CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Charleston RiverDogs are nearly set to host two of the premier franchises in baseball as the Braves and Yankees of yesteryear converge on Joe Riley Park for the "Legends in the South" Alumni game on Friday, June 9 at 6pm presented by Budweiser and Container Maintenance. In advance of the event, Braves left-hander Steve Avery and Clemson Tiger and one-time Yankee Steven Jackson, along with three other Braves alumni and five more Yankees, have all signed on for the summer showcase coming to the Lowcountry.
Avery, the 1991 NLCS MVP with the Braves, pitched 11 seasons in the Big Leagues, including seven with Atlanta where he was an integral part of the Braves' dominant rotation. The third overall pick in the 1988 amateur draft, Avery first broke into The Show at just the age of 20. In his second pro season in 1991, he went 18-8 with a 3.38 ERA and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting as the Braves clinched their first of 12 consecutive division titles. In the NLCS that season, the Trenton, Mich. native tossed 16 1/3 scoreless innings to be named the series MVP to help the Braves advance to the World Series. He was a World Series champion with Atlanta in 1995.
After pitching for Summerville High, Jackson played for coach Jack Leggett at Clemson for four seasons (2001-04) despite being drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 38th round of the 2000 MLB Draft. He was also drafted after his junior season with the Tigers by the Cleveland Indians in the 32nd round but elected to stay at Clemson. In Jackson's four years as a Tiger, he put together a record of 19-8.
His professional career began in the Arizona Diamondbacks' system after he was a 10th round pick by them in 2004 and spent three seasons in their minor league program before being traded to the New York Yankees in January 2007 as part of the Randy Johnson trade. In 2009, Jackson was called up to the majors for the first time by the Yankees but never got into a game. He was then designated for assignment by the club and was selected off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates where he made his major league debut on June 1 against the New York Mets. During his time in the majors, Jackson pitched in 54.1 innings during 51 appearances with a 2-4 record and a 4.31 ERA.
Other additions to the Braves' roster include a pair of returners from last year's Atlanta Legends team: southpaw Denny Neagle and outfielder and Spartanburg Methodist product Dwight Smith. Right-hander Marvin Freeman will also step onto the mound for the Braves.
Joining the Yankees squad will be returners Ron Blomberg and 1996 Worlds Series champion Brian Boehringer, along with catcher Scott Bradley and hurler John Montefusco. Born and raised in Atlanta and one of two first overall picks in Yankees history, Blomberg AKA "Boomer" was selected by the Bronx Bombers in the 1967 draft, and made history when he became the first designated hitter in baseball history in a game at Fenway Park on April 6, 1973. Montefusco was the 1975 NL Rookie of the Year after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Giants three years prior and spent one campaign with the Braves (1981) and parts of four to finish his 13-year MLB career with the Yankees (1983-86).
Outfielder Jay Johnstone, a two-time World Series champion with the Yankees (1978) and Dodgers (1981), will also suit up in pinstripes.
Other members already signed on for the midsummer classic include four-time gold glover Marquis Grissom, Braves slugger Ryan Klesko, Atlanta playoff hero Sid Bream, and Yankees-lifer Gene "Stick" Michael.
The Braves and Yankees were the dominant forces of the 1990s, with the two franchises combining for nine division titles and eight pennants with at least one of the teams appearing in six of the nine World Series during the decade.
General admission tickets for the two-time World Series rematch start at just $12, and can be secured online at www.rileyparkevents.com , at the Riley Park box office, or by contacting the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-DOGS (3647). Batting practice will be open to all ticket holders starting at 4 with the Legends available to sign autographs pregame. For tickets and information on VIP experiences, visit www.rileyparkevents.com.
Along with tickets to the game on Friday, fans will have the chance to rub shoulders with some of the all-time greats the night before as the RiverDogs take on the Asheville Tourists at 7:05pm at The Joe on Thursday, June 8. The Braves and Yankees legends will mix-and-mingle with fans in the Riley Park Club during the game with all-inclusive tickets to the brand-new luxury gameday venue that includes complimentary food, beer, and wine for $120 each with a limited number available. RiverDogs tickets, including options for the all-new Riley Park Club, are now available and can be secured by contacting the box office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.
Braves Legends Roster
Steve Avery, LHP
Sid Bream, IF
Marvin Freeman, RHP
Marquis Grissom, OF
Ryan Klesko, IF/OF
Greg McMichael, RHP
Denny Neagle, LHP
Dwight Smith, OF
Pete Smith, RHP
Jeff Treadway, IF
Yankees Legends Roster
Ron Blomberg, IF
Brian Boehringer, RHP
Scott Bradley, C
Steven Jackson, RHP
Jay Johnstone, OF
Gene Michael, IF
John Montefusco, RHP