Pelicans’ Alberto, Milovich win glove-related honors

pel-albertoMyrtle Beach Pelicans shortstop Hanser Alberto was named one of nine recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for his defensive excellence on Monday. Alberto spent the first half of 2014 with the Pelicans and parts of the 2012 and 2013 seasons as well.  Alberto is the only Pelican to win the award during the four-year Rangers era and only the second Texas Rangers minor league to win it.

Alberto posted a career-best .979 fielding percentage over a 119-game span between Myrtle Beach and the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders, with 192 putouts and 356 assists. Alberto began the 2014 season with the Pelicans where he split time between shortstop and third base. After 70 games with the Pelicans, Alberto logged 50 with the RoughRiders, all of them coming at shortstop. He was particularly effective at shortstop, where he has played primarily in his career, posting a .980 fielding percentage across 114 games with just 11 errors in 547 chances.

Nine awards are handed out on an annual basis, one for each position to a player from one of the ten domestic-based, full-season MiLB leagues, and Alberto took the honors for the shortstop spot. Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award®, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players, during the 2014 season.

Pelicans GM named Executive of the Year

Myrtle Beach Pelicans Vice President and General Manager Andy Milovich was named the 2014 Calvin Falwell Executive of the Year Award winner by the Carolina League.

Leading the Pelicans over the last two seasons, Milovich earns the award for the first time, and he is the fourth Pelicans executive to earn the award. Coincindentally or not, he also became the first minor-league executive to endure an in-game prostrate exam to raise cancer awareness.

“Andy is a great choice for this award,” said League President John Hopkins in a league press release. “During his time at Myrtle Beach, the operation has been growing and improving in every respect. It’s a well-deserved honor.”

Although this is the first Calvin Falwell Award for Milovich, it is not the first time that his efforts have led to official recognition. Milovich was the recipient of The Sporting News Minor League Executive of the Year following his third consecutive New York-Penn League attendance record with the Erie SeaWolves during the 1997 season.

“The Carolina League is loaded with great operators and tremendous leadership,” said Milovich. “To be recognized by your peers in such a talented league is incredibly humbling. It is truly a team award that isn’t possible without an incredible staff, great community support, and the commitment from our ownership group led by Chuck Greenberg.”

During his tenure with the Pelicans, the club has increased its overall and average attendance in each of the last two seasons and posted the best average attendance in team history (3,652) in 2014. The 241,026 who poured through the gates at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark this past season was the second-most in team history in a single season, finishing behind only the 2008 season (242,397), despite four lost gates this season.

Under Milovich’s leadership, the club has also set new marks in community involvement. The Pelicans donated just under $400,000 in man-hours and monies during the 2013 season and surpassed that number this past season, totaling in $465,912 in contributions under the Play it Forward campaign.

“Our entire Pelicans family is happy and proud for Andy on this well-deserved honor,” added Pelicans Chairman and Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg. “His dynamic and creative leadership and personality have had a remarkable impact on our community and our franchise during his first two seasons in Myrtle Beach. We can’t wait to see what innovative ideas he comes up with next.”

The upcoming 2015 season will be Milovich’s twenty-fifth in professional baseball. The South Bend, Indiana native graduated from Valparaiso University where he obtained a B.S. in both Business Administration and Sports Management and completed the Sport Management Graduate Program at the University of Georgia.

Over his nearly quarter of a century in the business, Milovich has worked for the Tucson Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, the PCL’s Tucson Toros that summer, the Madison Hatters, the Erie SeaWolves, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, and the West Virginia Power. Prior to arriving in Myrtle Beach, he served as the Vice President of Palisades Baseball, managing the West Virginia Power, Power Alley Grill Restaurant, West Virginia Power Catering, and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Andy was named Vice President and General Manager of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on December 22, 2012, following 18 years with Palisades Baseball.

The Carolina League office, league general managers, directors, and presidents vote on the Falwell award. The award was named in 2006 for the man who had been president of the Lynchburg club since that city joined the league in 1966. Calvin Falwell died at 90 on August 20, 2011.

Last season, John Olerud of Potomac won the award. Matt O’Brien (2005), North Johnson (2008), and Scott Brown (2012) previously earned the honor during their tenure with the Pelicans.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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