Most Valuable Team wins Greater Austin Business Award for good works
On any given night during baseball season, players of the Round Rock Express (and let’s not forget Spike), proudly wear their official uniform that dons the logo of a locomotive. This logo that prominently features a cow catcher and intricate details that combine a baseball and the Texas flag into a train is similar to Watty Piper’s novel, The Little Engine that Could. Like that tiny locomotive, the Round Rock Express, well, did.
The Round Rock Express was founded in 2000 when Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and his son Reid bought the then-Double-A Jackson Generals and relocated them to Round Rock, Texas. The team played as the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros before becoming a Triple-A franchise in 2005. The team changed affiliations to the Texas Rangers prior to the 2010 season and remain so to this day.
600,000 devoted fans later, the Round Rock Express is still chugging down that track—this time paying it forward to the community that believed in them first. In 2016 alone, staff and players contributed more than 400 volunteer hours in the Central Texas region and donated over $700,000 to help with educational programs, medical research, and to support disadvantaged youth in the region.
“We are proud to call Central Texas home,” said Chris Almendarez, President of the Round Rock Express. “The people who live, work, and play in this community are the same people who work to make it as great as it is. I’m proud of our front office staff, players, and coaches for continually contributing to giving back here.”
The Round Rock Express was bestowed the Cook Walden Community Relations Award. The accolade, a category of the Greater Austin Business Awards program, recognizes an organization that demonstrates a successful approach to corporate social responsibility in the community.
“We are so honored to win this award,” said Almendarez. “We take our social responsibility seriously. It’s one of our core values and we are proud to be able to use the game of baseball to make such a positive impact.”
Recently, the Round Rock Express launched their shirt campaign, “One State. One Team,” to raise funds for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. All proceeds donated through the campaign will go to the Rebuild Texas Fund, headed by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. For more ways on how you can donate, call 512-255-2255, or click here.
For more information on the Round Rock Express, click here to visit their website.
Pictured (left to right): Ellen Wood, Chair of Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce; William Dyson of High Five Events; Chris Almendarez of Round Rock Express; Kristie Gonzales of KVUE; Michele Walker-Moak of Applied Materials, Inc.; and Kevin B. Hull of Cook Walden.
Greater Austin Chamber
The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce focuses on how the Austin Region works. We serve as the voice of business for 2,800 organizations representing a combined workforce of about 330,000 employees throughout Central Texas. Our mission is to provide leadership that facilitates the creation of a prosperous regional economy and effective advocacy for members.