PORTLAND, MAINE The Eastern League of Professional Baseball is pleased to
announce the league nominees for the Minor League Baseball postseason awards. These awards
include the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award, the Larry MacPhail Promotional
Award and the John H. Johnson Presidents Award. Winners of these awards are selected
by Minor League Baseball and will be honored at the 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings in
The New Britain Rock Cats are the Eastern League nominee for the John H. Johnson Presidents Award, which is used to honor a complete baseball franchise that has demonstrated franchise stability while making significant contributions to its community, its league and to the baseball industry. The Rock Cats certainly meet that definition, as they have been a member of the Eastern League since 1983, making the club the longest continually running sports franchise in the State of Connecticut and the second longest tenured club in the Eastern League. Since the current ownership group led by Bill Dowling took over the franchise in 2000, the Rock Cats have reached amazing levels of success. The team annually breaks numerous attendance records and this season was no different as the club had a franchise-record 27 sellouts and also set a new mark for average attendance (5,867) while welcoming a total of 363,759 fans through the turnstiles at New Britain Stadium in 2011. Through their non-profit Rock Cats Foundation, the franchise also has a strong presence throughout their community in New Britain, making numerous community appearances while also helping to raise money and awareness for various organizations through events hosted at New Britain Stadium.
The Eastern League nominee for the Larry MacPhail Promotional Award, which is given to a club in Minor League Baseball that has demonstrated outstanding and creative marketing and promotional efforts, is the Reading Phillies. The R-Phils welcomed a league-best 456,957 fans to FirstEnergy Stadium in 2011, marking the sixth time in the past seven years that Reading has led the Eastern League in total attendance. It is no surprise fans come out to FirstEnergy stadium in droves when you look at the 2011 promotional schedule in Reading, which was overflowing with giveaways and events throughout the season. Among the giveaways were two lucky fans taking home 550 lb. life size garden gnomes of Ryan Howard and The Crazy Hot Dog Vendor. Along with their promotional efforts, the R-Phils are also heavily involved with numerous charitable organizations throughout the city of Reading and Berks County.
The Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year award is given out annually to one woman who has made an outstanding contribution to her club, league or to baseball. For this award the Eastern League is pleased to nominate Patience Purdy, the Director of Community Relations for the Trenton Thunder. In her eighth season as a member of the Trenton organization, Patience is responsible for overseeing all charitable efforts of the Thunder. Among the many programs that Patience created for the Thunder is the Dog of the Day adoption awareness program, Good Deed Day and a partnership with Habitat for Humanity. This year Patience was named the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Business/Sports Person of the Year.