HILLSBORO, Ore. — The president and general manager of the Hillsboro Hops has received one of his sport's loftiest accolades.
Baseball America named K.L. Wombacher as its MiLB Executive of the Year, meaning, Wombacher's work shined above all others within minor league baseball circles. Wombacher is a 2015 PBJ Forty Under 40 honoree who's led the Hops since they began play in Hillsboro in 2014. He's in his 17th year as the franchise's GM overall and in his 21st year with the franchise.
The designation follows a season after which Wombacher oversaw the signing of a new 10-year agreement between the Hops and MLB earlier this year. As such, the Hops began play in High A baseball after serving as the Arizona Diamondbacks short-season affiliate.
At the same time, Wombacher generated extra games at Ron Tonkon Field by allowing the Vancouver Canadians to use the stadium for their home matchups.
He's also earned notice for the Hops' contributions to Hillsboro's overall economy — the stadium sits near Intel's fabs and draws many fans from the businesses that immediately surround it — as well as his promotional acumen. The team, for instance, regularly honors the Portland Mavericks, the raucous 1970s team.
“It is humbling to be noticed and this award belongs to our entire team who takes a ton of pride in their work and our community impact," Wombacher said in a release. "We are fortunate to have amazing fans, a tremendous partner in the Arizona Diamondbacks, and most importantly an engaged and supportive ownership group led by Mike and Laura McMurray."