Springfield, MO – The Texas League announced on Monday that Springfield Cardinals Vice President / General Manager Matt Gifford has been named the 2016 Bill Valentine Texas League Executive of the Year. It marks the second time that Gifford has been honored with this award.
The Springfield Cardinals just concluded their 12th season in franchise history, surpassing the 4.7 million mark in overall attendance. The 2016 season was highlighted by the 80th Texas League All-Star Game presented by Great Southern Bank, the second All-Star Game hosted by the Cardinals at Hammons Field. Additionally, prior to the 2016 season, Gifford led the committee that created the Texas League’s new logo.
“It is incredibly humbling to be honored with this award,” said Gifford. “More than an individual recognition, this award is really a result of the hard work and dedication of our entire staff, as well as the support from the greatest fans in baseball. We are not only fortunate to be located in a great community, but also to play in a league with the high caliber of organizations and leadership that the Texas League has, making this award a tremendous tribute to the Cardinals organization.”
“The excellent work this season and the consistency over the last 12 years makes this award well-deserved for Matt,” Texas League President Tom Kayser said. “It’s a great reflection on the Cardinals staff and their fans.”
In addition to the Executive of the Year Award, the Springfield Cardinals also won their sixth straight and eighth overall Texas League Field of the Year Award, further recognizing the fantastic playing surface at Hammons Field and the expert work of Head Groundskeeper Brock Phipps, Assistant Groundskeeper Derek Edwards and the entire grounds crew and staff.
“Brock, Derek and the staff continue to work tirelessly to make Hammons Field an elite playing surface for the Future of Cardinals Baseball,” said Gifford. “It is our continued honor to uphold Mr. Hammons’ tradition of excellence at Hammons Field, and we would like to thank everyone at Hammons Industries for helping us do so. In addition to an unmatched playing surface, it is our commitment to provide a beautiful ballpark for Cardinals fans to enjoy.”