Greenville Drive has Sally League success on and off field

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Photo by Will Crooks

The Greenville Drive may be playing in the Sally League finals this week, but they’re experiencing off-the-field success, too.

Last week, the Drive received the South Atlantic League Club Merit Award, the league’s highest honor, for the third time in franchise history. The Club Merit Award recognizes an organization that is consistent in its commitment to operational excellence, and is most dedicated to the health and well being of its community, and to the South Atlantic League, epitomizing “all that is good and wholesome relative to minor league baseball,” said League President Eric Krupa.

The Drive also won the award in 2008 and 2010.

During the 2017 season, the Drive unveiled a $14 million Fluor Field enhancement project that included installation of seats atop the Green Monster in left field, the addition of the Champions Club presented by Hubbell Lighting and the Rooftop at Fluor Field as new hospitality venues,  a new season ticket holder lounge, and updated entry plazas.

The Drive also won the league’s Excellence in Marketing Award for the fourth consecutive season.

“Our goal as an organization is to provide the ultimate fan experience for everyone who enters the Fluor Field gates,” said Eric Jarinko, the Drive’s General Manager.

“The Drive organization is committed to excellence year in and year out, and receiving these awards is tangible proof of the measurable impact we are making on the Upstate community, as well as the dedication and commitment of our front office to making the Drive the premier organization in all of professional sports,” Drive Owner and Team President Craig Brown said in a release.

As the recipient of the Club Merit Award, the Drive will represent the South Atlantic League as a nominee for the John H. Johnson President’s Award, which will be presented at the Baseball Winter Meetings in December. The John H. Johnson President’s Award began in 1974 to honor the complete baseball franchise. Criteria include financial stability, contributions to league stability, contributions to baseball in the community and promotion of the baseball industry.

As the Excellence in Marketing recipient, the Drive will represent the South Atlantic League as a nominee for the Larry MacPhail Award.  The Larry MacPhail Award has been presented since 1966 to the franchise as a symbol of the top marketing effort in all of Minor League Baseball.

“Our goal as an organization is to provide the ultimate fan experience for everyone who enters the Fluor Field gates,” said Eric Jarinko, the Drive’s General Manager, in the release.  “Fluor Field is the premier destination in the Upstate for family-friendly, affordable entertainment. Whether fans are here to watch the action on the field, enjoy a hot dog and a drink with friends, or for the many theme and community nights we have to offer, we want them to be wowed by their experience at the home of the Drive.”

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