Manchester, NH - The Eastern League of Professional Baseball has nominated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) for Minor League Baseball's highest honor: the John H. Johnson President's Award.
Each season since 1974, the President's Award recognizes a complete baseball franchise that demonstrates organizational stability, while making significant contributions to its community, its league, and to the baseball industry.
The winner of the award is selected by Minor League Baseball, and will be honored at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"This nomination means so much to our organization, and we're incredibly proud to represent the Eastern League," said Fisher Cats President Mike Ramshaw. "I can think of no better way to honor the hard work of our staff, the passionate support of our fans, and the strong connection we have with this community."
In the past year, Fisher Cats Owner Art Solomon has invested over $1 million in ballpark renovations, bringing a rock waterfall, tiered seating pavilion, tiki bar, plaza and live music stage to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
The Fisher Cats have extended their lease with the city of Manchester through 2035 and will continue their player development partnership with the Blue Jays through at least 2020. Aside from Toronto's Spring Training home in Dunedin, FL, the Fisher Cats have established the longest MiLB affiliate partnership in Blue Jays history, and have been a Toronto affiliate since the 2004 inaugural season.
The team's Reading Challenge program, presented by Velcro Companies, was recently commended by the the American Association of School Librarians. The Reading Challenge, which awards two tickets to students who read five books, has reached over 535,000 students in New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts, with over 3 million books read as part of the program.
The Fisher Cats Foundation is proud to be a fabric of the New Hampshire community, providing more than $5.6 million in monetary and in-kind donations to thousands of non-profit organizations in the region since 2006. Through the Granite State Baseball Dinner and Charity Golf Classic, the Fisher Cats are able to support worthy causes like the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Granite State Children's Alliance, and Hope for Recovery New Hampshire, while providing $30,000 in college scholarships each year.
New Hampshire welcomed 319,099 fans to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium during its 15th season, a 12-percent increase from 2017. On August 22, the Fisher Cats greeted their 5 millionth fan with a surprise celebration and $5,000 prize pack, featuring season tickets and ice cream for a year. The Fisher Cats also hosted thousands of fans for several non-baseball events, including a Dueling Piano Performance, Stand-Up Comedy Show, Food Truck Festival, and the official Hippo De Mayo Taco Tour After Party.
On the field, the Fisher Cats rode a perfect 6-0 playoff run to the third Eastern League Championship in franchise history, and generated unprecedented media coverage from ESPN, MLB Network, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and more.
Recent President's Award winners include:
2017: Greenville Drive (Red Sox Class-A)
2016: Fort Wayne Tin Caps (Padres Class-A)
2015: South Bend Cubs (Cubs Class-A)
2014: Durham Bulls (Rays Triple-A)
2013: Vancouver Canadians (Blue Jays Short Season-A)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.