Baseball America named the Clearwater Threshers the Class-A recipient of the 2013 Bob Freitas Award, which is presented to the organization with the best overall operations at each level of Minor League Baseball. The Threshers accepted the award at baseball's annual Winter Meetings on Monday, December 9 in Orlando, FL.
The Freitas Award is 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 Class-A category is the largest of the four with 60 teams across the nation. The award is named after longtime minor league baseball ambassador Bob Freitas.
"Our continued success is based on the way that we have embraced the community and gotten involved in so many aspects of various charities and other events that we do here," Threshers general manager John Timberlake said. "We're committed to making sure that our ballpark and our facility is not just about the major league spring training or minor league baseball. Our ballpark is open when other ballparks wouldn't be. The community has really embraced us and we have become partners in so many charitable organizations."
The Phillies-owned franchise led the FSL in overall (172,151) and average (2,608) attendance in 2013, extending a streak that began when Bright House Field opened in 2004.
"We've created a culture where we don't think of people as fans, we think of them as guests in our house," he said. "We can't control the team and whether it's a great team one year or a team that doesn't play well the next, and we certainly can't control the weather, but we can control the experience. We can control the quality of our food, the cleanliness of our park, the quality of our promotions, and the experience that the fans have once they enter our gates."
The Threshers will open the 2014 season on Friday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. against the Dunedin Blue Jays. For more information, including a full schedule for the upcoming 2014 season, visit ThreshersBaseball.com.