(AKRON, OHIO) Nov. 30, 2016 - Akron-area State of Ohio Reps. Emilia Sykes and Greta Johnson yesterday celebrated the adoption of House Resolution (HR) 534, honoring the Akron RubberDucks as the 2016 Eastern League Champions.
"Once again, the RubberDucks continue the 34th House District's longstanding tradition of being the birthplace of champions. I am so immensely proud of this team's unyielding dedication that has earned them this title for the fifth time in 12 years," said Sykes. "The RubberDucks, along with owner Ken Babby, are an invaluable treasure of the Akron community, and it has been my honor to recognize them at the Statehouse today."
"It was an incredible honor for our staff, players and the entire Akron community to be honored in this way," said Babby. "We are deeply thankful for the opportunity."
HR 534, presented during House legislative session by the Sykes and Johnson, recognizes the minor league baseball team's energy, enthusiasm, dedication and athletic skill.
"As a long-time resident of the city of Akron, it is with great pride that I stand before my colleagues to recognize the RubberDucks for an outstanding season," said Johnson. "This has been an incredible year for Northeast Ohio sports, and we must include the RubberDucks on our list of remarkable Ohio athletes. This team has repeatedly displayed not only athletic prowess, but a dedication to the people of Akron and the entire state of Ohio. Therefore, it is more than fitting for the House of Representatives to honor these extraordinary citizen-athletes and front office staff for their skill, sportsmanship, and outstanding success."
During her comments, Johnson individually-distinguished RubberDucks head groundskeeper Chris Walsh, who was the 2016 Eastern League Diamond Pro Sports Field Manager of the Year Award winner.
"We are extremely honored by Reps. Sykes and Johnson's House Resolution and for inviting the entire RubberDucks front office to the Statehouse," said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. "It was great for them to recognize Chris Walsh for his hard work and talent that keeps Canal Park's field one of the best in all of professional baseball."
In addition to the championship, the RubberDucks were also named the Eastern League's 2016 nominee for the John H. Johnson President's Award and Pfander was selected as the Eastern League's 2016 Executive of the Year.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians and defending Eastern League champions. The 2017 season will be the franchise's 21st since moving to Akron and its fourth since becoming the RubberDucks. The 20th year of Canal Park kicks off with the Home Opener on Thursday, April 6, at 6:35 p.m. vs. Bowie Baysox. For more information about the team, please call 330-253-5151, visit the RubberDucks' website www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.