Open me on Opening Day

Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park | Photo courtesy of the Charleston RiverDogs

Celebrating 175 dog years at The Joe

Today marks Opening Day of Major League Baseball. It is the earliest Opening Day in history, as usually, we don’t hear the crack of a bat until the first week of April.

With 142 seasons in the history books, (the first Opening Day was on April 22, 1876),  “America’s favorite pastime,” (we will let y’all debate it out against football), brings together bases, balls, bats, and my personal favorites, hot dogs + beer.

Did someone say hot dogs? That brings me to the real reason for today’s celebration– Opening Day marks two weeks until the season opener of the Charleston RiverDogs. With 25 years in the bullpen, the RiverDogs are going big for their 175th birthday, (in dog years that is), with a season jam-packed with promotions– including the must-try Silver Anniversary Dog, an all-beef frankfurter wrapped in an edible silver leaf and topped with pork belly + lobster. We recommend getting it served alongside a bottle of champagne–  two dogs + bottle service will cost you $175 (sensing a theme?). 🌭🍾

So, on this Opening Day, we are rounding the bases of “Charleston’s youngest historic site,” giving you a now + then moment, and highlighting the best events yet to come, come April 12. ⚾


Stats Then
Opening Day: April 10, 1994
GA Ticket Price: $4
Total Games: 139, 50 W; 89 L
Uniform Colors: Teal + Purple

Stats Now
Opening Day: April 12, 2018
GA Ticket Price: $9
Total Games: 144
Uniform Colors: Navy Blue + Gold
Current Attendance Record: 305,622 (which won them the honor of a Class-A Bob Freitas Award, which recognizes the top overall operation at each level of the minor leagues by Baseball America.


The Charleston RiverRats?
DYK– the name of the minor league team originates from an urban legend that sailors would notice large rats on the banks of the Cooper + Ashley rivers, so big that they nicknamed them “river dogs.” The name was chosen in a “name-the-team” contest held at the local Piggly Wiggly groceries in 1994.  

Prior to becoming the RiverDogs in 1994, the team was known as the Charleston Royals from 1980 to 1984 and the Charleston Rainbows from 1985 to 1993.


Red rover, red rover, send Charlie T. RiverDog right over
This year, the RiverDogs have started a subscription service called “Rover.” Rover, housed all on your smartphone, grants general admission to all Monday-Thursday home games, with the ability to cancel at anytime. At only $19.99/month, we say, “play ball!”


Hey batter, batter
Serving as the Class A affiliate of the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees, the RiverDogs have had their fair share of famous ballplayers, including Josh Hamilton, Aaron Judge, Alex Rodriguez, + Delmon Young.

Two of this season’s Way Back Wednesdays,” (more on that below), are dedicated to the reigning Rookie of the Year + the three-time MVP.

Aaron Judge tape measure | Rendering courtesy of the Charleston RiverDogs

Aaron Judge Night | June 13
Be one of the first 1,000 fans through the gate to get your hands on a Judge tape measure– the most functional giveaway item in the minor leagues.


A-Rod Bobblehead | Rendering courtesy of the Charleston RiverDogs

Alex Rodriguez Night | Aug. 8
What is more commemorative than a bobblehead? As one of the first 1,000 fans, you’ll never forget A-Rod’s 2013 rehab stint in the Lowcountry, since he will be consistently nodding in your direction.


Meet me at The Joe
Although every night at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park is one for the history books, the events planned for the 25th anniversary truly knock it out of the, well, ballpark.

Here is just a sample of the must-attend promotions at The Joe:

Josh Hamilton, five-time All-Star + the only former RiverDog to haul in an MVP award | Photo courtesy of the Charleston RiverDogs

Way Back Wednesdays
Every Wednesday night, the RiverDogs will pay homage to their history with throwback uniforms, discounted ticket prices, giveaways, + appearances by some of the best to have crossed home plate.

Joseph P. Riley and the Amazing Technicolor Ballpark | April 14
The most colorful night of the season, each fan will be given a packet of colored powder to transform The Joe into a technicolor dream. The explosion of color will occur during the seventh-inning stretch.

Basic Night | April 26
Bust out your Uggs, profess your love for all things avocado toast, + sip on the most basic of drinks– anything with pumpkin spice. There will be a myriad of opportunities for the perfect selfie angle as well as chances to play “Name that Kardashian.”  


Jamaican Team Jerseys | Rendering courtesy of the Charleston RiverDogs

Jamaican Bobsled Night | May 3
Did you know that the RiverDogs also doubled as a bobsled team? Not true, but they are teaming up to celebrate their dual 25th anniversaries with Cool Runnings. Feel the rythm, with a guest appearance by actor, comedian, and Runnings star Doug E. Doug., and hold onto your lucky eggs as the RiverDogs don specialty Team Jamaica jerseys, which will be auctioned off during the game.

Hit up the full list of this season’s events here.



Although I originally hail from Texas, where football reigns king, I for one cannot wait for this silver anniversary season.

Being able to take in a game, sip on champagne, + devour avocado toast? That is the real American pastime.

Be sure to look for me behind home plate, catching all the foul balls + checking out the dugout.

Nicole, Engagement Editor