It’s time once again for the annual Ballpark Digest Awards! Last year saw our inaugural efforts on the awards front, and we were overwhelmed with suggestions and responses from the baseball community.
So we’re back with more awards, more publicity and a higher profile. We’ve expanded the list of awards, and we want to hear from you about who should receive recognition from Ballpark Digest and the baseball community. Here’s a list of the award categories:
- Best New Ballpark: We already know the list of finalists: Arvest Park (Springdale), Coca-Cola Park (Lehigh Valley), Dehler Park (Billings), McNair Field (Forest City), Nationals Park (Washington), Regency Stadium (Southern Maryland), and QuikTrip Park (Grand Prairie).
- Best Ballpark Improvements: This category honors the ballpark improvements that best upgrades the fan experience. We’ll honor the team and the folks who made it happen.
- Executive of the Year: Which owner, president, VP or GM had the most impact on improving the fortunes of their team?
- Organization of the Year: Who made the biggest splash in the baseball world in 2007? It may mean launching a new franchise, opening a new ballpark, or turning things around at a troubled operation.
- Ongoing Excellence: Turnarounds make for great copy, but there’s a lot to be said for the organizations that consistently perform at a high level and have no need for a turnaround. This could be an organization, front office or league.
- Best Broadcaster (radio, TV, web): The right voice for a team is essential. This year’s winner: Paul Edmonds, the voice of the Winnipeg Goldeyes (independent; Northern League).
- Best Radio Campaign: The emphasis will be on radio spots that catch the attention of the listener and help build the team brand.
- Best TV Campaign: The emphasis will be on TV spots that catch the attention of the listener and help build the team brand. Extra points for cleverness.
- Best Ballpark Innovation: What feature is likely to be emulated at ballparks in the future? This could range from a new type of seating arrangement to Thirsty Thursday. Both teams and concessionaires are eligible for this award.
- Best New Uniform: Yes, this brings us into the world of fashion – but there’s nothing like a sharp-dressed player.
- Best New Logo: A great logo extends a team brand and identity while also featuring a coolness quotient. It should also be able to be used in many different situations.
- Best New Hat Design: Fans love cool hats; so do we. This year’s winner: the Casper Ghosts (rookie; Pioneer League).
- Best Marketing Campaign: It’s not enough to throw open the doors and wait for fans to come in: you must work out to reach them. This award focuses on the best marketing campaign – consisting of a slogan and associated radio, TV and possibly billboard spots – to attract attention.
- Best Promotion: It’s one thing to give away a refrigerator magnet, it’s another to give away a refrigerator on magnet night. This award honors the promotion that best grabbed the attention of fans and the media.
- Best New Food Item: Everyone loves to eat at the ballpark! Winner: Fowl Balls from the Sioux Falls Canaries (independent; American Association).
- Editor’s Choice Award: This could be just about anything we think is worth noting. No rules; this is the wild-card category.
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Each year we say goodbye to someone who was a fixture in the baseball world. Last year we presented it to John Henry Moss, who was stepping down after more than five decades in charge of the Carolina League.
That’s quite a list, and we need your help to populate it. While we have some ideas of who should win, we aren’t arrogant enough to think we know everything that happened in baseball the last year.
So we want to hear from you. Know of a team that deserves some recognition? Let us know. Want to promote your own offerings? Let us know. Don’t be shy. All submissions will be strictly confidential, so we want you to push your own stuff. Baseball is full of promoters, and we want to hear from you about what should be recognized. Let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.