PRESS RELEASE – The Modesto Nuts Professional Baseball Club, the Class A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, was named the California League’s Organization of the Year for the 2nd consecutive year, California League President Charlie Blaney announced today. The Nuts were selected by the California League’s owners and general managers in a league-wide vote.
The Modesto Nuts set a franchise attendance record for the 5th consecutive season as 180,785 fans passed through the turnstile at John Thurman Field during the 2011 regular season. The record included a franchise-best 13 sellouts. The All-Star game sellout of 5,082 fans is not included in the overall attendance record. The season included four of the top eight highest attended games in franchise history (2nd, 3rd, 6th and 8th).
“The Modesto Nuts are proud to accept the California League’s Organization of the Year for the second consecutive season,” said Nuts Vice President and General Manager Mike Gorrasi. “The 2011 season will be remembered as one of the best in franchise history. In addition to an outstanding regular season on the field and at the box office, we were very proud to highlight the Modesto community during the All-Star Smash.”
The All-Star Smash was universally praised as a memorable event for everyone involved. The two-day affair included a classic car parade and Fan Fest in downtown Modesto, an All-Star Luncheon with Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, an inspirational pre-game exhibition by the Miracle League of Stanislaus County and the California League’s 6-1 victory over the Carolina League.
In addition to the Organization of the Year designation, Gorrasi was named the California League’s Executive of the Year for the 2nd consecutive season. Gorrasi has completed his 11th season in Modesto. He joined the Modesto staff following the 2000 season and was named general manager in January 2004. He assumed his current title prior to the 2008 season.
“It’s always special to be selected by your peers for an award like this,” said Gorrasi. “I share this award with the best front office in minor league baseball, the best ownership group in all of minor league sports and our outstanding Major League affiliate Colorado Rockies.”
HWS Baseball, owners of the Modesto Nuts, own and operate the AA Southern League Mobile BayBears, Short Season-A NY-Penn League Mahoning Valley Scrappers and Coastal Plain Summer Collegiate Columbia Blowfish. Mike Savit is the managing partner while Bill Shanahan serves as President of HWS Baseball. HWS Baseball purchased the Modesto Nuts prior to the 2006 season. The Nuts have had increasing attendance and total revenue in every season since the purchase.