NWL Announces Executive and Organization of the Year


Mickey Graham Named NWL Executive of the Year, Traverse City Voted Top Organization of 2019

Rochester, Minn. – The Northwoods League has announced that Mickey Graham, GM of the 2019 Northwoods League Summer Collegiate World Series Champion Traverse City Pit Spitters, has been named the 2019 Northwoods League Executive of the Year. The award, which was decided by a vote of team officials at the League’s annual fall meetings last week in Rochester, MN is given annually to the League’s outstanding executive. In another vote, the Traverse City Pit Spitters were awarded the Organization of the Year award.

“Considering the amazing accomplishments of the Traverse City Pit Spitters in their inaugural year in the Northwoods League, and how they created such a wonderful fan experience in the process, both the organization and its General Manager Mickey Graham are richly deserving of such recognition,” said Northwoods League President Gary Hoover.  “We congratulate the Pit Spitters and Mickey on their sweep of the awards and are grateful for the Traverse City community’s support of their efforts as well.”

Of this award, Graham said, “This is unexpected. I am grateful to be surrounded by a top-notch group of people from everyone in the front office to the team on the field. It’s a testament to all of their hard work during our record-breaking inaugural season. Most of all I want to thank the fans for embracing the Pit Spitters as their community team and I’m looking forward to what this organization can accomplish next season.”

Mickey has spent his entire working life in Minor League Baseball with the last 19 years working for the West Michigan Whitecaps as their Director of Marketing and Media. In his time there, the team won numerous awards including the McPhail Award for best overall team promotions in Minor League Baseball and Minor League Promotions of the Year four times. Many of the team’s promotions garnered national attention. Before working in West Michigan, Graham worked for three years in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and one year in Durham, North Carolina. Mickey is a native of Columbus, OH and a graduate of Wittenberg University.

The Traverse City Pit Spitters were honored as the Northwoods League Organization of the Year after an incredible inaugural season. The Pit Spitters won the Northwoods League Championship and ended the season with a 56-20 overall record. Traverse City Field Manager Josh Rebandt was named the Northwoods League Manager of the Year and Pit Spitters pitcher Andrew Hoffman was named the Pitcher of the Year. Traverse City ended the regular season sixth in attendance with 60,253 fans over 36 games for a 1,674 average.

“What Mickey and his staff accomplished in Traverse City this season was amazing and the Executive of the Year award is a testament to his leadership, hard work and dedication,” said Traverse City CEO Joe Chamberlin.  “I am excited to see the Pit Spitter momentum that they built carry us into what I know will be an amazing 2020 season.”

On winning the Organization of the Year award Chamberlin said, “We are honored to receive the Northwoods League Organization of the year award.  2019 was an incredible inaugural season and winning this award is the cherry on top.  This kind of recognition reaffirms that the Pit Spitters brand of affordable family fun is resonating with our fantastic fans in Traverse City and Northern Michigan.”


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG), World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS) and MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.