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Canadians Collect More Awards

I’m not really certain how 2013 could have gotten any better for the Vancouver Canadians, however, after a season full of accolades, minor league baseball had one more in store.

If you were owners Jake Kerr, Jeff Mooney, and Andy Dunn what would have been your pre-season bucket list? Mother nature give us a summer with minimal rain? Check. There were a few late starts due to the wet stuff, but no games were postponed and most were played, and enjoyed, in glorious sunshine.

Set a single season attendance record for the fifth straight year? Check. 184,042 fans enjoyed what the Nat had to offer this summer, with 23 of 38 home dates (or 61%) sold out.

Have a team that gives the C’s a chance to win their third straight Northwest League title. Check. This was the hairiest one of all, as some pretty poor play in August seemingly had Vancouver treading water.

Everett did them a huge favour though, surging to the second half North division title, meaning the Canadians good first half came back into play. We all know what happened next.

As if that wasn’t enough, last Monday saw minor league baseball basically say the Vancouver Canadians are the greatest of all time. A slight exaggeration maybe, but with 243 member clubs to choose from, it is quite the honour. Known as the John H. Johnson President’s award, the criteria for the minor league organization of the year award is based on franchise stability, contributions to the league’s stability, contribution to baseball in the community, and promotion of the baseball industry.

The award comes on the heels of 2011’s Bob Freitas award for short-season organization of the year and Andy Dunn winning 2012 executive of the year.

2007 was a watershed year for the Canadians and the beginning of the renaissance after they were purchased by Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney. I don’t think you can discount the affiliation with the Blue Jays though, as they have gone from strength to strength the last three years.

So what will be on the owner’s 2014 bucket list? Would it be too greedy to ask for more of the same? Of the three main check marks I listed above, I’d have guessed that the amazing weather we had last summer would be the toughest to duplicate. That’s not a statement from any sort of meteorological expert, just the musings of someone who has lived through a few Vancouver summers. Temperamental.

For me? Prospects. The Jays still have plenty of them in the lower levels, and two high picks in 2014 should mean more are on the way. And I don’t believe I am being greedy in wanting to see them for longer than just the playoffs.

Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney after the final (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey

Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney after the final (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

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