RICHMOND, VA. - The Richmond Flying Squirrels Double-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants would like to say "Thank you" to the 434,769 fans who visited The Diamond this season. The Squirrelly Gates welcomed an average of 6,689 fans per game over 65 openings, setting a new franchise record. The triumphs in the stands nearly translated to success on the field, with the Squirrels late-season surge falling just shy of the post season. Even without playoffs in the River City, a variety of Squirrels were able to shine in an effort to one day reach San Francisco and the Major Leagues.
Infielder Mark Minicozzi led the Squirrels at the plate throughout the season, especially in the month of May. The veteran hit an astounding .427 with 25 runs scored during May, leading to his unanimous selection as the Eastern League Player of the Month and the Topps Player of the Month. By mid-season seven Flying Squirrels were voted to represent the Western Division in the Eastern League All-Star Game. LHP Jack Snodgrass, RHP Edwin Quirarte, C Andrew Susac, OF Javier Herrera, INF Mark Minicozzi, 2B Joe Panik and LHP Phil McCormick all were invited to partake in the Mid-Summer Classic held in New Britain, Connecticut. Javier Herrera showcased his talents during the All-Star festivities and left with extra hardware from the Hardware City as he was named the MiLB.com Top Star Award Winner All-Star Game MVP, a trophy that he gave to his mother.
The Squirrels continued to amaze and confound fans throughout the season by recording a six game winning streak coupled with separate losing streaks of seven games. Jarrett Parker, Adam Duvall and Javier Herrera contributed to the most powerful Squirrels team yet, setting a new franchise record of team home runs in a season at 108. Jarrett Parker finished the season with 18 home runs, breaking 2011 Flying Squirrel and current San Francisco Outfielder Roger Kieschnick's record of 16. Duvall concluded the season with 17 homers of his own, despite missing extensive time due to injury. Herrera smacked a total of 16 homers while leading the league in doubles.
Postseason accolades are not uncommon for the Flying Squirrels, and 2013 was no exception. Jack Snodgrass was named Left-handed Pitcher of the Year after igniting his season in his Double-A debut with a combined no-hitter on April 5th. Outfielder Javier Herrera not only led the Eastern League in doubles (37), but also finished tied for second in extra-base hits (56), third in total bases (223), third in hits (142), fourth in slugging percentage, and sixth in average (.296). Infielder Mark Minicozzi joins the duo on the Eastern League Postseason team after leading all non-suspended Eastern League players with a .309 batting average while also factoring among the top in hits and on-base percentage.
Overall the fourth season in Squirrels franchise history will be viewed once again as a success. Complete with thrilling moments, affordable family fun and memories to last a lifetime, the Squirrels continue to produce one of the best products in the game. As the fall and winter months approach, the Squirrels players may be gone until spring, but the front office staff will be working diligently at The Diamond preparing for next year. Thanks again to the best fans in baseball.