Gabe Ross Tops 2007 MLN Ralphie Awards for Best Sports Media Directors & Minor League Broadcasters

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Minor League News (MLN Sports) announces the winners of the 2007 Ralphie Awards for excellence in team media relations and sports broadcasting.

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Results of the 2007 MLN Ralphie Awards for the Masters of Media Relations were announced on Christmas Day. Gabe Ross, the Assistant General Manager and Director of Media Relations for the Sacramento River Cats was awarded the "Ralphie" for Media Director of the Year 2007 by the editors of Minor League News (MLN Sports).

Ross, who was tapped for his work with the Triple-A Pacific Coast League River Cats, a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) club affiliated with MLB, was not only the best media relations person in his sport, but tops amongst the more than 800 professional sports organizations operating at the minor league level in baseball, hockey, basketball, football, soccer and lacrosse.

Bob Crawford, the Broadcaster and Media Relations Director for the Hartford Wolf Pack, the American Hockey League (AHL) New York Rangers Triple-A Affiliate, was awarded the Ralphie for Hockey Media Director of the Year and Broadcaster of the Year.

Julie LaFrano, Manager of Media and Community Relations for the Albany Patroons, a Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and United States Basketball League (USBL) club, was awarded the Ralphie for the Basketball Media Director of the Year.

The editors of MLN also select one major league media relations person for a Ralphie. The Major League Media Director of the Year 2007 was given to Dustin Morse of the Minnesota Twins for his outstanding coverage of the Twins farm system.

There was no award issued for football, soccer, or lacrosse this year. No Chewy Rising Star award, which recognizes particular excellence in a rookie media relations person, was awarded as well.

The Ralphies are awarded annually by the editors at MLN Sports to media directors whose career excellence advances public awareness of regional professional sports, or gives those in major league markets a window into the rich world of prospect players in development.

"We wanted to showcase those people who, year after year, continue to make an impact on both their home markets and the national audience for minor league and independent professional sports," said MLN senior editor Brian Ross. "The Ralphie Awards give people who put in long hours and ask for very little in return a moment to be recognized for the voice that they give to their clubs and the face that they have in the community, in their leagues, and in their player development systems."

The 2007 Ralphie Awards are being featured at SZ the magazine of minor league and independent sports (http://www.mlnsportszone.com).

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BRIAN ROSS
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