CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Appalachian League announced Johnson City Doughboys general manager Patrick Ennis as the Executive of the Year. The award is presented to the executive who has made the most valuable contributions to their club and the league in the estimate of their peers.
The Appy League champion Doughboys enjoyed a sizable increase in attendance this season in Ennis’ first year as Johnson City’s general manager, with the team welcoming an Appy League-leading and franchise-record 87,719 fans to TVA Credit Union Ballpark in Johnson City, Tenn., throughout the season.
“It is a great honor to be named this year’s Appalachian League Executive of the Year,” said Ennis. “There are nine other executives in this league that deserve this award, and I am truly humbled to have been selected. This year has been one for the record books and would not be possible without the support of the great staff at Boyd Sports.”
Johnson City’s total attendance increased by more than 54 percent compared to 2022, while the team’s average attendance of 3,655 this season marked a nearly 74 percent increase over ‘22. The Doughboys set a new single-game attendance record twice in 2023: on Opening Day (4,254) and again on July 4, when Johnson City hosted a franchise-record 5,261 fans. The Doughboys also saw increased concessions, merchandise and group sales, while the addition of Rocky the Bat Dog proved popular with fans of all ages, generating some of the loudest cheers heard in the ballpark this season.
This season saw Johnson City win the West Division en route to hosting and winning the Appalachian League Championship Game on Aug. 2, when the Doughboys defeated the Burlington Sock Puppets, 4-1. The title was the organization’s first since the reformation of the Appalachian League from a Rookie Level affiliated league to an MLB-partnered summer collegiate league in 2021. The Doughboys won more games than any other Appy League team, finishing with a 35-10 record. They recorded winning streaks of 10 (June 13-29) and 11 games (July 7-20), and clinched the top spot in the West Division on July 21.
Under Ennis’ leadership, the Doughboys strived to provide fans with a uniquely fun and affordable experience this summer, offering exciting promotions that consistently brought new fans to the ballpark. The team wore multiple custom jerseys, including camouflage jerseys on US Army Be All You Can Be Wednesdays and a one-of-a-kind Charlie Brown Peanuts-themed jersey that was so popular it sold out. The team also held a Princess Night for local Girl Scouts and raised $3,000 for the Make-A-Wish of East Tennessee via a jersey auction. Johnson City’s Dollar Days promotion on Mondays and Tuesdays was a fan favorite throughout the season.
“I would like to thank our President, Chris Allen, and Vice President, Jeremy Boler, for their support and guidance in my first year as the GM of the Doughboys,” added Ennis. “Without them, none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank Doughboys Ticket Account Executive Styles Martin for all of his hard work this past year and for ensuring that fans had a great time at the ballpark.”
The Doughboys were proud to partner with the US Marines and the James Quillen VA Medical Center on different games this season, and the team’s annual charity softball game for the Honor Flight of the Appalachian Highlands helped raise money for Vietnam Vets to travel to Washington D.C. In addition, Johnson City’s relationship with Science Hill High School’s JROTC program led to the presentation of colors at all of the Doughboys’ major events, including the 2023 Appalachian League Championship Game.
“Ever since stepping into this role, the city of Johnson City has embraced me with open arms, and I am grateful to call this place home,” said Ennis.