Last year Roy Williams and his North Carolina Tar Heels squared off against Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson and it was a rousing success. This coming season three men’s college basketball games will take place on naval ships: Florida vs. Georgetown, Marquette vs. Ohio State, and Syracuse vs. San Diego State.
A different sport used a similar venue for an event yesterday in Charleston, South Carolina. The South Atlantic League held the first round of its home run derby on the deck of the USS Yorktown, docked in Charleston Harbor.
RiverDogs officials, organizers of the all-star game, said they wanted a location for the first half of the annual home run derby that honored Charleston’s military heritage.
“We had been doing military-themed promotions … and we asked ‘what’s one of the biggest military attractions in Charleston?,’” said Dave Echols, the Charleston RiverDogs general manager.
Of course actor, and Charleston RiverDogs co-owner, Bill Murray was among the roughly 400 on hand to watch and took a few swings in the inflatable batting cage that was set up. Fans who made donations that will benefit the Iraq-Afghanistan Veterans of America also had an opportunity to launch baseballs into the harbor.
The top four home run hitters advanced to the second round, which will take place later today at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park where the champion will be crowned. The league’s All-Star game will follow.
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H/T to Off the Bench