During the great Maritime Park debate, the naysayers called the Mobile Baybears a failure. They said the team would never permit Pensacola to have an affiliated team. They said a lot of things, much of it untrue.
Here’s the latest naysayer mythbuster:
Baseball America announced today that of the 160 plus Minor League Affiliated Teams across the Nation, the winner of the 2011 Minor League Team of the Year are the Mobile BayBears of the Southern League (AA Affiliate Arizona Diamondbacks).
“The Mobile BayBears in 2011 notched several impressive achievements in 2011. In addition to their Southern League championship and the best record in the league, the BayBears featured an amazing number of the Diamondbacks top prospects, several of whom contributed to the major league team’s NL West championship. We are pleased to recognize the Mobile BayBears as the 2011 Minor League Team of the Year award winner in minor league baseball,” said Lee Folger, President/Publisher of Baseball America.
“It’s just really a great honor,” BayBears manager Turner Ward said. “This is truly an organizational award. From the scouting department all the way to the minor league instructors, it just speaks well of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Mobile BayBears and the city of Mobile.”
“As an organization, we are honored to win this award given to the top minor league team in the nation,” BayBears President/COO Bill Shanahan said. “There are more than 160 teams in minor league baseball and for the BayBears to win this year, is a great achievement for the city of Mobile, the Mobile Bay Area, and all the fans of the Mobile BayBears. Our parent club, the Arizona Diamondbacks, are to be commended for the talent they were able to put on the field this season, not only here in Mobile, but in Arizona as well. We are thankful to have such a great partnership with a Major League franchise such as the Diamondbacks. Also a big thanks to Baseball America for their recognition.”
“It really speaks to the effort and hard work Turner, his staff and the players put in each and every day to have won the 2011 Southern League Championship.”
The majority of the 2011 Baseball America Awards winners are announced in the Baseball America end of year special Awards issue, cover date December 12th. The special Awards issue mails this week to subscribers and will appear on newsstands soon. The 2011 Minor League Team of the Year winner story will be released on the Baseball America website, www.BaseballAmerica.com