Former Atlanta Braves slugger Brian Jordan will try not to be overly competitive on Friday when he suits up in the legendary white jersey with the tomahawk across the chest.
But it’ll be a little hard not to go all out since the other dugout in Riley Park will be filled with pinstripes.
“There’s still some sore feelings from that 1999 World Series,” the former outfielder said Thursday by phone just before catching a flight from Atlanta to Charleston.
This will be Jordan’s first time playing in the Legends in the South Game, a fun-filled event that features former Braves and New York Yankees. First pitch for Friday's game is 6:35 p.m., but fans are invited to get there at 4 p.m. to watch batting practice.
The Charleston RiverDogs, New York’s low-level Class A affiliate, host the game every year and always gets a lot of memorable names on the roster.
This year’s roster includes Jordan, who spent three years in Atlanta from 1999 to 2001, and then another two years from 2005 to 2006 to close out his 15-year MLB career.
“It’s going to be fun,” Jordan said. “I’ve always heard about it but never got a chance to play. So I was excited to get the call this year and tell them I was on board.”
That first season as a Brave was a big one for the Baltimore native. After seven seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Jordan joined a loaded Braves roster that included Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Ryan Klesko and three of the best pitchers in the game: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.
Despite the star-studded lineup, Jordan carved out his own space on the team and made the 1999 National League All-Star team. That year, he batted .283 with 23 home runs and a team-high 115 RBIs.
Jordan is remembered for his hitting. But as a competitor even in retirement, the 51-year-old is still bothered he didn’t get the credit he deserved for his defense.
“How do you go a whole season with no errors and not win a Gold Glove?” he said.
That work ethic is what made Jordan an elite talent, and what made the Braves-Yankees battles so entertaining.
Friday’s game will also feature Braves’ greats such as Klesko, a longtime first basemen and left fielder for the Braves, and former All-Star pitcher Steve Avery.
And on the Yankee roster, World Series champion and 1990s utility player Jim Leyritz will take the field, as well as first baseman Ron Blomberg, who played for New York in the 1970s.
General admission tickets for the game start at $12 and can be purchased at www.rileyparkevents.com, at the Riley Park box office, or by calling (843) 577-3647.