Awards & Offseason Potpourri

It’s been exactly one month since the 2012 regular season came to a close, and over three weeks since the ‘Cats lost in the final game of the NYPL championship series to the Hudson Valley Renegades.

There were many great moments throughout the season. One of them occurred on the road in Brooklyn when ‘Cats MVP first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki came through in the clutch during the top of the 11th inning. Wierzbicki belted a two-run go-ahead homer to give the ‘Cats the victory.

There was something else very significant about that homer. It completed the cycle for Wierzbicki, becoming the first in ValleyCats history to accomplish that feat.

That game has been nominated for Game of the Year by MiLB.com’s MiLBY Awards. Click here to vote now>>

We’ve also learned that Assistant General Manager Matt Callahan has been honored with this year’s  Sam Nader Male Executive/Staff Member of the Year Award by the New York-Penn League. Congratulations Matt!

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“So what do you guys do now?”

It’s a recurring question that all of us in the front office begin to hear at the completion of each season. The last few weeks has been a time to regroup, re-energize and decompress from the daily grind of the season. It’s nice to be back on a regular work schedule.

Our staff is currently working on putting together seasonal reviews known as “POP’s” or “Proof of Performance’s for our 2012 partners. We will meet with them and go over what they liked or may want to change in 2013.

GM Rick Murphy & Assistant GM Matt Callahan spent this past week in Reno, NV for the Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar. It is known as “the stomping grounds for many of the most creative minds.” The three day Seminar allows professionals from all across the sports industry to come together to share and exchange ideas on topics ranging from sales to marketing to stadium operations, amongst many others.

Rick & Matt will bring back plenty of ideas that we will all be able to discuss during our own Strategic Planning meetings next week at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy. During this time our entire front office staff will sit down and discuss finances, food and beverage, community & media relations, stadium operations, marketing strategy, promotions and much more. Each department will report on the successes and shortcomings from this past season, and brainstorm for 2013.

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The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a few weeks ago, ValleyCats representative Chris Dawson presented the Women’s Health Center at Samaritan Hospital with a check for $2,628. That is total amount raised from our pink jersey auction held during our Breast Cancer Awareness Day in July.

(Regina Fendorak, Manager, Women’s Health Center at Samaritan Hospital, Chris Dawson, Tri-City ValleyCats Account Executive)

Meanwhile, improvements to the stadium’s concourse are underway. Although you wouldn’t be able to tell, the stadium is approaching 12 years old. We pride ourselves on having a clean and safe environment for our fans, and these renovations stick with that philosophy.

Crews have removed old concrete from our concourse, which is being replaced with a new level surface.

While improvements are being made, our stadium operations and food & beverage crews have been busy taking down all signage, packing up the kids zone, cleaning the suites, food kiosks and concession stands, and winterizing everything for storage.

SouthPaw’s Den transformed into the offseason lounge.

The Kids Zone is HVCC’s parking lot during the offseason.

The Hudson Valley Community College baseball program has also taken over use of the facility, and is conducting fall tryouts.

Hanging on the bulletin board in the clubhouse:

Media Relations Manager Chris Chenes has been cleaning the press box, and stumbled across a bunch of old Major League Baseball Media Guides.

Stay tuned early next week for photos from the Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar!

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