Awards announced for 2022 Appalachian League season
Published 8:22 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Appalachian League announces award winners for Promotional Award, Organization of the Year, League Patriot Award and Executive of the Year.
• Johnson City Doughboys presented with 2022 Promotional Award
The Appalachian League announced that the Johnson City Doughboys are the recipient of the 2022 Promotional Award. The Promotional Award is given to the club that demonstrated outstanding promotional work during the season.
The Doughboys led the Appalachian League in attendance this season by providing affordable family entertainment to the people of Johnson City. The Doughboys promotional schedule included premium giveaways and a variety of theme nights. Johnson City had official characters come out to TVA Credit Union Ballpark for Star Wars Night, Princess Night and 90’s Night. The Doughboys also hosted a Little League Night with a pre-game parade around the infield, a Salute to Heroes Night, a United Way Week of Caring Kickoff Party and a Margaritaville Night with a live post-game Jimmy Buffet tribute band.
• Burlington Sock Puppets named Organization of the Year
The Appalachian League announced today that the Burlington Sock Puppets are the 2022 Organization of the Year. This award is given to the club who exemplifies the standards of the complete baseball franchise, based upon franchise stability, contributions to the league stability, contributions to baseball in the community and promotion of the baseball industry.
Since the reformation of the Appalachian League from a Rookie Level affiliated league to a MLB partnered summer collegiate league in 2021, the Sock Puppets have been the only team to finish in the top three in attendance and increase attendance each year. In 2022, the Sock Puppets eclipsed 50,000 total fans, a feat the club has not accomplished in over a decade.
• Johnson City Dougboys win League Patriot Award
The Appalachian League has announced its award winner for the Patriot Award for the 2022 season. The Patriot Award is awarded to the club that exhibits outstanding support of and engagement with the United States Armed Forces and Veterans, both at the ballpark and in the community.
The Johnson City Doughboys hosted the Spring Honor Flight of the Appalachian Highlands Charity Softball game at TVA Credit Union Ballpark at no charge to help raise funds to send local veterans to Washington D.C. at no cost to them. During the season the Doughboys offered a military discount on tickets at the box office, Salute to Heroes Night, and hosted military branches to visit the ballpark to meet fans. They also allowed the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network to set up a booth on the concourse free of charge so they can meet fans and give out information for their program for military veterans. The Doughboys introduced a new weeknight promotion in 2022, U.S. Army Wednesdays. The U.S. Army recruiting office came out to each Wednesday night home game to interact with fans and promote the U.S. Army.
• Danville Otterbots General Manager Austin Scher named Executive of the Year
The Appalachian League announced that Danville Otterbots General Manager Austin Scher is the Executive of the Year. The award is presented to the executive who has made the most valuable contributions to their club and the league in the estimate of their peers.
Under Scher’s leadership, the Otterbots saw sizable increases in attendance and sales, groundbreaking community programming recognition, and a wide array of inclusivity measures and promotions have been cornerstones of the growth. From 2021 to 2022, the Otterbots have increased average attendance from 990 to 1,202 fans-per-game, a 34% increase. Total contracted sales rose 61%, including a 225% increase in group sales and a 35% increase in corporate partnership sales.