AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with Minor League Baseball recognized the Amarillo Sod Poodles as the 2023 MiLB “Organization of the Year.”
According to the MiLB, the Sod Poodles have been one of the most successful organizations in Minor League Baseball on and off the field since being introduced in 2019.
MiLB detailed that HODGETOWN, helped the organization revitalize downtown Amarillo and bring baseball back to Amarillo. The release said despite the Soddies being a small market team they managed to lead the Texas League in attendance the last three years. Officials said the organization set a team record of 31 sellouts in 2023 and also set a franchise single-game record on July 3, with a stadium of 7,588 fans.
The Sod Poodles also saw an overall business increase of 12.3% which includes tickets, food and beverages, and merchandise. The club has also seen a jump in followers on their social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
Officials said the club’s alternate identity, the Calf Fries, was a global sensation as merchandise was shipped to 44 different states. MiLB added that during the Sod Poodles, and Calf Fries games over 400 pounds of calf fires were sold at those games.
The release stated that the Sod Poodles were a big part of the community partnering with several local organizations to support important causes. Officials detailed that, for the year, the organization has given back over $250,000 to the local community through different charity initiatives.
“I could not be prouder of our team for winning Minor League Baseball’s Organization of the Year Award,” said Tony Ensor, Sod Poodles President and General Manager. “This award represents all the collective passion and hard work that goes into creating what we think is the best experience in baseball. It recognizes everyone from our full-time and seasonal staff, players and coaches, community partners, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Elmore Sports Group, and the most important part of our team, the Amarillo community. This is a very proud day for everyone associated with our organization.”
Outside of Amarillo, the Sod Poodles helped Perryton after they suffered a devastating tornado. The club held a jersey auction along with other fundraisers at a home game to generate a donation of over $38,000 to the Panhandle Disaster Relief Fund.