Turn a downtrodden franchise that couldn’t fill half its seats into a division winner that leads the major leagues in attendance and it tends to get noticed. Both collectively and individually.
Stan Kasten, the Dodgers president, chief executive officer and part owner, was named the 2013 Sports Executive of the Year on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Sports Council.
Kasten arrived with the Dodgers’ new ownership group, Guggenheim Baseball Management, with a reputation for creating winning franchises. He and Guggenheim wasted no time with the Dodgers.
It didn’t exactly hurt the cause that they were flush with cash and willing to spend it, but they made the right moves in turning the Dodgers back into winners, on the field and at the gate.
With a largely revamped roster, the Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series last season. After drawing only 2.93 million in attendance in Frank McCourt’s final full season as owner in 2011 – a figure that appeared highly inflated – the Dodgers led the majors in attendance last season at 3.74 million.
Kasten, 61, is scheduled to receive his new honor at the Ninth Annual L.A. Sports Awards March 5 at the Beverly Hills Hilton.
Previous winners of the executive award have something of a checkered past, unless you remain big Arte Moreno and Tim Leiweke fans. The previous winners are: Leiweke, AEG (2012); Moreno, Angels (2011); Leiweke, (2010); Jerry Buss, Lakers (2009); Mitch Kupchak, Lakers (2008); Brian Burke, Ducks (2007); Ned Colletti, Dodgers/Burke, Ducks (2006); and Moreno, Angels (2005).