Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL, announced that the Trenton Thunder has been awarded the John H. Johnson President's Trophy which is given annually to the most outstanding franchise in Minor League Baseball that best exemplifies the complete Minor League Baseball organization.
The categories that are taken into consideration when selecting a winner for this award include contributions to the baseball industry, contributions to the community, long-term franchise stability, the financial success of the operation and overall promotion of the baseball industry. The President's Trophy will be presented at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas,TX next month.
With this latest honor the Thunder has become just the 10th team in Minor League Baseball history to win the three major team awards in Minor League Baseball: the Johnson Trophy, the Larry MacPhail Trophy for Outstanding Club Promotion (2003) and the Bob Frietas Award for Long-Term Success (1998, given by Baseball America). The Thunder has won the three awards in a span of eight years. Only two teams have won the three awards in a shorter time span: Buffalo (AAA) 1989-1992 and Reading (AA) 1999-2003.
"On behalf or our entire organization and Thunder family, I would like to thank Minor League Baseball for this outstanding award," said Thunder President and co-owner Joe Finley. "We are both honored and humbled by the receipt of this award and reminded that the most important part of the Thunder Family remains our fans and our community. We pledge to our fans and our community that we will honor our commitment to provide them with the experience they have come to expect as they pass through the gates of Waterfront Park."
The Thunder has consistently been one of the top organizations in all of Minor League Baseball since its inception twelve years ago. The Thunder has drawn over 400,000 fans in each of the last 11 seasons and welcomed its 5,000,000th fan in the history of the franchise this past season. Both of these are records for Minor League Baseball at the Double A level and below. The Trenton organization has also made a strong commitment to giving back to the community, as the club has raised $2.46-million worth of goods, services and monetary donations through its Grand Slam We Care Foundation. "To win all three of the awards that a Minor League team can earn in just 12 seasons really speaks volumes about the level of continued support we receive from our fans. We cannot thank the fans and community enough for believing in what we do and for spending their time with us," said Thunder General Manger Brad Taylor.
Taylor added, "So much of the credit should also be given to our highly motivated staff for bringing an enthusiasm and a passion for what they do at the ballpark everyday. They continue to strive to make the Thunder entertainment experience, our community outreach initiatives and our presence as a partner in the local business community better than ever. It feels great to see all of our hard work get recognized as the best in the nation."
The Thunder are busy getting prepared for the 2006 season, which kicks off on Thursday, April 13th at Waterfront Park against the Connecticut Defenders (formerly the Norwich Navigators) at 7:05 PM with post game fireworks and a magnetic schedule giveaway courtesy of Verizon Super Pages. Full and half season tickets, group tickets and Mini Ticket Packages are currently available by calling the Trenton Thunder Ticket Office at (609) 394-3300 or by going online to www.trentonthunder.com.