CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston RiverDogs will honor Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. for his 40 years of service and dedication to the City of Charleston with his own special night at the park, which carries his name, on Friday, July 24.
The RiverDogs will hold a special pregame ceremony to honor the city's longest-serving mayor for all he has done for the world's No. 1 destination city during his unprecedented tenure. One of the highlights on Mayor Riley's extensive resume was his drive to bring a beautiful and new baseball facility, which is now appropriately known as "The Joe," to the Lowcountry in time for the 1997 season.
"Mayor Riley has been a tremendous friend to the Charleston RiverDogs," said General Manager Dave Echols. "It is because of him that the city, the RiverDogs and The Citadel have this wonderful facility in the best location to enjoy America's pastime. We're proud to have this opportunity to honor Mayor Riley as a token of gratitude for everything he has done for us and Charleston."
Mayor Riley, an attorney, Citadel graduate (Class of 1964) and an avid baseball enthusiast, began his political career serving in South Carolina's House of Representatives for six years. He won the mayor's seat in 1975 and has remained Charleston's mayor in the 10 terms since. He has announced that he will not be running for an 11th term and his run as the city's longest-tenured mayor will come to a close in early 2016.
He is often in attendance of both RiverDogs and Citadel games having escaped the pressures of directing one of America's most historic cities and remains one of the city's great promoters of baseball. Despite his own objections, city council voted unanimously to name the facility in Riley's honor.
In addition to the pregame celebration, the first 1,000 fans prior to the RiverDogs 7:05 p.m. game against the Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles affiliate) will receive a commemorative Mayor Joe Riley figurine. Home Telecom fireworks will follow the game and will include a pyrotechnic salute to his honor.
The RiverDogs want you to attend the Friday game and celebrate Mayor Riley's service, however, if you can't make it, you can catch it live on television locally on MyTV Charleston, Channel 36. Dan Acheson along with Summerville native and former Pittsburgh Pirate Steven Jackson will add color commentary. Ashley White is scheduled to serve as the sideline reporter.
With Acheson moving to the television broadcast booth for this game, RiverDogs' assistant director of media relations Steve Goldberg will handle the radio broadcast, which airs on WTMA 1250 AM.
The gates to The Joe on this special evening open at 6:00 pm, an hour prior to the game's first pitch on Friday night. Tickets are still available and you can get yours today (before they sell out) by calling the RiverDogs box office at 843-577-DOGS or by visiting www.riverdogs.com. Remember if you can't make it a RiverDogs game you can catch all of the action on "The Big Talker" 1250 AM WTMA and WTMA.com, the exclusive radio home for RiverDogs baseball.