Batavia Muckdogs: No. 9 in What Made Genesee County Famous
We were wondering when the Muckdogs would make their appearance in the Holland Land Office Museum's countdown of the Twenty-Five Things that Made Genesee County Famous. Well, they've made it. They broke the top ten. They come in at No. 9.
So we all know why we here in Genesee County love the Muckdogs—and we loved them all the more after the brought home the league title this summer. But how do the 'Dawgs make Genesee County famous?
Here's Pat Weissend, director of the Holland Land Office Museum:
Although Batavia is one of the smallest cities in America to have a Minor League franchise, the team consistently ranks near the top of the merchandise sold list. More than 100 Little League and softball teams across the country use Muckdogs as their team name.
Not to mention the world champs:
Many major leaguers began their professional careers in Batavia including World Series champions and current members of the Philadelphia Phillies Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Kyle Kendrick, Ryan Madson and JA Happ. National media outlets visited Batavia in 1998 when Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams played left field for the team. Some of the early Batavia greats were Jack Tighe, Dick Fowler, Manny Sanguillen and Doc Ellis. Clarence (Cito) Gaston led Batavia and the league in homers and runs batted in while playing for the 1966 Trojans. Gaston won two World Series as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1990s.
OK, now that we're getting near the top of the list, it's time to start making some predictions. Surely, William Morgan will crack the top five. Bill Kauffman has got to be up there, too, as someone who has quite consciously made Genesee County famous with his book: Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette. A controversy over a transgender science teacher at a Batavia city school has to be at least number three.
What do you think? What's your number one?
Be sure to keep your browser tuned to the Holland Land Office Museum in the coming weeks. We could see our number one by the end of the year.