For the third time in five years, the Tulsa Drillers franchise has been named the Organization of the Year by the Texas League. The Drillers also received the honor after the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The award is presented annually to recognize a franchise for its successful operation, and this year's winner was determined by a vote from the directors of all the league's teams.
"This award is presented to our staff, but it is really a recognition for all of our great Drillers fans and corporate partners who support our team so passionately," said Drillers President Mike Melega.
The 2017 season featured 11 home sellouts and was one of the most successful in the history of the Drillers franchise. Total paid attendance for Drillers regular season and playoff games at ONEOK Field totaled 393,631, the fourth-highest total in the history of professional baseball in the city of Tulsa.
The Drillers attendance numbers also included the largest crowd for a playoff game in Tulsa in nearly 70 years when over 6,000 fans attended Game 3 of the Texas League Championship Series.
Overall, regular season attendance in Tulsa was the fifth highest among all Double A teams and ranked 29th out of all 160 affiliated Minor League Baseball franchises that operate in the United States and Canada.
"We are very fortunate to have a great front office staff who works tirelessly to make Tulsa Drillers Baseball a success," said Melega. "But, just as important to any successes that we have is our game-day staff. Many of our part-time employees have been with us for many years, and that experience and dedication continue to ensure that a trip to ONEOK Field is a fun and memorable experience."
On the field, the Drillers 2017 season featured a record breaking 15-game, home winning streak and a franchise record 168 home runs. The Drillers came within one victory of winning their first Texas League Championship since 1998, losing 1-0 to Midland in the final game of the championship series.
"An exciting team on the field played a big role in our successful year," added Melega. "Manager Scott Hennessey and his squad provided a great deal of excitement over the final month of the regular season and postseason. We are grateful to our major league affiliate, the Los Angeles Dodgers, for sending us such a fun and talented squad."
In addition, the Drillers won the "2017 Golden Bobble Head Award" for their Usher Base Race promotion that was featured in the second-half of the season. The Golden Bobble Head is presented annually to recognize the best, new on-field promotion in Minor League Baseball.
And last week, the organization received the 2017 Crystal Awards Family Owned Business of the Year from the Tulsa Small Business Connection, a division of the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
The Drillers will be officially presented with the Organization of the Year Award in December at baseball's annual Winter Meetings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.