Wilmington, DE- The Wilmington Blue Rocks were honored by the Carolina League this week for the fifth consecutive season with the Matt Minker Community Service Award. The team was selected by a league-wide vote of club executives and owners.
"I could not be more proud of everyone within the Blue Rocks' organization," said managing partner Dave Heller. "I am especially pleased for my partner and friend Clark Minker, since the community service award bears his late father's name. I am delighted for everyone with the Blue Rocks who worked so hard to earn this tremendous team accolade. We take enormous pride in our work helping families within Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, southern Jersey and Maryland's north shore, and this award is a nice recognition of those efforts."
The Minker Award is earned by the Carolina League club which best demonstrates an outstanding, on-going commitment to charitable service, support, and leadership within its community. The award is named after the Blue Rocks' founder, Matt Minker, who owned the club until his death in 2007. Minker, whose construction company built Frawley Stadium, remains the team's honorary president.
The Blue Rocks participated in numerous school programs, charitable endeavors and hospital visits. The team works with area schools to promote academic achievement (DSEA Rocky's Reading Challenge), citizenship (Grotto Pizza Outstanding Student Program) and overall knowledge (Discover Baseball and Education Day). The club also hosts three youth camps each summer, teaching local kids how to play the game of baseball.
The team helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for good causes such as Habitat for Humanity, Fight for the Gold, Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware, Special Olympics Delaware, Food Bank of Delaware and many other charities through partnerships with local businesses such as Chase and Food Lion. Several times during the season, the team's players and mascot also visited local hospitals, brightening the spirits of patients and their families.
"Matt Minker was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Blue Rocks founding and later success," said Blue Rocks director of community affairs Kevin Linton. "It is fitting that this award recognizes his life's work and we are thrilled as an organization to honor his legacy for a fifth consecutive season by earning this recognition."
As the Carolina League's recipient of the Matt Minker Award, the Blue Rocks received the 10-team league's nomination for the John Henry Moss Community Service Award, given out by Minor League Baseball at its annual Winter Meetings, to be held this December in Las Vegas.
The Blue Rocks recently announced a two-year extension of their Player Development Contract to remain the Advanced-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Season seats for the 2019 season will be available on October 18, mini plans go on sale November 1, and groups packages are available for purchase November 8. For more information, please go to BlueRocks.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.