Thursday, October 2, 2014

T-Bones awarded league’s “Organization of the Year”

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The American Association announced Wednesday that the Kansas City T-Bones have been selected as the league’s “Organization of the Year” for the 2014 season.

The T-Bones have received the honor, which is awarded by the commissioner’s office, four times since moving to Kansas City prior to the 2003 season.

“It’s our privilege to give Kansas City this award,” said American Association commissioner Miles Wolff. “From (owner) John Ehlert down, the T-Bones have always been a first-class organization, and one of the best-run clubs in our league.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award,” said John Ehlert. “It’s a testament to the hard work that president Adam Ehlert, vice president and general manager Chris Browne, our entire front office staff and baseball staff put into each and every season. Of course, we’re grateful to our wonderful sponsors and fans who make all of this possible.”

The award is coming on the heels of the T-Bones finishing in the top five in average attendance among independent teams for the seventh consecutive season, and in the top 50 among more than 350 teams from the affiliated minor leagues, independent leagues and summer-collegiate leagues. In late July, the club welcomed its 3-millionth fan to CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

On the field in 2014 under manager John Massarelli, who was in his first year with Kansas City, the T-Bones finished 48-52, which was an eight-game improvement from 2013. The team finished in third place in the Central Division, 6 games behind division winner Lincoln. Along the way, reliever Kris Regas set the T-Bones single-season club record for saves with 22, and T.J. Mittelstaedt set a club record by reaching base in all 51 games at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

The T-Bones continue to be active in the community, too. In addition to its popular youth reading program, the club has provided more than $700,000 to various Wyandotte County Parks and Recreation projects through the T-Bones Uncommitted Recreation Fund (TURF), which was created in partnership with the Unified Government when the T-Bones began play in Wyandotte County in 2003.

The T-Bones were awarded the “Organization of the Year” three times while in the Northern League (2004, ’07, ’10). This is the first time they’ve received the award since joining the American Association in 2011.