Woodbridge, VA—The Potomac Nationals are delighted to announce that a new franchise single-season attendance record at Pfitzner Stadium has been set after 236,772 fans enjoyed P-Nats Baseball during a hallmark 2013 Carolina League regular season.
An average of 3,534 fans per game entered The Pfitz during the Nationals’ 2013 regular campaign to be a part of the most affordable and entertaining family friendly atmosphere in Northern Virginia.
The P-Nats’ record attendance number registered in 2013 shattered the previous benchmark of 220,145 set in 1998 by the Prince William Cannons (St. Louis Cardinals).
In the 36th season of the Potomac franchise, The Potomac Nationals finished the Carolina League season ranked fourth in the eight-team circuit in overall and single-game average 2013 attendance.
With an attendance mark of over 235,000 fans, the P-Nats have now eclipsed the 200,000 fan threshold for the eleventh time in franchise history dating back to the 1990 Prince William Cannons (New York Yankees) who accomplished this feat for this first time.
On the field, the Potomac Nationals set single-season franchise records for both wins (84) and winning percentage (.604). The Nationals also owned the best home record in the Carolina League, a win/loss ledger of (47-23).
Potomac captured both the First- and Second-Half Northern Division Championship titles in 2013 and beat the Lynchburg Hillcats (Atlanta Braves) in the 2013 Carolina League Northern Division Playoff Series to advance to the 2013 Mills Cup Championship. The Nationals came up short in their bid for the club’s fifth all-time championship crown falling in three straight games in the best-of-five series to the 2013 Carolina League Champion, Salem Red Sox (Boston).
P-Nats fans witnessed a star-studded cast of players in 2013 including a slew of mid-season Carolina League All-Stars (OF Billy Burns, C Adrian Nieto, LHP Robbie Ray, and RHP Blake Schwartz) and a trio of year-end Carolina League All-Stars (RHP Robert Benincasa, Burns, and CF Michael Taylor).
In ’13, the P-Nats welcomed a faction of Major League rehabilitation stars from the Washington Nationals including, LHP Ross Detwiler, RHP Christian Garcia, LF Bryce Harper, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, C Wilson Ramos, RF Jayson Werth, and 3B Ryan Zimmerman to Pfitzner Stadium.
These additional franchise records were set or tied during the 2013 season:
-Career Doubles (74-Taylor)
-Total Saves in a Single-Season (42-Tied) [1997, Prince William Cannons-St. Louis Cardinals]
-Most Wins Without a Loss by One Pitcher (RHP Greg Holt-9 Wins, 0 Losses-Tied)
During their blockbuster 2013 season, the Potomac Nationals continued their mission of staying connected with their local community in Northern Virginia. After 36 seasons in the record books as a Carolina League franchise, the P-Nats remain steadfast with their longstanding tradition of giving back to people in our own backyard including non-profit organizations, local schools, and those in times of need.
The Potomac Nationals raised over $100,000 in 2013 across all of their fundraising branches.
As a precursor to each season, the Potomac Nationals host an annual hot stove banquet featuring special guests from the Washington Nationals and a sports memorabilia silent auction. All of the funds raised during this sports auction go directly to S.P.A.R.K. (Supporting Partnerships and Resources for Kids), a support arm of the Prince William County Public School system. Helping students reach their full potential by supporting this academic enrichment program has been a terrific way for the Potomac Nationals to usher in the baseball season for the last five years.
In 2013, the Potomac Nationals sent the most viral member of the front office team, the official mascot, Uncle Slam, out into elementary schools to remind children how important reading is to their development as a young person. Uncle Slam’s Reading Program kicks off in February and runs through the month of June and has been a trademark community program for the P-Nats for the last decade. Uncle Slam rewards children for reading four books by coming out to their school and performing a live action reading of Casey At Bat along with members of the Nationals’ staff. This reading program has become an annual staple of the P-Nats’ community outreach initiatives. Over 200,000 kids have been impacted over the last ten seasons by this reading program.
Following the impact of the torrential tornadoes in the state of Oklahoma, the Nationals decided to step up to the plate and help the families who had lost so much in these storms. A sports memorabilia auction on the Pfitzner Stadium concourse featured items from around the Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, National Football League, and National Basketball Association landscapes. One hundred percent of these funds went directly to the OKStrong Disaster Relief Fund in an effort to better the lives of the people in Oklahoma irreconcilably damaged by these twisters.
All season long, the Nationals offer a unique fundraising opportunity for non-profit organizations, schools, and charity groups in which these members may purchase general admission tickets and then re-sell the tickets for a profit in an effort to raise money for their association. In addition, these groups receive special tickets with the organization printed on the face of the ticket while being featured on the video board in the outfield and over the public address microphone during the game. Also, these groups have the chance to run 50/50 raffles to further their fundraising opportunity. This is a truly a remarkable win/win program for community group leaders in Northern Virginia and the Potomac Nationals. HomeAid Northern Virginia, a non-profit started in 2001 by the members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), took advantage of this fundraising opportunity with P-Nats Baseball for the last three seasons. A continued success for both their organization and the Potomac Nationals, HomeAid Northern Virginia is proud to report they have completed 77 projects valued at nearly $12 million. Exposure at Pfitnzer Stadium affords HomeAid Northern Virginia the invaluable opportunity to network with other businesses, give back to the homeless population, and raise funds which go back to those people who live without a home in our community.
This season, in association with the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Mid-Atlantic branch, the Nationals hosted a commemorative game used and autographed jersey auction which featured an appearance by Washington Redskins Super Bowl Quarterback, Joe Theismann. The Redskins legend visited with the Make-A-Wish kids, signed autographs for the P-Nats faithful, and most importantly granted the wishes of many children who have life-threatening illnesses.
In addition, the Nationals, in conjunction with Autism Speaks and title sponsor, Lindsay Automotive, ran a special jersey auction in 2013 to benefit the non-profit group on Autism Awareness Day at The Pfitz. Autism Speaks received all funds raised in the jersey auction and had the opportunity to disseminate autism awareness information throughout the ballgame to promote understanding of this disorder.
Furthermore, the Potomac franchise, in a joint partnership with a non-profit organization, holds an annual charity golf tournament. In 2013, to benefit SYA Baseball, the Nationals held their golf tourney on the links at Old Hickory Golf Club, a local private golf course in Woodbridge, VA which is a long fly ball from Pfitzner Stadium. Members of the Washington Nationals and Potomac Nationals staffs in addition to P-Nats sponsors, season ticket holders, and group leaders collaborate for a fun afternoon of golf to support a great cause.
Osbourn Park High School Night at Pfitzner Stadium in 2013 was a grand success for the neighborhood public school and the Nationals. Students from OPHS came out in droves to support an evening of baseball directly engineered to benefit the schools’s athletic department. The P-Nats wore Osbourn Park Baseball replica jerseys that evening and the team ran a silent auction to decide which fans would take home the autographed uniform tops. The Nationals hope to make this an annual partnership with local high school athletic departments after a great fan response and following a sizeable contribution made to OPHS Athletics.
Homes for Heroes in combination with the P-Nats Annual Military Appreciation Nights has become an invaluable partnership for both entities after another successful affiliation in 2013. Homes for Heroes is a company that affiliates with realtors, lenders, and other real estate-related service providers who offer substantial rebates and discounts to the Heroes who serve our nation and its communities every day. Our Heroes include military personnel, firefighters, law enforcement officers and others who make our communities a better place to live. Homes for Heroes was out in force on both Military Appreciation Nights in 2013 to spread the message of how our community’s Heroes can benefit from aligning with the non-profit organization.
To piggyback local heroes benefiting from coming out to Pfitzner Stadium in 2013, the P-Nats hosted the second annual Guns vs. Hoses Charity Softball Game as members of the Prince William County Police Department squared off against the Yorkshire Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. An array of police officers and fire department members and their families enjoyed a relaxing day at the ballpark while renewing a yearly rivalry by competing in softball on the very same field used by the future stars of the Washington Nationals. Both the PWC Police Department and the Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Squad were able to provide safety tips to fans, display emergency vehicles, and be recognized for the invaluable work they do while protecting our neighborhoods.
In a milestone move to acknowledge the exceptional capabilities of our country’s military members to influence their community once home from war, the Potomac Nationals became the first team in Minor League Baseball to institute a hiring program specifically engineered to usher in United States military members. The “Hire-A-Vet” program was initiated with the hiring of Arthur Bouvier IV, a U.S. Army veteran, who was brought into the Potomac Nationals’ fold as the Assistant Director of Stadium Operations. Bouvier has assisted the ballclub as an all-utility man working as a troubleshooter in many different aspects of stadium operation including ballpark maintenance, grounds crew, parking, press box operations, and security. This initiative stemmed directly from one of the Army Chief of Staff, General Ray Odierno’s top priorities of assisting soldiers transitioning from the Army, as well as Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers in finding jobs.
In the aftermath of a 2013 Mills Cup Championship Series appearance, it is clear that the 36th season of the Potomac franchise yielded the most fan-friendly, entertaining, and community oriented campaign in the history of the club. The on-field prowess of the future leading lights for the Washington Nationals complemented the perennial promotion by the club to make for a record-setting 2013 campaign.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2014 season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 season and beyond are available. Plan your corporate outing now for the 2014 season to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more information!