While there’s no guarantee we will make a 2023 Ballpark Digest Award in each category, here are the areas we’re seeking input:
- Broadcaster of the Year Which pro broadcaster consistently calls a great game? An entire body of work will be evaluated in this case, so longtime broadcasters will be considered for accomplishments over their whole careers, rather than just one season.
- Best Renovation What renovations best impacted operations and gave a fresh start to fans and a franchise? Here we are looking at large-scale, coordinated renovations affecting the entire ballpark.
- Best New Logo/Branding What teams overhauled their looks to a positive effect? What team successfully enhanced their image with a new branding?
- Best Promotion Promotions are the heart and soul of professional baseball. What team showed the most imagination in bringing a new promotion to fans? We like to see flair and imagination, as well as effectiveness, when it comes to noteworthy promotions. We want to see something unique, not just the 20th iteration of alt merch.
- Commitment to Charity Successful teams usually have some level of commitment to charity, giving back to their communities. What team or organization should be recognized for their commitment to charity? This can encompass a single event or a series of events.
- Best New Food Item What new ballpark food item made your mouth water?
- Executive of the Year Who is a leading light in the front office, making an impact on the game?
- Team of the Year What team made the biggest mark on the industry in 2023 with improved operations, increased attendance and noticeable buzz–as seem through the lens of ballpark management?
- Continued Excellence It’s one thing to put together a great year; it’s another thing to do it for years. This award is designed for extended excellence.
- Editor’s Choice We use this as a wild-card category; past winners have included MiLB for charity efforts, MLB for a Fort Bragg game and the Cape Cod League for sending a league baseball to space. If there’s something that does not fit in the previous categories, enter it here. We want to recognize the truly noteworthy, not just fill a checklist.
- Ballpark of the Year Because there were so few new ballparks in pro ball this year, we’re opening nominations without a set criteria. It could be a ballpark reaching a milestone, it could be a ballpark making history, it could be a ballpark offering something new and unique. We want to hear from you, so make your best case via email.
We are likely to refine this list further after all the submissions are in—our goal is to recognize accomplishments in the industry, not to ignore them because of some arbitrary restrictions. If appropriate, we may divide this list into MLB and MiLB/indy/summer collegiate divisions.
Our deadline for 2023 Ballpark Digest Awards submissions: September 15.
Awards will be rolled out over a period of months, beginning in September and end before the Winter Meetings. Alas, no awards ceremony: baseball has made it pretty clear we’re not welcome at the Winter Meetings.
Since our first announcement, we’ve been blown away by the number of nominations, most coming from the MLB and MiLB levels. We usually receive 400 or pages of documentation from teams and PR agencies making a pitch for an award, and these presentations are a great help. But you don’t need to create a big presentation to nominate yourself, your team or your friend for an award: All we need is an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). All submissions, of course, will be treated with absolute privacy, so go ahead and push your credentials!