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ZEBULON, N.C. – Former Carolina Mudcats and Major League Baseball star Tony Womack will return to Five County Stadium on August 21 as the Mudcats celebrate their 20th Anniversary season in Zebulon.
Womack played for the Mudcats in 1993 and again in their Southern League championship season of 1995 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
“We are excited to have Tony back at Five County Stadium to help celebrate our 20th anniversary,” said Carolina Mudcats General Manager Joe Kremer. “Tony will always be remembered as being one of the best players to put on a Mudcats uniform.”
Womack spent 13 seasons in the big leagues with the Pirates (1993-1998), Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2003), Colorado Rockies (2003), Chicago Cubs (2003, 2006), St. Louis Cardinals (2004), New York Yankees (2005) and Cincinnati Reds (2006).
The Danville, Va. native may be best remembered for his performance in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with the Diamondbacks against the New York Yankees. With Arizona down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Womack doubled a Mariano Rivera pitch to right field to chase home another former Mudcat, Midre Cummings, and tie the game at 2-2. Two batters later, Luis Gonzalez, who ironically starred for the 1990 Columbus (Ga.) Mudcats, drove home the winning run to make Womack and the Diamondbacks World Series champions.
Womack, who was an MLB All-Star in 1997, led the National League in stolen bases for three consecutive years from 1997 to 1999 and paced the circuit in triples in 2000.
As a shortstop for the 1995 Mudcats, Womack honed his post-season late-inning heroics, starring in the final innings of the fifth and deciding game of the 1995 Southern League championship series against the Chattanooga Lookouts at Five County Stadium.
With Carolina up by a run in the bottom of the eighth, Womack laced a triple that drove in two runs and padded the Mudcats’ lead. Womack ended the inning by scoring himself as Carolina won the game 11-7 and gave Carolina their first Southern League championship since moving to Wake County.
“Pittsburgh Pirates minor league director Chet Montgomery called Tony’s 8th inning at-bat the best he had ever seen”, said Kremer. “Tony fouled off 15 pitches before his triple down the right field line and that really put us in control and led us to that first championship.”
Tickets are on sale for the August 21 game as the Mudcats take on the Mobile BayBears by calling 919-269-CATS or visiting the Mudcats website at www.carolinamudcats.com. Game time is set for 6:15 with gates opening at 5:15.