The West Michigan Whitecaps were presented with three awards Monday at the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego.
The team received a Minor League Baseball Presidential Citation, a special award presented by MiLB President and CEO Pat O’Conner to recognize exemplary service on behalf of Minor League Baseball. The Whitecaps earned the award for their successful efforts to get their ballpark rebuilt in time for their scheduled 2014 home opener after a January 3 fire damaged approximately 40 percent of the facility.
Whitecaps Vice President of Sales Steve McCarthy was honored as the 2014 Midwest League Executive of the Year (as I wrote about here in September). The award is presented to an individual who had a successful season in the areas of leadership, attendance accomplishments, marketing initiatives, promotions, stadium projects/enhancements, game day and non-game day events, community/charity involvement and overall baseball operations.
The Whitecaps also won Baseball America’s Bob Frietas Award (Class A division), which is presented to the organization with the best overall operation. This is the second time the Whitecaps won the award since it first was given out in 1989 — they also won in 1998 — making them the first Midwest League team to be a repeat winner. (One other Class A team has won twice — the California League’s San Jose Giants in 1990 and 2009.)