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 President's Award. Winners of these awards are selected by Minor League Baseball and will be honored at the 2012 Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are the Eastern League nominee for the John H. Johnson President's 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. Under the guidance of owner Art Solomon and President Rick Brenner, the Fisher Cats have become one of the model franchises in all of Minor League Baseball. The Fisher Cats finished ranked third in the league with a total attendance of 377,317 in 2012. That total was the third highest in the history of the New Hampshire franchise. The Fisher Cats welcomed the 3,000,000th fan in franchise history earlier this season on August 16th, less than three seasons after the 2,000,000th fan passed through the turnstiles at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. In addition to the outstanding work the Fisher Cats staff does providing their fans with family friendly entertainment, the franchise has also become synonymous with their efforts within the community in New Hampshire. The Fisher Cats have raised nearly $2-million for regional non-profit groups through the Fisher Cats Foundation, with a highlight being the annual Granite State Baseball Dinner, which generated more than $150,000 in 2011 alone.
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 led the Eastern League in 2012, with an average attendance of 6,368. Reading also ranked second in the league with a total attendance of 426,623, marking the 15th consecutive season the R-Phils have drawn more than 400,000 fans through the turnstiles at FirstEnergy Stadium. Those attendance totals do not include the more than 18,000 fans that were in attendance for the events surrounding the 2012 Baseballtown All-Star Classic in July. In addition to providing their fans with a season full of unique promotions on and off the field, the R-Phils are also heavily involved within their community. One event that exemplifies both of these characteristics was the Baseballtown All-Star Home Run Derby, which was held the night before the All-Star Game and raised nearly $30,000 for the United Way of Berks County. The event included a VIP party that was hosted on the infield dirt while the contest was taking place.
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 Liz Riley of the Portland Sea Dogs. The 2012 season was Liz's sixth as a member of the Sea Dogs front office. She runs the corporate sales department in Portland and also oversees all of the promotional efforts at Hadlock Field on a nightly basis. Liz joined the Sea Dogs as an entry level Box Office Manager and has continued to excel while constantly expanding her role in the organization. Liz was recently promoted to the position of Assistant General Manager, Sales and Promotions. Liz is also heavily involved within the community in Portland, including being a member of the board for PROPEL, a division of the Portland Regional Chamber, and serving as a mentor with the Goodwill Good Guides program.