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September 21, 2010 - 8:23pm

Pro baseball in Batavia in 2011 likely, says Red Wings president

posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.


Today Batavia baseball fans learned that they're not without hope that some St. Louis Cardinals prospect will be hurling an opening day pitch at Dwyer Stadium in June, 2011.

At a press conference where Cardinals officials were on hand to sign a new affiliation agreement with the Genesee County Baseball Club, Naomi Silver, president of Rochester Community Baseball said the Red Wings are prepared to support baseball in Batavia for at least one more season.

There are details to be settled before the current agreement expires on Oct. 31, but Silver said the Red Wings "will not leave GCBC in the lurch."

Without financial backing, and if a new owner is not found in time, GCBC could lose its New York-Penn League franchise and the $4 to $6 million that could be garnered in a sale.

"If the details of a sale have not been worked out, we would be willing to come in and help out Batavia and continue to run the ball club," Silver said. "I think the chances of baseball being in Batavia in 2011 are extremely strong. What role we play in that has yet to be determined."

Even so, Silver said, the club needs to be sold. The ideal buyer would be somebody committed to the community, with sufficient financial backing to keep the team in Batavia.

"We won’t walk away while we’re waiting for a buyer to come along," Silver said. "Somebody has got to be able to run this team because the St. Louis Cardinals are going to come here and expect to field a team. That is our obligation and that is the league's obligation."

For the Cardinals part, the storied major league franchise sent Assistant Manager John Abbamondi and John Vuch, director of Minor League operations, to Batavia to sign a new two-year agreement with GCBC.

GCBC President Brian Paris said the new agreement and the presense of Abarmondi and Vuch signal how committed the Cardinals are to working with GCBC, the Red Wings and baseball in Batavia.

"They could have done this through the mail," Paris said. "They could have done this through a fax machine, but they told me they wanted to come out here and and show their support."

The Cardinals show of support for baseball in Batavia comes just a couple of weeks after NY-Penn League President Ben Hayes criticized the Dwyer field, saying it was unfit for professional baseball.

"Always, there are things that could be better, but some of the concerns may have been overblown," said Vuch. "The facility is a safe facility. There are not glaring problems. We understand the situation here and we have no concerns."

Vuch praised the community for its support of the players, from giving prospects places to live, to providing a positive environment to support their development.

"The community has always been a good host for our players," Vuch said.

(Initial Post)

Russ Salway
Russ Salway's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Jun 1 2008 - 7:54pm
Of course I'm very happy to see pro baseball return to Batavia for a 72nd season! What I hope to see now is the local community step up to the plate and support our team in anyway possible for each person/group/business. I would like to see the local banks step up and support our team. I traveled to Auburn and Jamestown and the same banks in those small cities showed support with advertising. Season tickets went up this past season and I believe we can raise that number again. One way to raise our season tickets is splitting them with friends or neighbors. Two people can buy a set of season tickets, split up the games and the cost is only half. I hope more groups continue to come out for a night at the park! Last season did see an increase in many areas and I intend on seeing all those numbers increase again. Together we can support and keep our franchise right here where it belongs. Its more then just baseball! You hear it over and over again when somoene goes to their first game. Its a community event. I will be working until the 1st pitch of the 2011 season. Thanks to the Red Wings and the St. Louis Cardinals for their continued support for pro baseball in Batavia!
Gregory Hallifax
Gregory Hallifax's picture
Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 22 2009 - 10:38am
It is great news to hear we will have baseball for the next couple of years and thank you to the Cardinals for believing in the Muckdogs. I can't wait to hear Travis sing Sweet Caroline again.
wayne bell
wayne bell's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 12 2008 - 6:47pm
Another season of empty promises from the Red Wings and Russ Salway. Rochester Baseball must have figured out another season in Batavia would increase the money they will make. I would love Russ to compare the season ticket sales and the corporate sponsorship from 5 years ago to last year and then tell us all about the rosy picture at Dwyer Stadium. I have not attended a game in the last 2 years because of the Red Wings connection to the team, but I am told the attendance in the stands is less than 25% at any game other than 4th week end or the Friday night firework days. When was the last time there was any promotions that brought people to the game. Russ you need to look back at the attendence for $1 beer night, Molson Mondays and others that people wanted to attend. I do love baseball and wish that the plan that the BRRC had in place, before Mr. Paris was inticed by Ms. Silver, was used then we would not be held hostage by her every seasons end.
Howard B. Owens
Howard B. Owens's picture
Last seen: 2 days 4 hours ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm
Wayne, don't you think it's unfair to attack a VOLUNTEER? Russ works his butt of to promote the Muckdogs, completely unpaid. Whether you agree or not with how the team is marketed, Russ has no say or control over that. He just does what he can to try to get more fans in the stands. Second, if not for the Red Wings, there would be no baseball in Batavia. Have you forgotten that the Muckdogs lost $150K the season before the Red Wings took over? The Red Wings took on that loss, and deficits each season since to the tune of $100K to $150K. To blame the Red Wings for the state of the team is beyond ridiculous. And entirely ungrateful. What it all comes down to is very simple: the fans and the local businesses need to support their home town team. Period.

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