The Tulsa Drillers franchise has been awarded the prestigious Double-A Bob Freitas Award by the publication Baseball America. The Freitas Awards are presented annually to the top franchises in each of the four levels of Minor League Baseball to honor clubs that show sustained excellence in the business of minor league baseball. The awards are named after longtime minor league baseball ambassador Bob Freitas.
It marks the third time that the Drillers organization has been honored with the Freitas Award which was first given out by Baseball America in 1989. The team also won the award in 1992 and 2005.
It is the second major recognition for the franchise this off-season. In September, the Drillers were named the Texas League's Organization of the year.
This past season, the Drillers drew Tulsa's second highest attendance total in the 100-plus years that professional baseball has been played in the city. Attendance at ONEOK Field topped 400,000 for 69 regular season games and 2 Texas League playoff games. The only other time that attendance reached that level was during the inaugural season at ONEOK Field in 2010.
"The Freitas Award is one of the highest honors that a Minor League Baseball organization can earn," said Drillers General Manager Mike Melega. "I am very proud of our entire full-time and part-time staffs for the fan first attitude they bring to the ballpark every day. It is attributable to their hard work and dedication that the Drillers organization can be recognized with this wonderful honor."
Texas League President Tom Kayser praised the team's operation. "They are so comprehensive with everything they do," said Kayser. "Customer service is certainly one of the things that they do well and that has always been emphasized from the time that Went Hubbard operated the club. It is the totality of their operation that is just so well done."