RubberDucks Win Larry MacPhail Award

Akron Rubber Ducks Duck Foot SecondaryPRESS RELEASE – Minor League Baseball announced today that the Akron RubberDucks are the recipients of the 50th annual Larry MacPhail Award, symbolizing the top promotional effort in Minor League Baseball. The award has been presented since 1966 and is named after Hall of Famer Leland Stanford “Larry” MacPhail, Sr., who introduced innovations such as night baseball, airplane travel, pension plans and batting helmets. The Akron RubberDucks will receive their award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Akron RubberDucks Win MacPhail Award

Using innovative promotions and theme nights to attract and engage fans, the Akron RubberDucks welcomed 340,916 fans through the gates of Canal Park during the 2015 season. The RubberDucks used a variety of theme nights, in-game promotions and giveaways, specialty foods and fireworks shows to average more than 5,000 fans per game.

“On behalf of the RubberDucks organization, we are ecstatic to be recognized as the top promotional team in all of Minor League Baseball,” said Jim Pfander, Akron RubberDucks general manager. “It is a tremendous honor to receive this prestigious award that is so well-known throughout Minor League Baseball. The credit belongs to our owner, Ken Babby, with his vision of creating an unparalleled fan experience for affordable, family entertainment in Northeast Ohio, as well as the entire front office staff in Akron. Our staff’s tireless efforts to bring Canal Park to life not only during 71 home games, but throughout the calendar year, are second to none.”

“The RubberDucks promotions are unique in that they not only increase attendance at Canal Park, but benefit the Akron community as well,” said President & CEO of Minor League Baseball, Pat O’Conner. “Their promotions are innovative and entertaining, and are in large part the reason they won this award. Congratulations to the Akron RubberDucks, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I commend them on an outstanding season.”

In addition to a strong promotional calendar, the Akron RubberDucks announced FirstEnergy as the first-ever presenting sponsor in franchise history. The sponsorship included many activation pieces and a co-branded logo. The co-branded logo was featured on the sleeves of staff shirts and the 2015 starting lineups were “powered by FirstEnergy.” The July 3 fireworks show was the largest activation piece of the sponsorship, drawing 8,258 fans.

“We are thrilled to bring this award to Akron for the first time and for a sixth time overall for the Eastern League in the 50-year history of this award,” added Pfander. “Larry MacPhail was an incredible innovator who cared deeply about promoting baseball and making games incredible experiences for fans of all ages. To be associated with an award that bears his name is itself an honor.”


1966 Spartanburg, Western Carolinas

1967 Rochester, International

1968 Cocoa, Florida State

1969 Hawaii, Pacific Coast

1970 Wichita, A.A./Hawaii, PCL (Tie)

1971 Oklahoma City, American Association

1972 San Antonio, Texas

1973 Tucson, Pacific Coast

1974 West Palm Beach, Florida State

1975 Tacoma, Pacific Coast

1976 El Paso, Texas/Cedar Rapids, Midwest (Tie)

1977 Columbus, OH, International

1978 Nashville, Southern

1979 Columbus, OH, International

1980 Nashville, Southern

1981 Nashville, Southern

1982 El Paso, Texas

1983 Arkansas, Texas

1984 Columbus, OH, INT/Billings, Pioneer (Tie)

1985 Richmond, International

1986 Iowa, American Association

1987 Albuquerque, Pacific Coast

1988 Birmingham, Southern

1989 Buffalo, American Association

1990 Richmond, International

1991 Salt Lake City, Pioneer

1992 Ft. Myers, Florida State

1993 El Paso, Texas

1994 Reading, Eastern

1995 Kane County, Midwest

1996 Wilmington, Carolina

1997 Rochester, International

1998 Charleston (SC), South Atlantic

1999 Reading, Eastern

2000 Lowell, New York-Penn

2001 Tennessee, Southern

2002 Lakewood, South Atlantic

2003 Trenton, Eastern

2004 Altoona, Eastern

2005 Brevard County, Florida State

2006 Round Rock, Pacific Coast

2007 West Michigan, Midwest

2008 Ogden, Pioneer

2009 Chattanooga, Southern

2010 New Hampshire, Eastern

2011 Lake Elsinore, California

2012 Wisconsin, Midwest

2013 Charleston, South Atlantic

2014 San Jose, California

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Filed under Awards & Recognition, Fun & Atmosphere, Promotions & Entertainment

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