The Mobile BayBears will start their final season in the Port City without the Southern League executive of the year.
General Manager Chris Morgan announced Tuesday he was leaving the baseball team’s front office to pursue “other opportunities.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my four years as general manager of the BayBears and want to thank Mike Savit and HWS Baseball for providing me with the opportunity to oversee the organization back in 2014,” he wrote in a statement. “I also want to thank our fans, sponsors, media partners and city officials for their support. Most importantly, much appreciation goes to the members of our front office staff who have always put forth tremendous effort and maintained a positive mindset each and every day, despite unique and occasionally difficult circumstances.”
Morgan was honored earlier this year with the Jimmy Bragan Executive of the Year Award, according to a statement from the Southern League.
“Chris has always been a team player, ready to lend a hand wherever needed, and a very hard-working General Manager for the BayBears,” Southern League President Lori Webb said in a statement in September. “This year, he assisted the league by assuming the chairmanship of our Marketing Committee. I am so pleased he received this honor by a vote of his peers, and I wish him every success for the remainder of his tenure with the BayBears.”
The statement from the Southern League congratulated Morgan on his ability to secure roughly $1 million in improvements to Hank Aaron Stadium and on his efforts to change the “perception of the organization” through new customer service standards.
However, the BayBears have struggled with attendance in recent years. Mobile was last in the among teams in the Southern League for average attendance in the 2018 season with 1,121 fans per game. They attracted just north of 69,500 fans over the entire 62-game home schedule, according to information listed on the Southern League’s website.
The next lowest, the Jackson, Tenn. Generals, averaged 1,654 fans per game. The highest attendance number belongs to the Birmingham Barons, who attracted more than 5,500 fans to each home game. Teams in Pensacola and Biloxi were fell closer to the middle of the pack when it comes to 2018 attendance, attracting 4,308 fans and 2,400 fans to each home game, respectively.
The BayBears will leave Mobile following the 2019 season to become the Rocket City Trash Pandas in Madison, Alabama.
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