Mike Pfaff was the first team executive I had to deal with when I broke into this business. Back in 2004, he was the Media Relations director for the Long Island Ducks and he was welcoming to a person, who owned a website and had no other experience in this business.
Over the years, we both grew. Pfaff moved up the ranks in his organization from running the Media Relations department and dealing with guys like me to running his team as Ducks President and being owner Frank Boulton’s right-hand man.
Today, he doesn’t just run the Ducks, but also owns a piece of the New Britain Bees, which was successfully formed last season.
But because New York is such a saturated market with many teams in the area, many times his hard work gets overlooked by the general public.
Fortunately, in the Atlantic League, Pfaff is recognized, as he received his third Joe Klein Executive of the Year Award today.
“The Atlantic League is filled with extremely talented executives in each club’s front office,” said Pfaff in a statement. “It is an honor to receive this award, and I could not have done so without the excellent staffs in Long Island and New Britain.”
Look it’s not easy for a team like the Ducks to remain viable year after year. Minor league teams lose their luster after a while. The Cyclones are no longer a guaranteed sellout and the Staten Island Yankees will be going under a different name next season to increase interest.
But the Ducks just keep plugging along.
Partially because Pfaff runs a good ship out there in Central Islip and keeps the Ducks an entertaining alternative for the entertainment dollar.
Last season, the Ducks welcomed its 7-millionth fan and also had a record crowd on July 3 with 7,602 in attendance.
Part of it also is player procurement and the Ducks do a good job at getting players that people know or have high end talent, which keeps the team entertaining. Just look at the National League Championship Series for proof. Dodgers’ starter Rich Hill was a member of the Ducks last year and now is on the verge to going to the World Series as the No. 2 starter in Los Angeles.
All of this allows the Ducks to be competitive every year and have record crowds still coming out to a relatively non-descript park in Central Islip.
And besides his baseball work, he’s a good family man. A father for three kids and somehow is able to balance his life between home and baseball.
So good things do happen to go people and it’s nice to see Mike Pfaff’s hard work noticed.