The Greenville Bombers honored Greenville, South Carolina native son "Shoeless" Joe Jackson on Saturday, July 16 in memoriam of the 117th anniversary of the baseball legend's birth. The evening included many festivities, as hordes of fans came out for the celebration/baseball game against the Columbus Catfish.
"I've always been a Shoeless Joe Jackson fan. It's nice to be able to come to the park and honor a hometown guy who was one of the greatest baseball players ever. I'm just happy to have the chance to experience it with my kids", said Jonathan Patterson, who was accompanied by his six-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son.
More than 70 members of Jackson's own family came out for the game and celebration. Surely they were able to see the lasting impact their relative had on the city of Greenville and the sport of baseball as a whole. A plethora of activities, souvenirs and fond memories filled Municipal Stadium that Saturday night, all contributing to the memory of a timeless hero of the baseball diamond.
Among the many enthralling items making the celebratory night were T-shirts, free birthday cake, exhibits from the "Shoeless" Joe Jackson Virtual Hall of Fame (www.blackbetsy.com) and Greenville's City Hall Joe Jackson collection. The most coveted piece of memorabilia from the night was a "Shoeless" Joe Jackson bobblehead doll dressed in a historic Brandon Mill uniform with stocking feet. The collector's item was given out to the first 1,000 fans in attendance and was sponsored by Southeastern Products, the company that sponsored the rest of the commemorative events that evening as well.
"Joe Jackson is perhaps the most famous citizen to come out of Greenville", remarked John Burgess, president of Southeastern Products. "We are proud to sponsor the events [that were] on Saturday and I think it is important to do events like these in order to carry on his legacy".