The Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) have been awarded the prestigious Bob Freitas Award for the Double-A level from Minor League Baseball and Baseball America.The Birmingham Barons (Class AA; Southern League) have been awarded the prestigious Bob Freitas Award for the Double-A level from Minor League Baseball and Baseball America.
The award, named after the longtime Minor League promoter and ambassador who passed away in 1989, is given annually to a team from each of the four baseball classifications: Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A, and Short-season. Clubs are considered based on a sustained display of excellence, including steady attendance, long-term consistency, and contribution to the surrounding community. Teams must also have been in operation for at least five years.
The 2008 award is the first for Birmingham, and the Barons join Carolina (1996), Mobile (2001), and Chattanooga (2002) as Southern League teams to have received the honor since its inception in 1989.
In 2008, the Barons and Regions Park drew 302,979 fans during the regular season, marking the club’s highest singleseason attendance since 2001. Birmingham is the only Double-A program to have drawn over 250,000 fans each year since 1988, which was the team’s first season in its current facility.
“We’ve identified what this community is about, what it values and what its needs are, and we’re doing our best to fill those needs and be the best option for people to come out and enjoy time with their families,” Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson said. “We want to create a positive memory for everybody that comes out here, especially children.”