Colorado Rockies: Rookie league affiliate nominated for honor

BREWSTER, MA - AUGUST 11: Bats next to the Brewster Whitecaps dugout during game one of the Cape Cod League Championship Series against the Bourne Braves at Stony Brook Field on August 11, 2017 in Brewster, Massachusetts. Cape Cod League games are a popular destination for MLB scouts. The collection of some of the country's top college players combined with the league's use of wooden bats help indicate a prospects success in the big leagues. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BREWSTER, MA - AUGUST 11: Bats next to the Brewster Whitecaps dugout during game one of the Cape Cod League Championship Series against the Bourne Braves at Stony Brook Field on August 11, 2017 in Brewster, Massachusetts. Cape Cod League games are a popular destination for MLB scouts. The collection of some of the country's top college players combined with the league's use of wooden bats help indicate a prospects success in the big leagues. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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The Grand Junction Rockies, the rookie league affiliate of the Colorado Rockies based in Grand Junction, Colo., has been nominated for the John H. Johnson President’s Award. Considered Minor League Baseball’s top award, it is an honor designated for what is described as “a complete baseball franchise that has demonstrated franchise stability while making significant contributions to its community, its league, and to the baseball industry.”

During our visit to Grand Junction in June, we saw first-hand the impact the Rockies have on the Grand Junction community and the surrounding region. That was one of the biggest reasons why the Pioneer League tabbed Grand Junction as its nominee for the prestigious award.

According to the Grand Junction Rockies, the franchise raised more than $100,000 in donations and gifts in kind. Players and administrators appeared in the community with team mascot Corky more than 100 times in 2017.

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For the second consecutive year, the Grand Junction Rockies staff and players took part in the Kids Aid backpack program by delivering backpacks of food to school age children each Friday during the summer. According to reports, there are more than 2,000 school age kids in Mesa County who would go hungry on the weekends without this program.

As part of Kids Aid Fridays, Rockies administration and players also held two baseball clinics as part of Colorado’s Activating Places & Spaces and provided school age kids with baseball bats and balls so they can continue to be active.

These are just some of the activities where the Grand Junction Rockies are making an impact in their community and the surrounding region. Additionally, as Rockies fans know, Grand Junction serves as a valuable conduit for future members of the Colorado Rockies to gain experience on the diamond and learn how to be professional athletes.

Next: Evaluating Colorado's offseason needs and potential targets

Among the Rockies players who have played in Grand Junction include Jon Gray, Raimel Tapia, Scott Oberg, Carlos Estevez, David Dahl and many others.

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