Summerville native and former Clemson star joins Yankees legends team on May 27
CHARLESTON, SC – Local product Steven Jackson, who starred at Summerville High School and Clemson University and who later played in the major leagues, will join a star-studded cast of New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves legends as the team of former Bronx Bombers take on the Braves in the inaugural Legends in the South game on Friday, May 27 at 6:35pm at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Jackson, who was enshrined in the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, joins a dynamic cast in the baseball showcase at The Joe that includes the likes of Bobby Richardson, Ken Griffey, Sr., Gene “Stick” Michael, Ron Blomberg, Marquis Grissom, Denny Neagle, and Ryan Klesko.
“This will be a great experience to be around the Legends, especially Bobby Richardson, who is a family friend,” said Jackson, who continues to live in Summerville. “It will be a lot of fun for me, and the fans as well.”
Jackson, a former pitcher who states that he is in “decent” shape, says that he “won’t throw 90 (miles per hour), but will do 75.
“I’ll be playing on a team with guys that I idolized as a kid, and playing against guys from the Braves that I watched on TBS,” Jackson added. “This is going to be a great experience.”
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.
Jackson would spend the next year and a half going between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis and began the 2011 season in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization before signing with the Cincinnati Reds and finally being traded back to the Pirates. 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.
Also joining Jackson will be two other former big leaguers with local ties. A regular in the Charleston area as a former baseball coach at Ashley Ridge High School in Summerville, Jeff Ridgway joins the Legends in the South fold. A native of Port Angeles, WA, the former Braves hurler pitched for the RiverDogs in the 2001 and 2003 seasons while a Tampa Bay Devil Rays farmhand. The left hander made his first Major League appearance with the Tampa Bay in 2007 before he was traded to the Braves in 2008. The left hander out of Port Angeles, WA logged 10.0 innings and eight strikeouts in 13 career MLB appearances.
Former Charleston RiverDog R.J. Swindle also joins the Legends in the South festivities as an honorary member of the roster. The former Charleston Southern Buccaneer spent two seasons in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers after spending time in the Yankees minor league system, including a stint with the RiverDogs in 2006. Swindle went 4-2 with a sparkling 0.61 ERA in 21 relief appearances with Charleston in ’06 before getting making his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. The Canadian-born, Orlando, FL high school product went on to make nine relief appearances in the majors, three with the Phillies and six with the Brewers.
General admission tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime event start at just $12 for general admission seats and are currently on sale. Box seats are $25 each, lower reserved seats are $20, and upper reserved tickets are only $15. Tickets may be secured by calling 843/577-DOGS (3647), online at riverdogs.com or at the Riley Park Box Office. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm and gates will open at 4pm with batting practice.
Various VIP meet and greet opportunities are now available for auction on riverdogs.com/auction and it offers fans once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to rub shoulders with the shining cast of former big leaguers. Auction items include a spot at a welcome reception with the Legends’ teams on Thursday, May 26, from 6-8pm and a luncheon at a downtown restaurant on Friday, May 27, from 1-3pm.
Fans can also bid on a unique opportunity to take batting practice on the field, suit up in full uniform and experience the game from either the Braves or Yankees dugout with one spot for each team available for auction.