Pittsfield Suns GM Kristen Huss earns executive of the year honors for Futures League

There are 159 summer wood bat college baseball league teams in the United States. The fact that the Pittsfield Suns are in the top 25 in attendance is part of the reason why the team's general manager has been honored by the Futures League.

Suns G.M. Kristen Huss has been named the league's executive of the year for 2017.

"When I found out, I was very shocked and humbled," said Huss, reached in Charleston, S.C., where the Goldklang Group is holding its annual October meetings, "and very excited. Whenever you're recognized by your peers, it means a lot."

"Kristen is well-deserving of this prestigious honor," Suns owner Jeff Goldklang said in a release. "She has led the charge in the Suns' offering one of the premiere summer experiences in the Berkshires, and her oversight has contributed to the renaissance at Wahconah Park.

"In a league filled with many deserving candidates, Kristen has consistently stood near the top."

Huss moved from one Goldklang Group team to another in the fall of 2015, when she moved from the group's New York-Penn League franchise in Hudson Valley to Pittsfield. She had worked her way up the ladder with the Renegades and was the team's assistant general manager, before being named general manager of the Suns.

The Suns were second in the Futures League in attendance, drawing 42,106 fans to Wahconah Park and averaging 1,559 per game. Both numbers were second to the Worcester Bravehearts' numbers, 65,957 total and 2,356 average. The numbers are especially impressive because Worcester's population is listed at 184,508, while Pittsfield's is around 42,000.

In addition, the Suns ranked 23rd out of those 159 summer league teams in average attendance, and are 26th in total attendance.

On the field, Pittsfield was 26-27 in 2017 and qualified for the Futures League playoffs. The Suns' trip to the postseason was brief, as Nashua scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning at Wahconah Park and went on to beat the Suns 5-2, before 2,740 fans.

The attendance set a single-game playoff record for the Suns. The previous best was 1,621 in a playoff loss during the 2014 season.

"Kristen's a tremendous asset to the Pittsfield community and the Futures League," commissioner Chris Hall said in a statement. "Her enthusiastic personality is infectious with the players, her staff and the Pittsfield Suns fans as well as with her peers within the league."

For her part, the Suns' general manager said she is pleased to accept the executive-of-the-year award, but also realizes that she didn't earn it all by herself.

"It recognizes the hard work that the staff does," she said. "I couldn't be where I am without their efforts."

Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253 or @howardherman.


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