The Charlotte Knights got a win and their fans got a surprise visit with a Baseball Hall of Famer last weekend.
The Knights beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 3-1 Saturday in front of 10,169 fans, the largest crowd of the season.
The capacity crowd was treated to a surprise appearance from Baseball Hall of Fame member and Yankees Legend Reggie Jackson, who accompanied the Yankees on their trip to Charlotte to work with the club's minor leaguers. Jackson even caught the ceremonial first pitch from former teammate and current Knights manager Chris Chambliss.
"It means a lot when you are playing in front of a nice crowd like this. It means a lot to the players it elevates their game and gets them excited. I hope these types of crowds continue," said Chambliss.
Jackson and Chambliss played together on a Yankess team that won the 1977 World Series, beating the Dodgers in six games. It's considered one of the more memorable title runs in part because of the Yankees' acquisition of Jackson and a drama-filled season that culminated in a World Series that featured many close games. Jackson, the 1977 World Series MVP, hit three homers in game six - a feat last accomplished by Babe Ruth.
Saturday, things only got better for the home team following Jackson's appearance. Knights starting pitcher Carlos Torres worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning without yielding a run. Torres worked his way around five walks in the game to allow just one run in 5.2 innings of work. Torres earned his fourth win of the season to improve to 4-4.
"He has been a great starter for us," said Chambliss of his Torres. "We're not used to him walking people, but he battled through it."
The Knights broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI triple from INF Andy Phillips. The Knights utility man continues to swing a hot bat as he is now hitting .311 on the season.
"He has been a .300 hitter for us since the day he got here. Andy plays so many different positions it makes it even easier to put him in the lineup, he gives us consistency," said Chambliss
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