Dodgers named Organization of the Year

The Los Angeles Dodgers were named Organization of the Year by the widely respected publication, Baseball America, it was announced today. The team will be honored at the annual gala tonight in Orlando, Florida.

"The Dodgers have always been at their best when they have nurtured young players through the farm system and as we saw this year, the Dodger rookies were outstanding," said Frank McCourt, Owner and Chairman. "We believe this season marked the beginning of the next great era of Dodger baseball and being named 'Organization of the Year' indicates we have returned to our rightful spot as one of sports' model franchises."

The honor, the first time that Baseball America has bestowed its Organization of the Year on the Dodgers in the 25 years of the award, comes on the heels of the club's second postseason appearance in the past three years. That feat had not been accomplished by Los Angeles since the 1995-96 seasons.

With a team constructed by first-year general manager Ned Colletti and managed by Grady Little, the Dodgers won 88 games while tying for the NL West Division title. The club won 41 of its final 60 games to post the best winning percentage (.683) of any team in Major League Baseball over that span.

The success of the 2006 Dodgers came from a combination of seasoned veterans, several of whom were acquired by Colletti through trades and free agency, and the blossoming of a farm system regularly rated among the best in the game. Among those players acquired by Colletti in his first year with the Dodgers were Rafael Furcal, NL Comeback Player of the Year Award winner Nomar Garciaparra and NL Gold Glove Award winner and future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. Colletti also acquired Andre Ethier, a Double-A prospect who became one of the top candidates for NL Rookie of the Year honors and signed Japanese import Takashi Saito, another Rookie of the Year candidate.

With injuries plaguing the club during the first half of the season, the Dodgers turned to their highly-regarded player development system for reinforcements and were rewarded with valuable performances from former draftees Russell Martin (17th round, 2002), James Loney (1st, 2002), Jonathan Broxton (4th, 2002), Chad Billingsley (1st, 2003) and Matt Kemp (6th, 2003).

"Scouting and player development are the lifeblood of an organization," said Colletti. "So many people contributed to this honor. Kim Ng and Logan White, who have both been here for more than five years, as well as everyone in our player development and scouting departments should be very proud of this accomplishment."

The teams' solid play on the field translated to success at the turnstiles, where a record-setting 3,758,545 fans bought tickets to games at Dodger Stadium in 2006, as the team led the National League in attendance for the third consecutive season. The Dodgers also extended their Guinness World Record for the Highest Cumulative Attendance for a Baseball Franchise, a number that has surpassed 172 million fans since 1901, when Major League Baseball began tracking official attendance.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, the defending NL West co-champions, have represented the Los Angeles community since 1958. With a cumulative attendance of more than 172 million, the Dodgers have played before more fans than any other sports franchise in history. Over the years, the team has made 24 postseason appearances and has won six world championships. print this page

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