After winning their second Northwest League title since returning as a Cubs affiliate in 2015, the Eugene Emeralds won another award they received the Larry MacPhail Award, given to the top team in all of Minor League Baseball for their promotional efforts.
The Ems had been nominated for this award in each of the last seven seasons, but this is their first win. In fact, it’s the first time that any team from the Northwest League has won this award, which teams from all levels of the minors compete for. They are only the sixth team from short-season ball to win the award in its 50 year history.
Team general manager Allan Benevides said of the news:
We are so honored to be the first Northwest League team to win this award, as this league has some of the best operators and owners in all of Minor League Baseball, and after being nominated for several years, to finally win the award is just tremendous, Our staff works tirelessly year-round to keep our brand top of mind and our fun, and sometimes experimental, promotions would not be possible without all the fun and creative colleagues we have in this industry whom we continue to learn from each and every year.
The Emeralds participated in 2018’s Copa de la Diversion, minor league baseball’s program to expand Hispanic outreach by rebranding the team for certain games. The Emeralds were Las Monarcas de Eugene on these days with some very sweet looking butterfly caps. They also had promotions such as Grateful Dead Weekend, Ugly Christmas Sweater Night, Animal House Anniversary Night, Arm Wrestling Night and Ghostbusters Night. This doesn’t even include the stand-bys that almost every team does like Star Wars Night, Princess Night and patriotic themes around the Fourth of July.
The team will receive the award on December 9 during the Winter Meetings.
So congratulations to the Emeralds and their front office for making a memorable experience for the fans. Here’s hoping that the future for the Cubs and the Emeralds in Eugene is as bright as it has always been.