This year's class certainly has a local Charleston flavor, and includes a politician, an owner and a former front office executive who have been involved with the South Atlantic League for many years. Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and RiverDogs' part-owner Bill Murray will be joined by Carolyn McKee, former front office executive of the Asheville Tourists.
Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. was the driving force for the city to build the $19.5 million stadium on the banks of the scenic Ashley River. The stadium, which opened in 1997, would have been impossible without his support and direction. In a fitting tribute to his leadership and vision, the city council voted unanimously to name the stadium after him, and "The Joe" has been consistently recognized as one of the best facilities in all of Minor League Baseball.
Bill Murray became a part-owner of the Charleston 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 multitalented 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.
Carolyn McKee worked for the Asheville Tourists for 26 seasons, from 1980 to 2005. Carolyn worked in almost every area of the ballpark, eventually managing the accounting operations and supervising the box office on game days. In addition, she accepted additional responsibilities in 1994 when the team became affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. Carolyn assisted the Rockies on organizational matters and oversaw the club's travel arrangements. Carolyn's 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 South Atlantic League ever to win the national award.
Carolyn will join her husband, Ron, as the second husband-wife pair to be inducted into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame. Ron McKee was inducted into the SAL Hall of Fame in 1999. The other husband-wife team is 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 events scheduled in conjunction with the 53rd SAL All-Star Game in Charleston. Gates will open at 4 p.m. at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park for the beginning of the All-Star festivities, including a Home Run Derby. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.