Bats to Host 20-Year Reunion for League-Champion RiverBats Next Saturday
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Louisville Bats are excited to announce they are hosting a 20-year reunion for the 2001 International League champion Louisville RiverBats team next Saturday, Sept. 25 at Louisville Slugger Field. Ten players from the 2001 championship team are scheduled to be in attendance for the festivities, including team captain Chris Sexton, all-time fan-favorite Corky Miller and IL Hall of Fame manager, Dave Miley.
The Bats will pay tribute to the 2001 title-winning club throughout the game that afternoon with highlights on the video board from the historic playoff run and behind-the-scenes footage leading up to the Governors' Cup Finals.
The RiverBats alumni will also participate in a special on-field ceremony beginning at 12:30 p.m. Following the pregame show, team skipper Miley will toss out a ceremonial first pitch to his RiverBats catcher Corky Miller to help kick off the Bats' game.
Gates open at 12 p.m. Saturday and the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free commemorative 2001 RiverBats team photo, courtesy of Murphy's Camera. First pitch for the Bats and Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) is set for 1 p.m.
Saturday's game is also the Bats' annual Fan and Kids Appreciation Day. As a "thank you" for fan support all season, kids' tickets (when purchased with an adult ticket) and ballpark favorites of hot dogs, soda, popcorn and chips will be available for just $1 each for the contest.
Following the game, kids are also invited to run the bases, courtesy of the YMCA, Subway and Meijer.
For questions or additional information regarding the RiverBats reunion, visit batsbaseball.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE 2001 RIVERBATS:
The 2001 Louisville RiverBats took the International League by storm, winning the IL West Division by 16.5 games and posting the best win percentage in franchise history at .583 with an 84-60 record during the regular season.
Louisville then dispatched the Norfolk Tides 3-2 in a best-of-five series in the IL semifinals to set the stage for a showdown with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons in the championship round.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre suffered the misfortune of playing the longest game in team history to close out the Buffalo Bisons --- Finally escaping with a win after 19 innings and five hours + 13 minutes of play. The team bused overnight to Louisville and pulled into Slugger Field around 4 a.m. on the morning of Game 1 of the championship series.
In a nail-biter, the RiverBats pushed across a pair of late runs on a sacrifice fly and bases-loaded walk to secure a 2-1 victory in the series opener on Sept. 10, 2001.
Game 1 ultimately stood as the lone contest played in the 2001 Governors' Cup Finals as the remainder of the series was cancelled the very next day following the events of 9-11.
IL president Randy Mobley shortly thereafter declared the RiverBats the IL champs of the 2001 season by way of their victory in the first game of the series.
The 2001 RiverBats championship stands as Louisville's first and only league title during IL affiliation.
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