Sharks named 2013 FCBL Organization of the Year

The Sharks posed with the FCBL championship trophy after defeating Nashua 6-3 at the Shark Tank on August 15. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Futures Collegiate Baseball League, in an announcement Tuesday, named the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks as the 2013 Organization of the Year. Additionally, Wednesday at the fifth annual Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce Martha’s Business Awards, presented at the Lambert’s Cove Inn, The Sharks won the Making Martha’s Vineyard A Better Place Award. The honor, voted on by chamber members, is given to the business that continues to make a significant contribution to the Island.

Led by General Manager Jerry Murphy, the team implemented several significant changes to the Shark Tank facility in the off-season to improve the fan experience. The team added 290 box seats behind home plate from Camden Yards in Baltimore, installed lights, moved a majority of game times to 6:45 pm, moved in the backstop by 13 feet, and added a press box.

As a result of the major changes off the field and the quality of play on the field, attendance increased nearly 15 percent from 2012.

“Jerry worked day and night to see this project through,” said FCBL Commissioner Chris Hall in a press release on Tuesday. “Not only did he have to raise the funds, but he was personally installing seats. He had great volunteers and staff, including Vice President of Baseball Operations Bob Tankard, helping him. They should be extremely proud of their efforts. The league and its board of directors are very thankful for the Shark’s continued effort to improve its fan experience and product to better the FCBL.”

The Sharks, one of the original four franchises in the wooden-bat FCBL, completed their third season August 15 by winning the first championship in team history. The Sharks had the top record in the FCBL during the regular season at 35-18 and swept both playoff series 2-0 over the Old Orchard Beach (Maine) Raging Tide and the two-time defending champion Nashua (NH) Silver Knights.

Martha’s Vineyard fielded seven all-stars and dominated the postseason awards. Mike Miller, who will return in 2014, was named Manager of the Year, shortstop Dylan Tice was named league MVP in both the regular season and the playoffs, Bob Carbaugh earned Pitcher of the Year honors, and outfielder Ryan Siegel finished as the FCBL batting champ with a .373 average.