A portion of the press release from the Victoria Seals is included below.
Victoria, BC – The Victoria Seals are proud to announce that President Darren Parker has been selected as the 2009 GBL Executive of the Year. His efforts and vision brought the joy of a full season of professional baseball back to the capital city of British Columbia after a quarter of a century of absence.
Parker was selected for this award based on his drive to successfully launch an expansion team in a great sports town that had not seen a season of professional baseball for over 25 years and for his efforts in capturing the hearts and minds of baseball fans and the community who adopted the Seals as their own from opening night.
"It is very difficult to launch an expansion professional sports team in any sport and any location," said GBL Commissioner Kevin Outcalt. "And it is extraordinary what Darren has accomplished in Victoria with the Seals and the support and excitement he has generated from the community, business partners, and fans. His success is
a blueprint for sports ownership and will undoubtedly be used as a model in the industry."
The Seals worked closely this year with the City of Victoria to renovate and improve Royal Athletic Park, were very active in the community with appearances and fundraisers, and treated fans to great baseball and a fun and friendly night out every evening the Seals played. In one season they became more ingrained in the fabric of their community than many pro teams are able to accomplish in decades of play.
"We are very proud of how the Seals quickly became such a great asset and an integral part of the wonderful city of Victoria,” said Golden Baseball League CEO David Kaval. "Given Darren's background of having grown up with and worked for years with the Calgary Cannons, owned by his family and considered one of the premier sports organizations in Canada, I am not surprised by his success and look forward to more great things from him, his team, and the fans of the Seals.”
When notified of the award last night, Parker placed all the credit on his employees and the fans and businesses supporters of Victoria, stating, “Congratulations to all our partners in the Golden Baseball League for a successful 2009 season. Thank you, this is a tremendous honour and one that I proudly accept on behalf of our
entire organization.” He added, “Our staff worked tirelessly all summer to bring
professional baseball back to Royal Athletic Park and couldn't have done it
without the tremendous support from our fans and business partners. We look forward to many more summers of providing fun, affordable family entertainment to Greater Victoria!”