Prospect League Announces Inaugural Awards
MAHOMET, Ill. – The Prospect League is proud to announce the inaugural Prospect League Awards to recognize the best of the Prospect League off the playing field during the 2023 season.
The awards have been founded in conjunction with the Prospect League Fan Awards, announced in August, to recognize Prospect League organizations for the hard work put in each season. This version of the inaugural awards grants one vote to each Prospect League team for six awards: Social Media of the Year, Broadcaster of the Year, Ballpark Experience of the Year, PLTV Broadcast of the Year, Executive of the Year, and Organization of the Year.
The six awards will be individually announced on the Prospect League social media channels over the next month, culminating in the announcement of the Executive of the Year Award and Organization of the Year Award. Following the announcement of each award, a write-up of each recipient can be found below.
SOCIAL MEDIA OF THE YEAR
Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp
The Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp have been awarded 2023 Prospect League Social Media of the Year by league-wide vote. The Pistol Shrimp crafted an exceptional social media presence across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube during the 2023 season. Pistol Shrimp social media highlights included high-level game-day Instagram stories, weekly mic'd up player features, the Shrimply Good Podcast, daily player and fan photos, highlight packages, gameday and theme night graphics, and more! The Pistol Shrimp drew a social media audience of over 1.1M impressions over the past year including 8.1K followers on Facebook and over 2K followers on Twitter and Instagram.
BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR
Jacob Wise - Chillicothe Paints
"A professional, through and through," Jacob Wise of the Chillicothe Paints has been awarded 2023 Prospect League Broadcaster of the Year by league-wide vote. The Director of Media and Broadcasting and play-by-play voice of the Chillicothe Paints, Wise just completed his 8th season with the Paints and his 14th summer broadcasting baseball. Fitted with some of the best broadcast technology you will find on a Prospect League broadcast, Wise is the solo broadcaster for every Chillicothe Paints game on Prospect League TV and Cash FM 100.9 WXIZ, the flagship radio station of the Paints. The broadcast veteran has had historic success in the Prospect League booth, Wise has been on the call for three of the last four Prospect League Championship Series, watching the Paints capture three titles including this past season.
BALLPARK EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR
The Thrillville Thrillbillies have been awarded 2023 Prospect League Ball Park Experience of the Year by league-wide vote. The Thrillbillies in their inaugural season created an experience for fans like no other at gorgeous Marion Stadium. Fans were captivated by interactive concourse experiences, inciting giveaways, competitive on-field activities, live interviews, a state-of-the-art video board and stadium sounds, and exciting theme nights including 80's Night, Kids Run The Ballpark, and the Tighty Bowl. The Thrillbillies finished second in the league in total attendance (63,070) and average attendance (2,336).
PLTV BROADCAST OF THE YEAR
The Jackson Rockabillys have been awarded 2023 Prospect League Broadcast of the Year by league-wide vote. The Rockabillys partnered with Worthy Road Studios' Ballgame Blitz Sports Network to broadcast all home games on Prospect League TV this past season. In the inaugural year of Rockabillys' baseball on PLTV, the Rockabillys put out a stellar product led by the Worthy Road Studios' team including the most cameras featured on a Prospect League Broadcast, state-of-the-art broadcast graphics, HD visuals, instant replays, picture-in-picture displays, and so much more! For all their hard-word the Rockabillys finished the 2023 season with one of the most watched broadcasts in the league including the second-most watched game in PLTV history on June 20th against the Bees.
EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
Jamie Toole - Springfield Lucky Horseshoes
Jamie Toole of the Springfield Lucky Horseshoes has been awarded 2023 Prospect League Executive of the Year by league-wide vote. The Lucky Horseshoes' Owner, Director, and Chief Storyteller led the 'Shoes to massive success on and off the field in 2023. On the field, the 'Shoes qualified for the playoffs for the second straight season and won the Wabash River Division Title, both for the first time in team history. Off the field, the 'Shoes continued to lead the competition with creative events including the Summer Ball Summit, 'ShoetoberFest, the Legends Classic, and the Cheese Ball. Springfield also watched another record attendance growth with over 49K fans attending games at Robin Roberts Stadium in 2023, over 10K more than in 2022, and over 20K more than in 2021.
ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR
"The standard on and off the field," the Clinton LumberKings have been awarded 2023 Prospect League Organization of the Year by league-wide vote. The 2023 league leader in attendance with 80,904 fans dominated the competition off the field. The over 80K fans at NelsonCorp Field in 2023 was the 13th-highest attendance mark in all of summer collegiate baseball and included five games of over 5,000 fans. On the field, the LumberKings claimed a first-half division title and their second playoff appearance in three seasons. The LumberKings also had two players drafted during the 2023 Major League Baseball Amateur Player Draft as 2021 LumberKing Jay Beashears went in the 6th Round and 2023 LumberKing Jared Simpson went in the 8th round.