STATE COLLEGE – The State College Spikes have been recognized for the franchise’s outstanding 2013 season and longtime contribution to the baseball industry and local community by being named the winner of Baseball America’s prestigious 2013 Bob Freitas Award for the Class-A Short-Season level.
The award was announced in the publication’s most recent issue. The Spikes will be honored as part of Minor League Baseball’s annual awards luncheon on Monday, December 9 at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
The Freitas Awards, named after longtime minor league baseball ambassador Bob Freitas, have been handed out by BA annually since 1989 and recognize franchises that have demonstrated “sustained excellence in the business of minor league baseball.” One franchise from each of MiLB’s four classification levels (AAA, AA, A, Short-A/Rookie) is honored each year.
“Being recognized as the winner of this distinguished Minor League Baseball award is a tremendous honor and a fitting way to conclude what was the most successful season, both on and off the field, in Spikes history,” said Chuck Greenberg, Spikes’ Chairman & Managing Partner. “This recognition is a testament to the outstanding work done by our talented management team and staff and also illustrates the special connection the team has with our loyal fans from the Centre Region and all of Central Pennsylvania.”
2013 was a banner season in the eight-year history of the Spikes, fueled by increased fan excitement, numerous game-night memories, and a new Major League Baseball affiliation with the St. Louis Cardinals that produced the franchise’s all-time best record (48-27, .640 winning percentage), a division title, and a trip to the New York-Penn League Championship Series.
The confluence of fun and memorable ballpark promotions and events with a team that came within one run of a league title helped the Spikes welcome over 142,000 fans to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. That total represented an increase of over 10 percent from the prior season and the franchise’s best overall attendance since 2008.
The 2013 Spikes season also saw many other club metrics strengthen, including nearly a 20 percent increase in gate revenue from 2012, over an 18 percent increase in group outing revenue from last season, and a whopping 58 percent increase in the game-day suite rental category.
“We are both humbled and thrilled to be recognized as a winner of the Baseball America Freitas Award and are excited to share this with our fans, business and community partners, and anyone who has enjoyed the experience of Spikes Baseball since 2006,” said Jason Dambach, Spikes’ Senior Vice President & General Manager. “This is truly a special recognition, and one that is held in very high regard within Minor League Baseball.”