Bill Murray and the Mayor (copy)

Bill Murray jumps into the arms of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg after the mayor throws out the ceremonial first pitch for the Charleston RiverDogs' season-opening game at Riley Park in 2017. File/Wade Spees/Staff

Judging by his two-minute clip posted on the Charleston RiverDogs’ Twitter page, Bill Murray is as ready as anyone for the team’s home opener on Thursday.

In a calm, motivational demeanor, the team’s co-owner and 'Director of Fun' tells fans to prepare for April 11.

In fact, he says “April 11th” three times within the first 19 seconds of the video. And two more times after that.

“It's not April 11th yet, but it's gonna be," Murray says in the clip posted Tuesday morning. "Thursday, April 11th, I strongly encourage you to make Opening Day."

The legendary, comedic actor is known for his impromptu appearances at Riley Park. So he may be one of a few things to expect when the RiverDogs play their home opener on Thursday against the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Murray sighting?

Per usual, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg will be on hand to deliver the ceremonial first pitch. The question: Will Murray be there too?

Murray didn’t take the field at last year’s home opener for the RiverDogs, the New York Yankees’ Class A team in the South Atlantic League.

But in 2017, few will forget Tecklenburg’s wide-eyed expression when Murray leaped into his arms up after the mayor threw out the first pitch.

So his presence this time around isn’t set in stone. But be prepared just in case.

Lots of beer

“There’s bargain values. There’s bottom prices for people who have to drink beer and lots of it while watching the baseball game,” Murray reminded the RiverDog faithful in his video.

Specifically, Thursday’s at Riley Park always include $1 beers. Also, fans who follow DJ Natty Heavy on social media could win VIP wristbands to Club Budweiser, which allows them to jump ahead of the crowd at the beer line.

Thursday’s game kicks off a seven-game homestand for Charleston, complete with a $1,000 cash prize opportunity, fireworks and other promotions. For more, visit

Small ball

The game itself should be just as entertaining as what the RiverDogs have cooked for the pregame festivities.

While the Yankees are following their usual routine of smacking homers, the RiverDogs so far this season have relied on small ball to get the job done.

As a team, Charleston is ranked fifth in the South Atlantic League in on-base percentage, second in fewest strikeouts and third in drawing walks through six games, all on the road. Those quality at-bats have translated into runs. The RiverDogs are fifth in the league with 23 runs scored.


Reach Derrek Asberry at 843-937-5517. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry