Charleston RiverDogs general manager Dave Echols woke up Wednesday morning and couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride.
It’s been an eventful summer for the New York Yankees’ Class A affiliate who lost to Asheville 3-0 in their final home game of the season at Riley Park on Wednesday night.
On Tuesday, the RiverDogs set a single-season attendance record of 287,647, topping the old mark of 284,718 fans, set back in the 2007 season. Less than 24 hours later, the RiverDogs unveiled a new logo, new uniforms and new alternate jerseys.
“It’s been a pretty hectic couple of days, but a great couple of days,” Echols said.
With Wednesday night’s attendance of 5,014, the RiverDogs finished with 292,661 for the season.
“I think the whole staff feels a sense of accomplishment and pride,” Echols said. “It starts with the ownership group and Mike Veeck and his philosophy of Fun is Good.
“We’ve got an experienced staff and they’ve put in the extra hours and a lot of hard work to get us to this point. It’s a job well done and they deserve a lot of credit.”
The ultimate goal for the RiverDogs is to surpass the 300,000-mark in attendance. With a little luck, Echols is confident the RiverDogs can achieve that goal next season.
“I think we’ve laid the groundwork for reaching our goal of 300,000 fans,” Echols said. “It was a tough August as far as weather. Sometimes, like in sports, you’ve got to be a little lucky. We had three rainouts, so if we hadn’t had those rainouts and been able to attract our average for the season, which was more than 4,000, we could have hit the 300,000 mark this year. We’re on the right track and the staff has done a great job of reaching out to the community.”
Echols said to ensure the RiverDogs hit their attendance goal next year, he’ll make one final request of Charleston Mayor Joe Riley before he leaves office.
“As his final act as mayor, we want Mayor Riley to build a dome over the Riley Park,” Echols said with a chuckle. “That’s about the only way that you can be certain we’ll reach our goal.”
Meanwhile, the RiverDogs unveiled a new logo, new uniforms and new alternate jerseys on Wednesday.
“It wasn’t a major overhaul,” Echols said. “We just did a few modifications, 11 small things, that we really feel like will update the logo and our brand name. We didn’t want to change our iconic brand with Charlie or the RiverDogs, but we felt like the logo and uniforms need to be tweaked a little bit to keep them updated. The response on social media has been outstanding.”
Charleston’s new uniforms feature the standard home white jerseys with “RiverDogs” across the chest and classic gray road jerseys with “Charleston” embroidered across the front. One new feature of the road grays is a patch of Charlie biting a broken bat in a crescent moon on the left sleeve.
For the first time in franchise history, the RiverDogs have created an alternate game hat that will be worn on “Holy City Sundays.” The all navy cap will feature the debut of an interlocking HC logo with a halo above the H.