Riley, Murray make SAL Hall of Fame Class of 2012

Bill Murray embraces former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley at a RiverDogs game. Murray is part owner of the team. 

Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. and actor Bill Murray, co-owner of the Charleston RiverDogs, will enter the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2012.

The league announced Tuesday that it will honor Riley, Murray and former Asheville Tourists front office executive Carolyn McKee during a luncheon on June 19, the day the 2012 SAL All-Star Game will be held at the Charleston ballpark named for Riley.

“This is a tremendous honor for the entire RiverDogs’ organization to have both Mayor Riley and Bill Murray enshrined in the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame, especially since the City of Charleston is hosting,” said RiverDogs general manager Dave Echols. “Each is a Hall of Famer in his own right, and we’re thrilled that they’ll be in attendance at the luncheon.”

Riley was the driving force for the city to build the $19.5 million stadium on the banks of the scenic Ashley River. The stadium, which opened in 1997, would have been impossible without his support and direction. “The Joe” has been consistently recognized as one of the best facilities in all of Minor League Baseball.

Murray became a part owner of the Charleston RiverDogs following the 1989 season, and has been involved with many facets of the club’s operations, including strategic planning sessions, customer service initiatives, promotional meetings and fan relations. The multi-talented and award-winning actor has combined his ability to entertain fans with his love for baseball in his role with the RiverDogs. Murray is also very involved with many local charities throughout the Lowcountry.

McKee worked for the Asheville Tourists for 26 seasons, from 1980 to 2005. Carolyn worked in almost every area of the ballpark, eventually managing the accounting operations and supervising the box office on game days. In addition, she accepted additional responsibilities in 1994 when the team became affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. Carolyn assisted the Rockies on organizational matters and oversaw the club’s travel arrangements. Carolyn’s contributions to the baseball industry were recognized in 2004 when she was awarded the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year award, becoming the first woman in the South Atlantic League to ever win the national award. Carolyn will join her husband, Ron, as the second husband-wife pair to be inducted into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame. Ron McKee was inducted into the SAL Hall of Fame in 1999. The other husband-wife team is the league’s founder and long-time president John Henry Moss and his wife Elaine Moss, who were inducted in 1994 and 2004, respectively.