The 53rd Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game that is hosted by the Charleston RiverDogs will have a Lowcountry flavor as Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and RiverDogs co-owner Bill Murray highlight the South Atlantic League's Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
The induction ceremony is planned for June 19, prior to the SAL's All-Star Game, which will be played later in the day at Riley Park.
Joining Riley and Murray as the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 is former Asheville Tourists front office executive Carolyn McKee.
"This is a tremendous honor for the entire RiverDogs' organization to have both Mayor Riley and Bill Murray enshrined in the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame, especially since the City of Charleston is hosting," said RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols. "Each is a Hall of Famer in his own right, and we're thrilled that they'll be in attendance at the luncheon."
The SAL Hall of Fame Luncheon, set for 11:45 a.m. at the Marriott on Lockwood Blvd., is open to the public. Tickets are $35 each and may be secured by contacting the RiverDogs Box Office at 843/577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.
Mayor Riley, now in his 10th term, was the driving force for the city to build the $19.5 million facility that opened in 1997 on the banks of the scenic Ashley River. In a fitting tribute to his leadership and vision, Charleston City Council voted unanimously to name the ballpark after him, and "The Joe" has been recognized consistently as one of the best facilities in all of Minor League Baseball.
Murray became a part-owner of the RiverDogs following the 1989 season, and has been involved with many facets of the club's operations, including strategic planning sessions, customer service initiatives, promotional meetings and fan relations. The multi-talented and award-winning actor has combined his ability to entertain fans with his love for baseball in his role with the RiverDogs. Murray is also very involved with many local charities throughout the South Carolina Lowcountry, and is a valuable ambassador for the RiverDogs, the game of baseball and the City of Charleston.
Riley and Murray join RiverDogs majority owner Marv Goldklang, team president Mike Veeck and Post and Courier sports columnist Gene Sapakoff as those with ties to Charleston already in the Hall of Fame.
McKee worked for the Tourists for 26 seasons (1980-05), and was involved in almost every area of the ballpark, eventually managing the accounting operations and supervising the box office on game days. Her contributions to the baseball industry were recognized in 2004 when she was awarded the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award, becoming the first woman in the SAL ever to win the national citation.
She joins her husband, Ron, as the second husband-wife pair to be inducted into the SAL Hall of Fame. They join the league's founder and long-time president, John Henry Moss, and his wife Elaine Moss, who were inducted in 1994 and 2004, respectively.
The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the All-Star Luncheon is one of several major events scheduled in conjunction with the 53rd SAL All-Star Game. Gates open at 4 pm at Riley Park for the beginning of the All-Star festivities, which includes a home run derby. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 pm.