Aaron Judge was sitting in the New York Yankees workout facility in Tampa, Fla., when future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter walked into the team's training room.
RiverDogs Promotion Highlights
Opening Night: Opening Night features a magnet schedule with detachable RiverDogs car magnet giveaway. It will also be the first of 13 explosive postgame fireworks shows. Also, the first game of the year against the Greenville Drive will kick off the "Battle of the Palmetto State" rivalry series presented by Sphinx. The winner of the season-long battle will receive the Rivalry Championship Trophy, and with it goes the bragging rights as the state's best Minor League Baseball team. April 7.
Dog Days: Bring your pooch to the park on four special Dog Days that are April 13, May 11, June 1 and June 22.
Youth Baseball and Softball Night: Youth baseball and softball will parade around the field before the game and take in a night of professional baseball. This makes for a special night for them, and what a parade they make. May 12.
Nurses Night: As part of National Nurses Week, the RiverDogs will salute our local RNs on Thursday, May 15.
Military Appreciation Nights: RiverDogs salute our men and women who help protect our many freedoms on May 29, July 19 and Aug. 27.
Boy Scout Night: The devoted scouts of the Lowcountry will receive their well-deserved recognition and will be treated to an overnight campout at The Joe following the game on Friday, May 30.
Sweetright Brothers: Muppet-like characters will be in the house to entertain the kids and the kid-at-heart throughout the night. May 31.
Luau Night: Hawaiian themed night with a special performance by the Fire Circus (Luau-themed fire dancers). June 1.
Larry Doby Heritage Weekend and Salute to Negro League Baseball: This is the RiverDogs' annual salute to some of the game's great players including South Carolina native Larry Doby, on June 7-8.
Zombie Apocalypse Night: The fun is infectious on Zombie Apocalypse Night as fans are encouraged to dress as a zombie and be part of the hoard -- or come alive -- and risk being transformed during the game. June 20.
Girl Scout Night: On Saturday, June 21, the RiverDogs will call all Daisies, Brownies and veteran Girl Scouts to Riley Park for a night of baseball and activities.
Terrible Tuesday: Come on out for a night of long lines, terrible in-game entertainment and promotions, and the worst music you'll hear at a ballgame all year! It's Unsatisfaction Guaranteed! June 24.
Business Man's Specials: Take a client or a co-worker for a special 12:05 "meeting" at The Joe on July 21 and Aug. 13.
Independence Day: This is simply the largest fireworks show in downtown Charleston. July 4.
Big Splash Day: Be prepared to get wet, plain and simple, on Wednesday, July 9 with a 12:05 pm first pitch.
Holiday Celebration: Enjoy it all as we celebrate a year's worth of holidays in just one night. Each inning will be a different holiday, from New Year's Eve during pregame to Christmas in the 9th frame. July 16.
Pirates & Princess Night: Youngsters will work together to find The Joe's hidden treasure. July 20.
Inflatamaniacs Appearance and Rainbows Night: A performance that brings laughs to fans of all ages as the inflatable crew brings their unique brand of hijinks to The Joe for the fourth straight year. We will also turn back the clock and tip our caps to the days when names like David Cone and Roberto Alomar called Charleston home. The RiverDogs team will become the Charleston Rainbows again, complete with throwback Rainbows uniforms, for one night only. August 2.
RiverDogs Nightly Promotions
Mondays: Dogs with a Cause and $1 Dogs and Beers - The RiverDogs partner with a local non-profit organization to generate exposure and funds for a specific cause. Mondays are also Dollar Dogs and Beers nights, thanks to our friends at Coors, as fans can enjoy $1 drafts and $1 hot dogs in the Ashley View Pub.
Tuesdays: Two-for-$20 Date Nights - Tuesdays can be special night as for only $20 fans can enjoy a pair of upper reserve tickets, two tacos, two small fountain drinks and a plate of nachos by showing their Harris Teeter VIC card at the box office.
Wednesdays: Guaranteed Win & Senior Wednesdays - All fans 65 and older who enter the gates before 7pm can eat free receive a complimentary hot dog, fountain drink. All fans will also be able to take advantage of an early bird special on Wednesday's purchase a hot dog, fries and a 16 ounce fountain drink for only $6 before 7pm, a $2 savings than when purchased any other time. And the team "guarantees" a win on Wednesdays. Put simply, if the RiverDogs don't win on Wednesday night games at Riley Park, the club will honor your ticket for free admission to the next Wednesday home game. All you have to do is hold on to your ticket.
Thursdays: Thirsty Thursdays - Get an early start on the weekend with $1 beers in the Ashley View Pub presented by Budweiser. Palmetto Brewery will bring postgame concerts to The Joe after every Thirsty Thursday game. A different band will perform a free concert for everyone in attendance on the concourse adjacent to the Beer Garden inside Riley Park following the game's final out.
Fridays: Postgame Fireworks & Red Shirt Fridays - Fans who wear red to the ballpark receive $1 off their walk-up ticket on Red Shirt Fridays. Every Friday will be punctuated with explosive postgame fireworks.
Saturdays: Giveaways on Select Saturdays and Kids Run the Bases - To assist with families, all Saturday game times again this season have been moved up to 6:05 pm. Select Saturday games feature free collectable giveaway items to the first 1,000 fans. Giveaways will consist of a Bill Murray t-shirt giveaway (April 12); Tony the Peanut Man singing bobblehead giveaway (May 10); Negro League jersey giveaway (June 7); Ghostbusters bobblehead giveaway (July 5); and a Bill Veeck bobble giveaway (July 19). Plus on August 17, the club will give away a Charlie T. RiverDog coloring book to the first 1,000 fans through the gates. Following the action on the field every Saturday, all kids can stick around and run the bases, and everyone is "safe."
Sundays: Kids Club Sundays - Feature Free Parking and Kids Eat Free as all members of the RiverDogs Kids Club get a voucher for a free meal upon entering. A pregame catch on the field and the popular postgame autograph session with the entire RiverDogs team and loveable mascots, Charlie T. RiverDog, Chelsea and Bark.
Judge, who had been taken by the Yankees in the first round of Major League Baseball's draft just a few weeks earlier, did a double take when the Yankees captain settled in next to him for a brief rehabilitation session with the team's training staff.
2014 RiverDogs Roster
No. Player B/T Ht. Wt. Age 2013 Club
36 Andury Acededo R-R 6-4 220 23 Staten Island
31 Andrew Benak R-R 6-5 225 23 Staten Island
27 Andrew Beresford R_R 6-7 200 24 Staten Island
28 Jordan Cote R-R 6-5 215 21 Gulf Coast
34 Rookie Davis R-R 6-3 235 20 Staten Island
11 Glovanny Gallegos R-R 6-2 175 22 Staten Island
9 Brady Lail R-R 6-2 175 20 Gulf Coast//Tampa
22 Jaron Long R-R 6-0 180 22 Gulf Coast/Tampa
13 Stefan Lopez R-R 6-2 190 22 Staten Island
8 Nick Rumbelow R-R 6-0 195 22 Staten Island
6 Luis Severino R-R 6-0 195 20 Gulf Coast/RiverDogs
12 Caleb Smith L-L 6-2 175 22 Staten Island/Trenton
30 Ceasar Vargas R-R 6-2 215 21 RiverDogs/Tampa
38 Phillip Walby R-R 6-2 190 21 Staten Island
No. Player B/T Ht. Wt. Age 2013 Club
21 Eduardo De Oleo R-R 5-10 180 21 Gulf Coast
23 Kale Sumner R-R 5-11 205 22 Staten Island
20 Luis Torrens R-R 6-0 170 17 Gulf Coast
5 Andujar Miguel R-R 6-0 175 19 Gulf Coast
18 Abiatal Avelino R-R 5-11 185 19 Staten Isl./Gulf Coast
26 Mike Ford L-R 6-0 225 21 Staten Island
4 Gosuke Katoh L-R 6-2 180 19 Gulf Coast
3 John Murphy L-R 5-11 185 22 Staten Island
7 Tyler Wade L-R 6-1 180 19 Staten Isl./Gulf Coast
35 Aaron Judge R-R 6-7 230 21 Fresno State
10 Michael O'Neill R-R 6-1 195 21 Staten Island
19 Mikeson Oliberto R-R 5-10 165 23 Staten Island/Tampa
32 Brandon Thomas S-R 6-3 180 23 Staten Island
Manager: Luis Dorante. Pitching Coach: Carlos Chantres. Hitting Coach: Edwar Gonzalez. First Base Coach: Justin Tordi.
Judge, an outfielder for the Charleston RiverDogs, was in Tampa getting treatment for a quadriceps injury, while Jeter was struggling to get healthy enough to rejoin the Yankees.
"It's not every day that you get to be in the same room with someone like Derek Jeter," Judge said. "You're kind of in awe at first, but then you realize that he's just one of the guys. He was very welcoming. He wanted me to know I was a teammate."
Judge took advantage of the time he spent with Jeter, picking his brain for tips on what it takes to get to the majors.
"Words can't describe how valuable that time was with (Jeter)," Judge said. "It was almost a blessing in disguise getting hurt and going through rehab with him. You don't want to be hurt, you want to be playing, but a chance to spend some time with him and learn from him I know is going to help me down the road."
What Judge learned most from Jeter was his approach to the game and what it means to be a professional baseball player. Judge studied Jeter's routine each day and then try to implement those habits into to his own approach.
"Honestly, I think I'm a step ahead of everyone because of the time I spent with (Jeter) down in Tampa last summer," Judge said. "He's got a routine that has made him one of the best players to ever play the game."
Some of the best advice Jeter gave the young Yankees prospect was to have a short memory.
"He told me to keep an even keel, don't get too high or too low," Judge said. "Forget about what happened the day before. Everyone is going to have their ups and downs. You're going to go 0 for 4 one night, or you might hit three home runs the next game. You have to approach the next game the same way. You keep grinding it out, stay consistent, that's the key to a long career."
Few doubt that Judge, who was taken with the 32nd overall pick last summer, has a bright future with the Yankees organization. At 6-7 and 230 pounds, the former Fresno State star has unlimited potential. Judge's combination of size and strength along with his quick hands have made him one of the premier power hitters in the Yankees farm system.
His batting practice sessions before games and during practices have become must-see viewing for not only his teammates, but opposing teams as well.
"When he gets ahold of a ball, he can hit it a mile," said fellow RiverDogs outfielder Michael O'Neill.
Judge is already being compared to Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who is an inch shorter, but 10 pounds heavier than the rookie outfielder. In four seasons with the Marlins, Stanton already has smashed 119 home runs, including 37 in 2012.
"I can see similarities between Giancarlo and Aaron," said RiverDogs manager Luis Dorante, who was working in the Marlins organization when Stanton was coming up through their farm system. "They are about the same size and both have tremendous power and very good hands. I think Aaron has that kind of potential."
Judge got his first taste of the big leagues just after he was drafted by the Yankees last summer. Judge and his parents made the short one-hour drive from his hometown of Linden, Calif., to Oakland to visit the team during a series against the A's. Before the Yankees played Oakland, Judge took batting practice, smacking several towering shots out of the A's O.co Coliseum, impressing Yankees skipper Joe Girardi in the process.
"He can hit some homers," Girardi told the media after batting practice. "The ball really jumps off his bat. Strong kid. He can hit line drives out of the ballpark. You think that they're good line drives in the gap, and they just keep going. He was pretty impressive today."
"That was an awesome experience for me," Judge said. "To be able to be around those guys in the locker room and go out there and take a few swings. I was a little nervous at first, but after a couple of swings I felt great."