The Greenville Drive has won Minor League Baseball’s highest honor, the John H. Johnson President’s Award that recognizes the complete baseball franchise.
There are 160 Minor League Baseball teams and the award is given based on financial stability, contributions to league stability, contribution to baseball in the community, and promotion of the baseball industry. The Drive is the first South Atlantic League club to win the award.
“When we broke ground on Fluor Field more than 12 years ago, we set the goal to become the most complete organization in Minor League Baseball — being a part of the fabric of the Upstate community, building strong relationships with industry leaders, and priding ourselves on providing our fans with family-friendly, affordable entertainment that will create everlasting memories,” said Craig Brown, owner and president. “We always strive to make our organization, Fluor Field, and the Upstate better each year, and the Johnson Award is an incredible honor that recognizes our staff, community, and ballpark for the sustained success that we’ve been fortunate to have.”
Since the privately funded Fluor Field opened in 2006, the Drive has averaged nearly 335,000 fans per year, and helped spur an economic resurgence of the Historic West End. The Drive completed a $16 million stadium renovation prior to this past season.
“The fact that they have spent over $16 million on upgrades to a ballpark that was privately funded to begin with, and brought over 100,000 people to the ballpark for non-baseball events shows their level of dedication to their city,” said Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner.
The Drive has established successful education, youth development, and workforce development programs designed to make an impact on the Greenville community, which helped the Drive win the South Atlantic League Club Merit Award in 2017 and the league’s Marketing Excellence Award in each of the last four seasons.
On the field, the Drive won the 2017 Sally League championship.
The Drive will receive the Johnson Award at baseball’s winter meetings in December.