PRESS RELEASE – The Potomac Nationals are proud to announce Vice President/General Manager, Josh Olerud has been named the recipient of the 2013 Calvin Falwell Executive of the Year Award. Voting was conducted by league general managers, club owners, field managers, and the Carolina League president.
“This is a tremendous honor,” said Olerud. “With all the great people we have in the Carolina League, it is very humbling to be recognized. This is a team effort and it is truly the dedication of our ownership group, great front office staff, and first-class game-day team that makes this recognition possible.”
Olerud finished his 10th season in professional baseball in 2013 after eight years as General Manager of the Rockford RiverHawks of the Frontier League and following completion of his third season leading the Potomac Nationals. Originally hailing from Bloomington, MN, he graduated with a degree in Sports Management with an emphasis in Marketing at Minnesota State University at Mankato. Olerud was the most recent recipient of the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago’s Minor League Executive of the Year in 2012.
Olerud oversaw a 2013 Potomac Nationals campaign that shattered the single-season franchise record for overall attendance at Pfitzner Stadium (236,772). This was the highest attendance mark in a single Nationals’ season since 220,145 fans flocked to The Pfitz in 1998. (Prince William Cannons-St. Louis Cardinals). Olerud presided over eight sellouts at The Pfitz during the 2013 campaign and average per game attendance was 3,534 fans. In addition, the P-Nats’ patriarch led a 2013 front office team that unveiled a record number of fireworks shows, premium giveaways, and celebrity appearances which made up a truly landmark 36th season in franchise history which culminated with a Mills Cup Championship Series berth.
On Olerud’s commendation, Potomac Nationals Chairman and CEO, Art Silber said, “We are delighted that the Carolina League has chosen our Vice President and General Manger, Josh Olerud as the Carolina League Executive of the Year to recognize the extraordinary job he has done for the Potomac Nationals. This past season was a record setting year for our ball club, with high marks set in attendance, game revenue, and sponsorship revenue. Josh’s interaction with fans, sponsors, players, and staff has afforded the club the opportunity to reach new heights. I congratulate him and know that this is only the beginning of what is to come for the Potomac Nationals franchise.”
Amidst a blockbuster 2013 season which featured a record tally of sponsorship revenue, Olerud also remained focused on the mission of keeping the Potomac Nationals connected with their local community in Northern Virginia. The Potomac Nationals raised over $100,000 in 2013 across all of their fundraising branches using the following conduits: the P-Nats’ annual hot stove banquet and sports memorabilia auction to benefit S.P.A.R.K. (Supporting Partnerships and Resources for Kids) of Prince William County, Uncle Slam’s Reading Program, a trio of community nights, featured non-profit organization nights, a slew of commemorative jersey auctions with proceeds dedicated to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, Autism Speaks, and nearby Osbourn Park High School. Also featured as part of this community initiative was the annual Nationals golf tournament in conjunction with SYA Baseball, a pair of Military Appreciation Nights in partnership with Homes for Heroes, Hope For The Warriors, and the USO; the Guns vs. Hoses annual charity softball classic, and a milestone “Hire-A-Vet” program to usher in the hiring of military veterans interested in a career within the Minor League Baseball landscape.
Under the direction of Olerud, the Potomac Nationals also ran a silent sports auction at The Pfitz to directly assist the victims of the tornadoes that hit the state of Oklahoma back in May thanks to a partnership with the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund.
“Josh is great choice for this award,” said Carolina League President, John Hopkins. “During his time at Potomac, the operation has been growing and improving in every respect. It’s a well deserved honor.”
During the 2013 season, which featured a franchise record 84 wins and the best winning percentage in club history (.604), Olerud laid out the P-Nats’ red carpet for a slew of Major League rehabilitation stars from the Washington Nationals including, LHP Ross Detwiler, RHP Christian Garcia, LF Bryce Harper, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, C Wilson Ramos, RF Jayson Werth, and 3B Ryan Zimmerman to Pfitzner Stadium. Notably, Harper’s first contest as a Potomac National on June 25th garnered a capacity crowd of 8,495 fans.
As a compliment to the promotional efforts of Olerud and his team to energize the P-Nats’ fan base and proliferate the mission of hosting the most fan-friendly atmosphere possible, the Potomac club used this potent home field advantage on the field to turn in the best 2013 home record in the Carolina League at (47-23).
The Carolina League’s Calvin Falwell Executive of the Year Award was named in 2006 for the man who had been president of the Lynchburg club since that city joined the league in 1966. Falwell served the league as an officer, director, and representative to Minor League Baseball’s Board of Trustees. Falwell passed away at age 90 on August 20th, 2011.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2014 season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 season and beyond are available. Plan your corporate outing now for the 2014 season to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at http://www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more information!