The Missoula Paddleheads announced on Tuesday that star first baseman and designated hitter Jayson Newman, an integral part of Zootown's perennial championship-caliber team, had been named Most Valuable Player of the Pioneer Baseball League for the 2022 season.

Newman led the league this year atop the leaderboards in the following categories:

  • Home Runs (32)
  • Runs Batted In (115)
  • Total Bases (250) - for context, the Major League Leader in total bases in 2022 was Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge with 391. Judge played in sixty-nine more games than Newman.

Paddleheads manager Michael Schlact was among the first to congratulate Newman on his accomplishment:

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Newman also recently agreed to return to the Paddleheads for the 2023 season. Missoula players have now won the MVP award in back-to-back seasons; catcher Zac Almond won the award last year when the Paddleheads won the first PBL Championship since the league lost its MiLB affiliateship in 2020.

2 seasons in the books as the Paddleheads, 2 MVPs...the boys are batting a thousand!

Missoula lost in the PBL Championships series to Grand Junction in September of this year, however hopes are high for Zootown as the Paddleheads have been to the league's "big dance" two years in a row.

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Allegiance Field looks beautiful this time of year, with the snow blanketing the field and the stands empty; the cold chairs anxiously awaiting Missoula fans to fill them come the start of the 2022 season. The Paddleheads recently released their 2023 schedule and tickets are now on sale. The team expects to have their promotions calendar for home games ready by March or early April, per a team source.

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