Twin sisters Brinda Worcester and Linda Hall didn’t have to drive from their homes near Charlotte to see their Atlanta Braves play on Friday.
Instead, the two 74-year-olds came to Charleston.
But instead of current Braves like Austin Riley and Ronald Acuna Jr., the sisters took a trip down memory lane with Ryan Klesko, Steve Avery and others as Atlanta bested the New York Yankees in a 4-3 contest.
“We’ve been fans for over 20 years,” Worcester said at the Charleston RiverDogs’ annual Legends in the South game.
Pegged as a friendly exhibition between former Braves and Yankees, the legends game gives fans like Worcester and Hall a chance to meet and get autographs from some of their favorite players.
It was especially fun for Hall, who is also a Yankees fan. That’s why she was in a hurry to catch up to Ron Blomberg, a former first baseman who was in pinstripes from 1969 to 1975.
“He was one of my favorites,” Hall said after getting an autograph from Blomberg during batting practice. “And he’s such a great guy.”
The fourth annual showdown between the teams saw some early action in the bottom of the first. Former Yankee Homer Bush, one of the members of 1998 championship squad, led things off with a triple and eventually came around to score.
“I figured if I closed my eyes and swung, good things would happen,” he joked in the dugout after the game. “But it was fun being back in that competitive spirit, so I went up there ready to swing.”
Former Braves All-Star Dan Uggla played in his first-ever legends game and didn’t disappoint. Uggla came to the plate in the top of fifth with runners on second and third. He grounded out but made enough contact to bring in the go-ahead the run.
“Man, it was fun out there,” he said. “That helped us win the game, and just being out there with your guys … it was a good feeling.”
While younger fans will remember Uggla’s power in recent years, Shawn and June Murphy embraced their younger days with Atlanta legends like Klesko, Eddie Perez and Marvin Freeman.
The couple has fond memories of those guys leading the Braves to several of their 14 consecutive division titles.
“Every year, they were winning. And all the comeback victories were just awesome,” Shawn Murphy said.
Their excitement for the game is what keeps Bush coming back each year. While autographing a jersey, he said each fan is a reminder that he’s a part of history.
“It keeps all of us relevant,” he added. “We were part of some great teams and created memories for a lot of people. This is a celebration of that.”