NORTH AUGUSTA, SC: The Augusta GreenJackets, South Atlantic League affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, are excited to receive the Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award for the 2018 season. With a vibrant and growing military community in the CSRA, the GreenJackets have consistently expressed their gratitude to the servicemen, women and veterans who call the CSRA home. Because of these efforts, the GreenJackets have been awarded the Charles K. Murphy Patriot Award which is given to an individual or club for its outstanding support of the military branches and engagement with veterans as announced by the Minor League Baseball office.
As the South Atlantic League's nominee for the Patriot Award, the GreenJackets continued to go above and beyond in paying their respects to the CSRA's strong military ties in the Inaugural Season at SRP Park. The club hosted ten Military Mondays, where servicemen, women and veterans received 120 free tickets, recognized one servicemember or veteran nightly with the Textron Off Road Salute to Soldier of the game, hosted the 12th Annual Military Appreciation night, and many more military initiatives throughout the season.
"One of our focuses here at the GreenJackets has always been to recognize the veterans and active servicemembers with the strong military community that we have in the CSRA," said GreenJackets Vice President Tom Denlinger "We are honored to receive this award but truthfully this extends well beyond the GreenJackets with the partnerships we have in the community to continue to honor those who serve or have served."
The GreenJackets hosted their 12th Annual Military Appreciation Night, with the inaugural one at SRP Park being the largest one in club history. The club helped to bring in 10 buses of troops from Fort Gordon, in which they were escorted by a police transit to make sure that they arrived here on time and all together. 5,000 tickets (Reserved & General Admission, valued at $30,000) were donated, not only to Fort Gordon, but also to the two V.A. Hospitals in the CSRA, VFW's throughout the CSRA and other local military establishments. To kick off the night, the GreenJackets had four commanding officers representing each branch of the U.S. Military throw out a Ceremonial First Pitch. The club then had the Fort Gordon Joint Installation Color Guard present the colors and a U.S. Navy and Air Force Joint Choir sing the National Anthem and God Bless America during the middle of the seventh inning. The GreenJackets were elated when ESPN called wanting to recognize Military Appreciation Night as their Minor League Promo of the week for the week of July 23rd-29th (click here to view). The 12th Annual Military Appreciation Night welcomed 5,879 fans to SRP Park.
The GreenJackets, during the Inaugural Season at SRP Park, started a new program called "Military Mondays". The Military Monday initiative provided 120 free tickets to men and women at Fort Gordon and other military establishments throughout the CSRA. In total, the GreenJackets hosted ten Monday games, which means that 1,200 tickets (valued at $10,800) were distributed to soldiers, veterans and their families to come out and enjoy a night at SRP Park. The club also offered $2 off tickets (any section) to military men and women and their families on Mondays. For each Monday game, the GreenJackets wore a specialty Military Monday jersey. This jersey had representation of each branch of our U.S. Military on the back of it. On the last Monday game, Monday, September 3rd, the GreenJackets auctioned these off in an off-the-back player jersey auction. The proceeds, close to $5,000, from this auction went to benefit the Augusta Warrior Project, which is now known as Forces United. The GreenJackets have donated funds from the Military Jerseys dating back to 2014 to Forces United (close to $7,500 in total since the partnership began).
"It is exciting to see SRP Park and our friends at the Augusta GreenJackets nationally recognized for their outstanding support to our military. It comes as no surprise to those of us who serve at Fort Gordon, GA who have been the focus of their support; they have certainly earned this recognition in our eyes. I have never seen such strong community support to the military, and the GreenJackets are emblematic of that relationship with our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. On behalf of the whole Fort Gordon family, I want to thank every member of their club for the world class support and partnership."- Colonel James Clifford, Commander, U.S. Army Garrison.
Service members and veterans were also frequent performers of the National Anthem at SRP Park in the Inaugural Season. The club also hosted many military promotions, farewells, retirements and much more during the Inaugural Season at SRP Park.
The Patriot Award is named in honor of the longtime Florida State League president and U.S. Army veteran who passed away Feb. 21, 2015, at the age of 83. Murphy retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years in the U.S. Army, broke into professional baseball in 1975 and led the Florida State League from 1990 until his passing. He received the Warren Giles Award for outstanding service as a league president in both 2011 and 1991, and the Friends of Baseball Chapel Award in 1994.
About the Augusta GreenJackets:
SRP Park is the anchor piece of Riverside Village, a live, work, "playball" development which includes apartment living, senior living, retail, restaurants, class "A" office space, and a Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. To learn more and for a 360-degree view of SRP Park and Riverside Village, visit www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.