The Pioneer League has nomated the Grand Junction Rockies for the John H. Johnson President's Award, which is used to honor a complete baseball franchise that has demonstrated franchise stability while making significant contributions to its community, its league, and to the baseball industry.
The Grand Junction Rockies have continued to build on a strong presence in the city of Grand Junction and surrounding towns of the western slope and have made giving back to their community a top priority. In 2017 alone, the Grand Junction Rockies raised more that $100,000 in donations and gifts in kind and have appeared in the community with our mascot Corky over 100 times this year. A few highlights are three jersey nights that were held during the 2017 season. The first was a red, white, and blue patriotic jersey in partnership with Taco Bell. This jersey was worn every Sunday during the 2017 season and we honored a local hero with one of these commerorative jerseys each Sunday before the game. On the last day of the season, these jerseys were then auctioned off with the proceeds going to help build a Boys And Girls Club in Grand Junction. The other two jersey nights were a partnership with Donor Alliance used to build a higher awareness to Donate Life on the western slope of Colorado and the other one through one of our founding partners, Community Hospital, and Grand Valley Oncology for cancer research. For the second year in a row, the Grand Junction Rockies staff and players have participated in the Kids Aid backpack program by delivering backpacks of food to school age children each Friday during the summer. There are 2,000+ school age kids in Mesa COunty who would go hungry on the weekends without this program. As part of Kids Aid Fridays, the GJ Rockies staff and players also held two baseball clinics as part of Colorado's Activating Places & Spaces and provided school age kids with baseball bats and balls so they can continue to be active.
In 2017, the Grand Junction Rockies saw an increase in attendance for the second straight year.
The Grand Junction Rockies led all Rookie teams in social media followers expanding our reach and accessibility. This was a focus for 2017 because of the ease of accessibility to the Internet being at nearly everyon's hands and the wide fan demographic we are continuing to build on the western slope of Colorado.
The Grand Junction Rockies installed a state-of-the-art video board before the 2017 season at Suplizio Field. This was all self-funded between the Grand Junction Rockies and two great community partners: the Junior College World Series and Colorado Mesa University.
During the 2017 season, all 38 Grand Junction Rockies home games were televised live on locat TV station KGJT-TV. These games were produced through partnership with Colorado Mesa University and CMU-TV, CMU's mass communication department. Having all of our games televised live on local TV provides Rockies fans another great amenity to see their favorite team play even if they can't make it out to the ballpark.
Each Monday during the 2017 season, a Grand Junction Rockies game was cut down and made into the GJ Rox Double Play, which was aired regionally on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain/ROOT SPORTS. This show was produced by CMU-TV. This regional broadcast was shown in nine different states including all of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah and parts of New Mexico, Nevada, Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. This broadcast along with our local live broadcast has helped us build our GJ brand on the western slope of Colorado and beyond.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.