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Sod Poodles Named 2019 Texas League Organization of the Year

October 4, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Amarillo Sod Poodles News Release

Amarillo Sod Poodles celebrate the 2019 Texas League title
Amarillo Sod Poodles celebrate the 2019 Texas League title
(Amarillo Sod Poodles, Credit: John Moore)

FORT WORTH, Tex. - The Texas League of Professional Baseball Clubs announced today the Amarillo Sod Poodles as its 2019 Organization of the Year. The award recognizes a franchise for its successful operation and is determined by a vote from team directors throughout the league.

"The Texas League is proud to have chosen the Amarillo Sod Poodles as our 2019 Organization of the Year," said Texas League President Tim Purpura. "The Sod Poodles excelled and exceeded so many expectations this year both on and off the field, especially with a Championship in their inaugural season. Their staff created a second-to-none environment for their fans at HODGETOWN, and the support and attendance from the community in their first season proved that Amarillo was a perfect fit for Minor League Baseball."

"This award speaks to the leadership of our ownership, Elmore Sports Group, our incredible staff, tremendous corporate community, the City of Amarillo, San Diego Padres, and the best fans in baseball!" said Sod Poodles President and General Manager Tony Ensor. "It's been a long and rewarding journey as we all witnessed the positive impact this team and ballpark has had and will continue to have on our Amarillo community and the Texas panhandle! We want to thank our Texas League colleagues for recognizing us with this honor."

HODGETOWN drew 40 total sellouts, including 23 consecutive, throughout the 2019 campaign, averaging over 6,200 fans per game. Combined with playoffs, the team welcomed nearly 450,000 fans through the gates in a market size of 200,000 people, which finished 21st in all Minor League Baseball and second among Double-A affiliates.

The team also received multiple honors including being voted as the Best Minor League Team Name (MLB Fox Sports) and Best Double-A Ballpark (Ballpark Digest), and chosen by league peers for Best Visiting Clubhouse, Umpire Clubhouse, and Best Visiting Team Hotel (Home2 Suites by Hilton).

Led by Texas League Manager of the Year Phillip Wellman, the Sod Poodles finished with a league's fourth-best 72 wins and a first-half South Division clinch which led to their first-ever Texas League Championship as a franchise and first Amarillo championship since the 1976 Amarillo Gold Sox. The team boasted 11 Major League call-ups, eight mid-season All-Stars, four post-season All-Stars, seven league weekly award winners, three of baseball's top 100 prospects, and the Texas League batting champion Ivan Castillo (.313 BA).

The organization featured multiple memorable events for the community throughout the home season including Star Wars and other various themed nights, an appearance by the World Famous (San Diego) Chicken, nightly charitable activities and promotions, 18 fireworks shows, over 20 gate giveaways, and the first postseason experience in decades with the #BringTheRUCKUS rally towel campaign.

The Sod Poodles will be officially presented with the Organization of the Year Award in December at this year's Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Images from this story

Amarillo Sod Poodles celebrate the 2019 Texas League title
Amarillo Sod Poodles celebrate the 2019 Texas League title

(John Moore)

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