Hartford Yard Goats Recognized for Two Major Awards by Eastern League
Named Top Community and Promotional Club and Finalist for National Award from Minor League Baseball
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 "Community Service Club" in 2019, and best "Promotional Club" for the second straight year. The Yard Goats are a finalist for two major awards from Minor League Baseball, the prestigious John Henry Moss and Larry MacPhail Awards. The John Henry Moss Award is given to the club which demonstrates an outstanding, on-going commitment to charitable service, support and leadership, and 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 awards, and are one of 14 league finalists selected from 160 minor league clubs across America. The John Henry Moss Award and the Larry MacPhail Award will be presented by Minor League Baseball in December at the 2019 Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego, California. The John Henry Moss Award is named after the key contributor to the development of Minor League Baseball, by stressing the importance of providing quality, wholesome, family-friendly entertainment at an affordable price. The Larry MacPhail Award is named after the Hall of Fame executive, considered one of baseball's great innovators.
"Since 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, along with making a difference in the community," Yard Goats President Tim Restall said. "It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Eastern League and Minor League Baseball for these efforts."
In addition to the several fan-friendly promotions, the Yard Goats have also focused on increasing outreach by continuing unique community programs such as the Young Ambassadors Program, Youth Performing Arts Program, Youth Culinary Arts Program, Fitness, Program, and Dance Team. The Yard Goats have 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. When the program concludes, a dinner is held with a graduation ceremony at the ballpark for the students and their families.
The Yard Goats continued their mission that Dunkin' Donuts Park is "Everyone's Ballpark," and announced they would no longer sell peanuts at the games in order to make the ballpark accessible to fans that suffer from nut related allergies. This decision and announcement garnered so much attention it was on the front page of USA Today, and was the topic of conversation on TV and radio, as the Yard Goats became the first club in Minor League Baseball to become completely peanut-free. The "Peanut-Free" initiative allowed hundreds of children to attend a professional baseball game for the first time in 2019.
The 2019 Season featured promotions that entertained fans, and tugged at the heart strings. Fireworks after Friday and Saturday games have become a tradition at Dunkin' Donuts Park. Traveling entertainment acts such as the popular ZOOperstars! and BirdZerk! also made appearances. The Yard Goats had several new giveaways for fans such as baseball caps, socks, beach towel, pop socket, baseball card set, 2020 calendar, mini hockey stick, snow globe, and Los Chivos goat bobblehead.
The Yard Goats played a game as The Hartford River Hogs for "What If" night, dressed the players as cheeseburgers on "Steamed Cheeseburgers Night," left no fan behind with two "Pride Nights", and celebrated the Hartford Whalers former NHL franchise with "Whalers Alumni Weekend" presented by UConn Health, where many former players returned to Connecticut to meet with fans. In support of Connecticut's Latino population and part of Minor League Baseball's inaugural Copa de la Diversion campaign, the Yard Goats played four games as Los Chivos de Hartford with specially designed uniforms.
The Yard Goats salute our veterans each game with "Military Family of the Game" and "Hero Among Us" presentations, and this season dedicated a single seat each game in honor of POW and MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing in Action). The team honored cancer survivors, created memories for sick children, and engrained the Yard Goats Organization in the community in a way that is authentic, meaningful, and lasting.
The Yard Goats open the 2020 season on April 9th (7:10 PM) against the Red Sox affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs. Yard Goats season tickets are available by calling 860-246-GOAT (4628), or in person by visiting the Click It or Ticket Box Office at Dunkin' Donuts Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.