CHAPEL HILL, NC – The Appalachian League today announced the Burlington Sock Puppets as the 2022 organization of the year.
This award is given to the club that exemplifies the standards of the full baseball franchise, based on franchise stability, contributions to league stability, contributions to baseball in the community, and promotion of the baseball industry .
Since reforming the Appalachian League from a Rookie-level affiliate league to a summer collegiate league in partnership with MLB in 2021, the Sock Puppets have been the only team to finish in the top three and increase attendance every year.
In 2022, the Sock Puppets eclipsed 50,000 fans in total, a feat the club hasn’t achieved in over a decade.
“When Brittany and Ryan Keur bought the club in 2020 and brought together this staff, we knew we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really create something special here in Burlington that included more than just high-level baseball,” the manager said. General of Sock Puppets, Anderson Rathbun. .
“To be recognized in this way really shows that from the property, to the full-time staff, to our players, interns, field staff and everyone who worked with us this summer, we did things the right way, and , for me, it was a lot of fun to be part of it.
Last year, the Burlington Sock Puppets finished as Eastern Division champions, while setting the highest win total by any team since the Appy league change.
Burlington hosted the first-ever two-night All-Star event in league history that aired nationally on MLB Network, the first-ever ‘Bros v. Pros’ featuring some of the biggest content creators in baseball on the internet, and broke the franchise record for the highest-attended game at Burlington Athletic Stadium on July 1, when it hosted 4,217 fans.
Off the field, the Sock Puppets strive to be a leading brand in growing the game of baseball and league awareness. Across all social media, so far in 2022, the Burlington Club has been able to garner tens of millions of impressions not only by promoting the fun side of the sport, but also through many unique partnerships. Partnerships that include in other sports such as the PGA with golfer Alex Smalley and NASCAR with cup team Kaulig Racing.
Off season, the Sock Puppets are proud to be the host site for two North Carolina High School Athletic Association State Championships, a free and safe Halloween trick or treat, and other community experiences totaling more than 125 events.