Annual award presented by Baseball America recognizes overall excellence
in minor league operations
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Dodgers have been named the 2018 Triple-A winner of the prestigious Bob Freitas Award, presented by Baseball America. This is the first time the Oklahoma City franchise has been named the award’s recipient since its inception in 1989.
“The Bob Freitas Award is one of the highest achievements a minor league baseball team can receive, and we are honored to have been selected by Baseball America,” said OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes. “This award isn’t possible without the support of our community, our fans and our passionate and creative team members that drive our success.”
The annual award is given to one team in each classification of Minor League Baseball™ – Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A and Short-Season/Rookie – and the criteria is based on community involvement, long-term business success and consistent operational excellence. Its namesake, Bob Freitas, was a legendary minor league baseball operator who also served as an ambassador and promoter of the game.
The award will be formally presented Dec. 10 during the 2018 Baseball Winter Meetings at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
"We try to look at the totality of a minor league operation when picking our honorees,” said Baseball America Executive Editor J.J. Cooper. “The Oklahoma City Dodgers have consistently stood out for the impact they make in their community, the success of their gameday operations and their ability to use their stadium to bring in a wide variety of successful events."
Some of the Oklahoma City Dodgers’ franchise achievements in 2018 include:
- Sellout crowds in 24 of the team’s 69 home openings and a total season attendance of 463,195, marking the team’s second-highest season attendance since 2008. Outside of Triple-A baseball games, the Dodgers hosted an additional 114,201 people at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark during various events throughout the year.
- The highest percentage increase in attendance from 2017 among all 16 Pacific Coast League teams and the fifth-highest percentage increase among the 30 Triple-A teams.
- The formation of the OKC Dodgers Rookie League with Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation, concepted to make youth baseball in the community more accessible to families seeking to engage with the game.
- Participating in Minor League Baseball’s Es Divertido Ser Un Fan® campaign, which led to the formation of the team’s alternate Hispanic/Latino identity, Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City, and being named one of five finalists for the Copa de la Diversión™.
- Continued charitable efforts through the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation, including providing 3,200 tickets through the team’s Family Night Out program, raising $60,000 during the Foundation’s annual Golf Classic – a portion of which supported Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Coat-A-Kid program – and making monetary and in-kind donations to over 240 area organizations with a total value of $205,000.
- The formation of OKC Dodgers Sports Field Services and providing specialized turf management projects to over 150 venues across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas.
- Recruiting and developing a partnership with the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum to relocate its operation within Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
- Televising 15 games on Cox YurView for the first time.
2018 marks the fourth consecutive year the Bob Freitas Award Triple-A winner has been selected from the Pacific Coast League. It’s also the first time since 1995 a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate at any level has won the award.
The Dodgers, along with the three other 2018 Bob Freitas Award winners, are currently featured in the latest edition of Baseball America both in print and online.