Gold Gloves For Players; Good Times For Front Office


(PR) TRENTON, NJ – Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., today announced the nine Minor League Baseball players who have been chosen as recipients of a Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence at their position. The winners, who were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor Leagues, will each receive their own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defenders. The 2011 Minor League Baseball recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award are as follows: 

Position Name Club(s)/MLB organization
P Craig Westcott San Jose/San Francisco 
C Tucker Barnhardt Dayton/Cincinnati 
1B Efren Navarro Salt Lake/Los Angeles-AL 
2B Steve Lombardozzi Harrisburg, Syracuse/Washington 
SS Darwin Perez Arkansas/Los Angeles-AL
3B Brandon Laird Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/New York-AL
LF Austin Krum Trenton, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/New York-AL
CF Jordan Danks Charlotte/Chicago-AL
RF Cole Gillespie Reno/Arizona 
“Rawlings has celebrated defensive excellence at the professional level since the inaugural Rawlings Gold Glove Award team in 1957,” said Mike Thompson, senior vice president of marketing for Rawlings. “Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we are thrilled to reward the hard work and dedication of these nine superior defensive players with the newly-designed Minor League Baseball Rawlings Gold Glove Award.”
“All of Minor League Baseball would like to congratulate the winners of 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards,” said Pat O’Conner, Minor League Baseball President. “To be honored with such a prestigious award is quite an accomplishment and exemplifies excellence in the field. Minor League Baseball is also pleased to team with Rawlings Sporting Goods to bring back such a great tradition as the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.”  This season marks the return of Rawlings honoring Minor League Baseball players for their defensive prowess. The St. Louis-based company named a Minor League all-star fielding team on the basis of official fielding averages for several years in the 1960s. The accolade was known as the Rawlings Silver Glove Award during this time.


(PR) PORTLAND, MAINE – The Eastern League is pleased to announce that Will Smith, who is the General Manager and C.O.O. of the Trenton Thunder, has been selected as the 2011 Eastern League Executive of the Year.  Smith will be recognized at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas during the Opening Session on Monday, December 5.

Under Will’s guidance the Thunder welcomed a total of 379,501 fans to Waterfront Park this season.  That attendance total was the third highest in the Eastern League this season and it also ranked fifth among all of Double-A.  The team averaged 5,664 fans per game, which was a 4.7% increase over the 2010 season and ranked as the fifth best average among all teams at the Double-A level.  That success at the turnstiles can be attributed in large part to their promotional schedule that included at least one event or giveaway at every home game during the 2011 season in addition to the ever changing and always entertaining in-game promotions at Waterfront Park.  The Thunder are also heavily involved within their community, donating more than $4.2-million to the Greater Trenton Community since 1994 through Trenton Thunder Charities.

“Will has done an outstanding job during his tenure with the Thunder and his selection for this award is well deserved,” said Eastern League President Joseph McEacharn.  “Thanks to the hard work, creativity and dedication of Will and the rest of the staff in Trenton, the Thunder franchise continues to be one of the top organizations in all of Minor League Baseball.”

Smith has been in his current role with the Thunder for the past three seasons, joining the club on the first day of the postseason during Trenton’s 2008 Eastern League Championship run.  The College of New Jersey graduate started his career in Minor League Baseball as a member of the New Haven Ravens after previously working as an engineer.  Will left New Haven to join the Hagerstown Suns and was eventually promoted to the position of General Manager in 2006.

With the presentation of this award the Eastern League would also like to recognize the outstanding job performed by the entire Trenton Thunder staff.


(PR) TRENTON, NJ – The Eastern League of Professional Baseball announced its nominees for the Minor League Baseball postseason awards on Thursday morning with the Thunder’s Patience Purdy getting the nod for the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year award. 

The Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year award is given out annually to one woman who has made an outstanding contribution to her club, league or to baseball.  For this award the Eastern League is pleased to nominate Patience Purdy, the Director of Community Relations for the Trenton Thunder.  In her eighth season as a member of the Trenton organization, Patience is responsible for overseeing all charitable efforts of the Thunder.  Among the many programs that Patience created for the Thunder is the Dog of the Day adoption awareness program, Good Deed Day and a partnership with Habitat for Humanity.  This year Patience was named the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce Business/Sports Person of the Year.

The Eastern League also announced that the New Britain Rock Cats are the EL nominee for the John H. Johnson President’s Award, and the Reading Phillies are nominated for the Larry MacPhail Promotional Award.

Winners of these awards are selected by Minor League Baseball and will be honored at the 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas.

2011 has been an outstanding year for Thunder staff members earning individual reconition for their roles with the club.  As previously announced, Thunder General Manager Will Smith was named Eastern League Executive of the Year and Jay Burnham was named Ballpark Digest’s Broadcaster of the Year.


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