Charleston RiverDogs

Downtown. 360 Fishburne St. 577-3647

Charleston’s baseball team swapped their Rainbows moniker for the RiverDogs in 1994, but it took them until 2004 to make the playoffs with the new name. In 2005 they became a Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees and brought their two-millionth fan to the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Stadium.

Team owner Mike Veeck, perhaps America’s king of promotions, has helped the Dogs make a name for themselves aside from their playing skills. He was the brains behind the Chicago White Sox’ infamous Disco Demolition night in 1979 that brought hordes of fans onto the field to destroy disco records, ultimately damaging the playing surface for the rest of the season. His Charleston efforts brought “Silent Night,” a 2003 game during which there was no music played and fans were encouraged to cheer on the RiverDogs with signs reading “YEAH!,” “BOO!,” and “HEY, BEER MAN!” for the first five innings. Some fans wore duct tape on their mouths, setting a record for the quietest game in baseball and benefiting the hearing impaired.

The same season featured “Nobody Night,” where the gates were locked and no one was allowed to enter until the fifth inning, thus setting the record in pro baseball for lowest attendance (zero). In 2004, there was a Bobblehead Mock Election. Seven different ballparks, all in different states, participated in a mock election between Bush and Kerry Bobbleheads. Kerry won the three Northern ballparks, Bush took the three in the South, and tie-breaker Minnesota voted red, thus predicting the outcome of the actual election.

Of course, who could forget Tonya Harding Mini Bat Night, where Harding herself passed out bats, irreverently memorializing “the incident” with figure skater Nancy Kerrigan?