CHARLESTON, SC — In a game that began and ended with watermelon, the Charleston RiverDogs snapped an eight-game losing streak July 5 at Riley Park here by defeating the Rome, GA, Braves, 9-1 in South Atlantic League action.
South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh E. Weathers inaugurated a new tradition at Watermelon Night by rolling out the first watermelon rather than throwing out the first ball. He followed the melon roll-out with the traditional baseball pitch, a blazing fastball strike to the catcher.
After throwing out the first watermelon to begin opening ceremonies, South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh E. Weathers (shown on large screen in center field), seamlessly transitioned to singing the national anthem in a mellifluous bass.
In a line stretching more than a block, fans wait for gates to open for the RiverDogs baseball game July 5 at Charleston, SC, Riley Park. About 4,600 attended the game, which featured a Watermelon Night promotion by the South Carolina Watermelon Association.
Steven Yount and David Jordan, both of Rock Hill, SC, paused en route to join their squad of paranormal specialists and enjoy slices of watermelon.
South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh E. Weathers and South Carolina Watermelon Queen representative Emily Dicks.
Emily Dicks, presiding as the South Carolina Watermelon Queen at Watermelon Night, spent time chatting with fans as the home team built an insurmountable lead. Here the queen meets with Joy Strauss of Walterboro, SC.
Emily Dicks, presiding as the South Carolina Watermelon Queen at Watermelon Night, had a pre-game baseball discussion with the team mascot, Chelsea.
Emily Dicks of Barnwell, SC, represented 2014 South Carolina Watermelon Queen Brooke Allende, at the Watermelon Night promotion. Behind Dicks are a load of 200 watermelons that were sliced to give to fans as they leave after the game.
As the second inning begins, a five-person team from the South Carolina Watermelon Association swings into a practiced routine, slicing 200 melons so the 4,600 fans can each have a watermelon slice at game's end as they depart.
Four tables laden with watermelon slices await the 4,600 fans at the July 5 Watermelon Night at the RiverDogs baseball game. The South Carolina Watermelon Association is highlighting the health benefits of watermelon at sporting events this year.