Blue Jays affiliate named top minor league team

Vancouver Canadians' pitchers and Toronto Blue Jays' prospects Shane Dawson, left, of Drayton Valley, Alta., and Tom Robson, of Ladner, B.C. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

The Vancouver Canadians, a single-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, received some prestigious recognition Monday when they were awarded the John H. Johnson President’s Trophy as Minor League Baseball’s top organization of 2013.

The honour, handed out by the central office that oversees affiliated minor leagues, is given to what’s judged to be the most complete franchise. No Canadian minor league team had won the award since its inception in 1974.

“There are few words to describe how proud we are of this award,” Canadians owner Jake Kerr, who bought the team with Jeff Mooney in 2007, said in a statement. “(President) Andy Dunn and his staff have been extraordinary in developing this team into something our community can be proud of.”

The Canadians, who won a straight Northwest League Championship this season, drew more than 195,000 fans in 2013, setting a new team attendance record for the fifth straight year.

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