ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Minor League Baseball announces that the Ogden Raptors are the winners of the Larry MacPhail Trophy. The Raptors will receive their major award at the Baseball Winter Meetings™ Banquet at the Las Vegas Hilton on December 11.
The Larry MacPhail Trophy symbolizes the top promotion effort in Minor League Baseball. The Raptors followed their simple mission statement of "Find out what the fans want and give it to them" to attract the most fans in the Pioneer League in 2008, just as they have every year since 2000. Owner/President Dave Baggott and his small staff pride themselves on inventing new, off-the-wall, promotions and showing their fans, which turned out in record numbers this season, a good time.
"We are honored to receive the MacPhail Award," said Baggott. "Since I have been in this great industry, we have always tried to be leaders when it comes to promotions. I had the honor to meet Mr. MacPhail in the beginning of my career and he always stated that if you make it fun for yourself, your fans will also have fun. We have always taken that approach."
Ogden was the first Minor League Baseball club to wear theme-style jerseys, which has become a popular promotion throughout the industry. A spur of the moment idea to wear wigs and dresses while dragging the infield between innings has evolved into the "Drag Queens" promotion that fans now sign up to do. This year the club gave away 100 t-shirts in a variety of unannounced ways at a dozen games. Baggott also uses his humor and creativity to entertain fans during games as the public address announcer at Lindquist Field.
In addition to raising thousands of dollars for the city and charities, the Raptors donated almost $100,000 in tickets to community and non-profit endeavors. They also gave any unused perishable food items at the end of each home stand to local shelters.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.