MOOSIC, Pa. - Legend. It's a word with weight. Not just good. Not even just great. Beyond a simple All-Star. A legend. It requires feats so unbelievable that legendary status sounds more like fiction than fact. Legends are immortal, living forever as their tales get passed down from generation to generation. On April 4, when the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) return to open the reconstructed PNC Field for the first time, baseball legend Reggie Jackson will await the people of NEPA inside. And history will be made.
"Mr. October", who once clobbered three home runs on three consecutive first-pitch swings in leading the Yankees to a World Series-clinching Game 6 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the RailRiders face the Pawtucket Red Sox. A festive atmosphere is planned for the entire evening, with the gates opening and entertainment beginning at 5:30 p.m.
A first-ballot Hall of Famer who entered Cooperstown as a Yankee in 1993, he is one of the 25 members of Major League Baseball's 500-home run club with 563 career blasts. A member of five World Series champions, winning three with the Oakland Athletics and two with the Yankees, Jackson slammed 10 home runs in World Series play while winning two World Series MVP awards. The 1973 A.L. MVP and 14-time All-Star hit a record five home runs in the 1977 World Series alone with four of them coming on four consecutive swings of the bat against four different Dodgers. Jackson was born and raised in Wyncote, Pa. just a two-hour drive south of PNC Field.
"An appearance by a Hall of Famer like Reggie Jackson highlights the great partnership we enjoy with our parent club and franchise co-owners, the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees," said RailRiders president/GM Rob Crain. "From renderings to reality, PNC Field herself is an achievement for our community. Mr. Jackson's presence reinforces just how special and historic game one at the PNC Field will truly be."
On a night when the RailRiders write their own modern history, one of baseball's most significant figures will only raise the level of the evening's import. Ceremonial first pitches are scheduled to start around 6:30 p.m. with the game getting underway at 7:05 p.m.
Mr. Jackson's media availability is to be determined.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.