When a baseball team is 53-78 and the general manager says, “we feel good about the way the season has gone,” it must be a minor league GM talking.

After a second straight sold-out game at Hadlock Field to end the home schedule on Sunday, Portland Sea Dogs General Manager Geoff Iacuessa looked satisfied.

“A successful season,” Iacuessa said.

With Sunday’s crowd of 7,368 factored in, the Sea Dogs drew 374,746 fans for 70 dates, or a 5,353 average. That is 144 less than last year’s average, but still ranks third in the 12-team Eastern League, behind Reading, Pennsylvania (6,147) and Richmond, Virginia (5,672).

With a week of games left to play, only four Eastern League teams have recorded a gain in average over last year – Reading (103 more), Trenton (32 more), Akron (four more) and Bowie (three more).

Iacuessa was especially pleased because revamped marketing efforts after the 2013 season (a franchise-low 5,096 average) are still working. Pushes for group sales as well as one-time promotions (Star Wars Night, etc.) have helped.

Good weather also benefited the Sea Dogs, with only one rain-out.

Weather can also negatively affect the average. When games in April and May – which feature the poorest attendance because of the weather – are all played, the average crowd is lower.

While a winning team can help attendance (the 2004 division-winning club had a 5,530 average), it is not crucial in the minors.

“It impacts the diehard baseball fan,” Iacuessa said. “This year, we weren’t a contender but we had exciting players to watch, with (Yoan) Moncada, (Andrew) Benintendi and (Mauricio (Dubon).”

NEXT SEASON’S schedule has not yet been announced, but Iacuessa did say the Sea Dogs will be home on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and the season-ending game on Labor Day. Also, because the Eastern League requires every team to open the season at home every other year, the 2017 season opener on April 6 will be at Hadlock.

The schedule will be announced in 2-3 weeks.

THE TEAM AWARDS for the Sea Dogs were announced before Sunday’s game.

Aneury Tavarez, who is leading the league in batting with .331 average, was named Most Valuable Player. The Pitcher of the Year was Keith Couch, who is 9-4 with a 3.34 ERA and three complete games.

Ryan Court, who has played every infield position and left field, received The 10th Man Award. He is batting .277 in 78 games.

And, for the third consecutive year, pitcher Mike McCarthy was named Citizen of the Year for his work in the local and international communities.

BASEBALL CARD sets were given out to the first 1,000 fans at Friday’s game, which produced a line outside Hadlock before the gates opened. The sets were highlighted by Benintendi and Moncada, who joined the team in-season.

Moncada was almost not included.

The cards were sent to the printer in June – without Moncada. When he was promoted to Portland on June 21, Sea Dogs officials called the printer with a “stop the presses” plea.

They were able to include Moncada, the Boston Red Sox top prospect, making the 2016 Sea Dogs card set a must-have for collectors. For those who could not get a free set, they are for sale for $10 in the Sea Dogs gift shop.