' first Charleston segment, Brian and Bill bone up on their eclipse knowledge at a local astronomy class. Their plans then diverge, with Bill heading to the beach while Brian goes to Joseph P. Reilly Ballpark to check out the RiverDogs.

In part two, the eclipse occurs. Bill, still at the beach, is momentarily stunned by its beauty. Brian, meanwhile, witnesses the event among thousands of fellow RiverDogs fans.

"It was great seeing Bill and Brian in action at The Joe. The reaction from the fans and those involved fed off the creativity and spontaneous spirit the brothers are known for," said RiverDogs president Dave Echols.

"Having them shooting here on eclipse day just added to the spectacle," said promotions director Nate Kurant. "It was already the busiest day of the year, with multiple balloon launches, the lunar rock sample and NASA being in the house and broadcasting worldwide from our ballpark. Having the Murray show and their antics with the players going on made it all the more fun."

The Murray brothers' time in Charleston overlapped with a visit made by MiLB.com's Ben Hill, who spoke with Bill Murray at the conclusion of Aug. 19's RiverDogs' game. In that interview, Murray alluded to the project that would become "Extra Innings."

"My brother and I are trying to be funny," said Murray. "We'll see how funny we are. I have a lot of confidence, but it is summer vacation. It's hard to make yourself come back to work. You know, those first couple days of school are always rusty."

Murray also talked in philosophical terms about the (then impending) eclipse, offering what turned out to be timeless life advice.

Video: Ben Hill chats with Bill Murray

Extra Innings premiered on Facebook Watch on Nov. 20 with a pair of episodes detailing Bill and Brian's visit to the summer-collegiate St. Martha's Vineyard Sharks. New episodes appear each Monday.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for MiLB.com and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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