The RubberDucks have been selected as the Eastern League’s 2016 nominee for the John H. Johnson President’s Award, the top honor in minor league baseball.

The President’s Award is presented annually to honor the “complete” baseball franchise based on franchise stability, contributions to league stability, contributions to the community and promotion of the baseball industry.

“We are very humbled to be the Eastern League’s nominee for the President’s Award,” RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander said in a news release. “It is a tremendous honor and a credit to our hard-working staff, the support of our community, our corporate partners, and our relationship with the Cleveland Indians organization. This nomination is a real credit to everyone involved with what the organization has been working to build the past four seasons since Ken Babby took over.”

The RubberDucks, Double-A affiliate of the Indians, just completed their 20th season in Akron and third since becoming the RubberDucks with the franchise’s fifth Eastern League championship. More than 375,000 fans came to Canal Park for 70 regular season games, four playoff games, and first Eastern League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby in Akron’s history.

“Our fans are the best in minor league baseball and their tremendous support makes this President’s Award nomination possible,” Pfander said. “Last year, they helped us win the Larry MacPhail Award as the top promotional team, so with their efforts, they have truly made Canal Park the home of affordable family fun.”

The President’s Award has been presented to one team each year since 1974. Four Eastern League teams have won the award, the being the Altoona Curve in 2006. This year’s winner will be announced during the winter meetings in December.

In a news release, the Eastern League said that “under the guidance of owner Ken Babby and General Manager Jim Pfander, the RubberDucks have become one of the model franchises in all of minor league baseball.

The total four-year attendance increase during Ken Babby’s tenure as owner is 28 percent.

“In addition to the outstanding work the RubberDucks staff does providing their fans with family friendly entertainment, the organization has also become synonymous with their efforts within the community in northeast Ohio. The RubberDucks have helped hundreds of organizations raise thousands of dollars within their community, including a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Summit County that has raised more than $90,000 in four years through an in-game 50/50 raffle.

The RubberDucks have also worked to turn Canal Park into a community asset with the ballpark playing host to numerous non-baseball events such as hosting the Akron Marathon and helping to create and host the Leadership On Main speaker series with Leadership Akron.”