Hartford Yard Goats Recognized as Top Promotional Club in Eastern League
Team Named 2018 Larry MacPhail Award Finalist
Hartford, Conn- The Hartford Yard Goats Baseball Club, the Double-A Eastern League Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, has been informed by the Eastern League that it has been named the Eastern League's top promotional club in 2018 and a finalist for Minor League Baseball's prestigious Larry MacPhail Award. One of Minor League Baseball's top team honors, the Larry MacPhail Award goes to the club that has demonstrated outstanding and creative marketing and promotional effort. The Yard Goats could be the first ever team from the state of Connecticut to win the award and one of 14 league finalists selected from 160 minor league clubs across America.
The Larry MacPhail Award will be presented by Minor League Baseball in December at the 2018 Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada. The award has been presented since 1966 and is named after Hall of Fame executive Larry MacPhail, Sr., considered one of baseball's great innovators.
"Since the opening of Dunkin' Donuts Park, and the inception of the Hartford Yard Goats, we have made great efforts to delight our fans with in-game promotions, on-field promotions, and creative marketing and social media," Yard Goats President Tim Restall said. "We have also gone to great lengths to give back with our community programs and philanthropy. It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Eastern League and Minor League Baseball for these efforts."
The Yard Goats launched several new promotions during the 2018 season. The team introduced the "Goofy Goat Herder" as part of the in-game entertainment experience, a silly man dressed in suspenders riding a fake goat and interacting with the fans. The team also had live goats at all home games. The Yard Goats switched uniforms and played a game as the Whirly Birds on "What if Night," and received national attention when they played as the "Steamed Cheeseburgers" and wore uniforms that looked like a cheeseburger. In support of Connecticut's Latino population and part of Minor League Baseball's inaugural Copa de la Diversion campaign, the Yard Goats played three games as Los Chivos de Hartford with specially designed uniforms. The Yard Goats wore hockey style uniforms to pay tribute to the former NHL Franchise, the Harford Whalers, on "Whalers Alumni Weekend, which also included the return of many former Whalers players for an autograph session.
Entertainment acts such as The Human Cannonball and ZOOperstars, combined with Fireworks on Fridays and Saturdays, Kids Run the Bases, and several premium giveaways were part of the promotional schedule. Fans were also treated to many theme nights such as Strike Out Cancer, Pink in the Park, You Can Play, Military Appreciation, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Princess and Pirates. The Yard Goats introduced Goat Yoga at Dunkin' Donuts Park and supported the promotion with a Goat Yoga bobblehead giveaway. Fans also got to select from some of the new extreme foods available at the concession stands such as the "Dunkin' Dog" and "DDBLT."
In addition to the promotions, the Yard Goats have also focused on increasing outreach by developing unique community programs such as the Young Ambassadors Program, Youth Performing Arts Program, and the Culinary Arts Program. The Yard Goats opened the "Aetna Community Center" at Dunkin' Donuts Park as a home base for these programs, which allow several high school students to receive leadership training, and to be educated on a variety of topics including personal branding, money management, good study habits, college readiness, performing on stage, and cooking.
The Yard Goats 2019 home opener will be on Thursday, April 11th at 7:05 PM against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford. The Yard Goats start next season on April 4th in Richmond, Virginia and have a week long road trip before the home opener on April 11th.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.