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March 11, 2022 - 4:36pm


As a baseball player for the Batavia High Blue Devils, Batavia Muckdogs and Erie Community College Kats, Vincent Grazioplene anticipates that he’ll be spending a lot of time behind home plate over the next several months.

The 5-foot-8, 165-pound 12th-grader has signed a letter of intent to attend Erie Community College in the fall and play baseball for the Division III Kats, a perennial National Junior College Athletic Association Region 3 powerhouse under longtime Coach Joe Bauth.

Erie CC plays in the competitive Western New York Athletic Conference that also includes Genesee Community College.

Grazioplene, who has played baseball – from T-ball to varsity -- for 12 of his 17 years, also has been recruited by the Batavia Muckdogs to play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this summer before the hometown fans at Dwyer Stadium.

After that, it’s on to Erie CC for a short fall league and then a 50-game collegiate schedule in the spring of 2023.

Making it to this point is quite an accomplishment as just 7 percent of high school athletes go on to play sports in college.

“We are very excited for Vincent. This is something that he’s wanted for a very long time and has worked very hard for,” said his mom, Erica, who took part in the photo session this afternoon at Batavia High.

Vincent’s father, Phil, was unable to attend due to work commitments.

Grazioplene, an honor student, says he plans to major in Business Administration at the two-year junior college.

Batavia High Coach James Patric said Grazioplene was the team’s defensive MVP last season.

“Vincent came off a tough football season – was banged up a bit and it took a little time to get back in the swing of things,” Patric said. “But once he was fully healthy, he was the rock behind the plate.”

Patric said Grazioplene had to catch an inexperienced pitching staff, with two pitchers moving up from Modified A ball to varsity and standout Alex Hale being unable to pitch.

“So, he had to create a chemistry with all the pitchers that were new – who spent a lot of time in the dirt. Graz saved us probably two to three runs a game; he really kept us in a lot of games that could have gotten away from us.”

As a hitter, Grazioplene batted .261 in 46 at-bats with seven runs scored and seven runs batted in. He drove in the team’s only run in a 2-1 sectional tournament loss to Hornell.

For his part, Grazioplene said his goal is to work hard and improve each and every time out.

“I hope to do great … get better and try my best,” he said, noting he has been taking part in “open gym” workouts. “I can’t wait to play.”

Batavia’s first official practice is on Monday and its first scheduled game is April 1 at Pittsford Mendon.

Photo: Batavia High Coach James Patric, Vincent Grazioplene and Erica Grazioplene at today's announcement that Vincent will attend Erie CC in the fall and play baseball for the Buffalo junior college. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

February 14, 2022 - 8:29pm

The Batavia City Council is throwing its support behind an Oneida County-initiated pitch to Gov. Kathy Hochul to provide state funding for “necessary repairs and enhancements” to municipally-owned baseball stadiums across New York State.

Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., at tonight’s Business Meeting at the City Hall Council Board Room, asked for – and received – authorization from his colleagues to put his name on a letter written by Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League President Robert F. Julian, asking Hochul to set aside $250 million in her state budget for improvements at these facilities, which include Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.

Dated Jan. 27, the letter is in response to state lawmakers’ consideration of appropriating $1 billion in taxpayer money to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills and proposing more than $100 million for Lake Placid to host the World University Games.

“… we believe there should be equity for other communities that are owners of municipal baseball stadiums throughout the state,” the letter reads. “These stadiums have a rich history and are part of the fabric of our communities. While they are not profit centers, they are a critical part of the public infrastructure providing recreational opportunities and civic engagement that enhances the quality of life in our communities.”

The letter also touches upon Major League Baseball’s “sudden abandonment” of minor league affiliates in 2020 that negatively affected operations in small cities and towns.

“New York has a proud history as a home to amateur and professional baseball, and that has continued as the PGCBL and other Independent leagues have quickly stepped up to fill the void left behind,” it reads. “However, we need assistance to make the transition into this new paradigm.”

Dwyer Stadium continues to be the home of the Batavia Muckdogs, a summertime club that is part of the PGCBL. Muckdogs’ owner Robbie Nichols also has signed the letter.

Other signatures are from representatives of the communities of Auburn, Boonville, Altamont, Amsterdam, Elmira, Geneva, Glens Falls, Jamestown, Little Falls, Niagara Falls, Newark, Oneonta, Saugerties, Utica and Watertown.

Picente and Julian wrote that the level of funding being requested “would provide adequate funds to allow for each of our communities to invest in necessary repairs and enhancements to protect and stabilize these stadiums.”

They also indicated they are reaching out to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, “seeking a partnership to bring to life their vast offerings in our facilities throughout the state.”

The letter also will be sent to state Senate and Assembly Majority and Minority leaders and State Budget Director Robert Mujica.

Council member Paul Viele, apparently thinking about the Batavia Ice Arena, asked if the letter could be modified to include arenas, but Jankowski said that it was focused on stadiums.

In other developments, Council approved the following resolutions:

  • Scheduling of a public hearing for 7 p.m. Feb. 28 on the city’s 2022-23 budget, water rates, meter fees and capital improvement fees. The $17.7 million spending plan calls for a tax levy of $5,986,000 – up $121,403 from 2021-22. The property tax rate, however, would decrease by 78 cents to $8.94 per $1,000 of assessed value. Water rates, meter fees and capital improvement fees are set to increase by 1.5 percent from last year’s rates.
  • Re-naming the Batavia Ice Arena on Evans Street to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena as a result of a contract with Pellegrino Auto Sales and the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation that would pay the city $3,100 annually for 10 years. Council member Robert Bialkowski applauded the decision. “I really appreciate the citizens coming forward and doing this. I think it’s a good move forward,” he said.

Previously: Council sends favorable signals to Batavia duo seeking to acquire ice arena naming rights

September 14, 2021 - 11:19am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia City Council, Batavia Muckdogs, genesee county.


Robbie Nichols and Marc Witt say they have about 50,000 reasons to support their claim that the first year of the Batavia Muckdogs’ participation in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League was a resounding success.

The team owner and general manager, respectively, took a few minutes at Monday night’s Batavia City Council meeting to report encouraging attendance figures for not only the team’s home games but also for the various other events that took place at Dwyer Stadium.

Nichols said the team averaged 1,778 fans per game over their 27 home games and attracted 501 season ticket holders, compared to 2019, when the team averaged 951 per game and had 79 season ticket holders.

An online check of Minor League Reference, however, lists the Muckdogs’ 2019 attendance at 1,135 per game for 37 home games.

Regardless of the exact numbers, Nichols was justified when he said, “We’re quite pleased at the way our first season turned out.”

When you combine the Muckdogs’ games with the numerous events held at Dwyer Stadium this summer, more than 50,000 people strolled through the gates. Other events included KMS Dance Academy competitions and clinics, PRIDE Festival, Challenger baseball, GLOW Academy Youth Baseball and Battle of Badges.

Collegiate baseball tournaments, an Alzheimer’s Walk and Muckdogs Monster Mash for kids (Oct. 23) are yet to come, Nichols said.

Witt acknowledged the “energy” provided by the Community Dance Team that entertained the crowd on a nightly basis, and pointed out how the players regularly interacted with the fans and community.

Nichols thanked the many sponsors and Council “for entrusting us with this great tradition.”

Council member John Canale, who said he attended several games, commented that the atmosphere “was tremendous.”

“You promised us that and you came through for us,” he said, prompting applause from his colleagues.

In other developments, Council passed the following resolutions:

  • A modified and restated sales tax allocation agreement with Genesee County through Dec. 31, 2059. The new contract does not change the terms and conditions between the city and county, but does include wording that allows the county to distribute $10 million annually in sales tax revenue to its towns and villages, beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

In 2018, the city and county reached a deal giving Batavia 16 percent of the county’s share of the sales tax – with provisions for that amount to grow in future years by a maximum of 2 percent per year. In future years, the city’s share will depend upon sales tax revenue growth, eventually being no less than 14 percent.

  • An amendment of the city’s zoning map to rezone parcels at 211 and 211 ½ East Main Street, just east of the existing Genesee Area Family YMCA, from P-2 (Planned Development) to C-3 (Commercial) to accommodate the construction of the Healthy Living Campus.
  • The installation of a street light on Highland Park due to insufficient lighting on a portion of that street. The resolution authorizes National Grid to install the fixture on an existing pole, which would cost the city about $90 a year for the electricity.
  • A contract with Bailey Electric Motor and Pump Supply of Corfu to replace a high service pump Variable Frequency Drive control at the Water Treatment Plant in the low bid amount of $23,878. Tabelski reported that the current part, which is 20 years old, has failed and the repair would be most costly than replacement. A VFD is a type of motor controller that drives an electric motor by varying the frequency and voltage of its power supply, and normally is a key component at the mechanical treatment stage, biological treatment stage, and chlorination and filtration stage.

Council also forwarded to next month’s Business Meeting a recommendation by City Manager Rachael Tabelski to transfer $711,000 in general fund balance to reserve funds and another $50,000 in the workers’ compensation fund to that fund’s reserves.

The funds earmarked for allocation are Police Reserve, DPW Equipment Reserve, Facilities Reserve, Compensated Absences, Parking Lot Reserve, Health Care Fund Reserve and Workers’ Compensation Fund Reserve.

Looking forward, Tabelski said she will be outlining recommendations for the use of the $1.4 million the city received in American Rescue Plan Act funding at the Conference Meeting on Sept. 27, and reported that bonding financial figures and design phase information for the new city police headquarters will be presented in November or December.

Photo: Marc Witt, left, and Robbie Nichols of the Batavia Muckdogs at Monday night's City Council meeting. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

September 13, 2021 - 11:10am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia City Council, Batavia Muckdogs, Freed Maxick.

The Batavia City Council, back in the public eye after a five-week break, is expected to hear a review of the Batavia Muckdogs’ summer baseball season from owner Robbie Nichols and an audit presentation for the 2020-21 fiscal year by Kathryn Barrett, director at Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C.

Those two items, along with City Manager Rachael Tabelski’s recommended transfers of unassigned funds to restricted reserve funds, highlight the agenda of Council’s Special Conference Meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. at the City Hall Council Board Room.

A Business Meeting, featuring five resolutions to be voted upon, will follow. One of those resolutions is to approve the modified and restated sales tax allocation agreement with Genesee County – action that paves the way for the county to distribute sales tax revenue on an annual basis to its towns and villages for the next 38 years.

Muckdogs Make Winning Debut

The Batavia club enjoyed a successful first season in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League after the city and CAN-USA Sports LLC, owned by Nichols and his wife, Nellie, came to a lease agreement over the winter to operate a team here – ultimately deciding to keep the popular nickname, Muckdogs.

The team posted a 22-19 record, finishing one game back of Geneva for a playoff berth in the league’s Western Division, but beyond that, fans flocked to Dwyer Stadium in large numbers. The Nichols and their players also supported numerous community events and causes.

In an interview with The Batavian at the end of July, Nichols said fans will see an even better team in 2022, stating that this year’s players will go back to their schools and tell the best players on their teams that “you want to go to Batavia."

“I think the team is really going to improve next year," he said.

Audit: City at ‘Healthy, Stable Position’

Barrett will present the key findings of the accounting firm’s audit of the city, which, per the document’s financial highlights section, continued to maintain a healthy and stable financial position for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.

“The city continues to maintain a positive unassigned fund balance. Despite the challenges such as a slow property tax base growth and state mandates (i.e. the property tax cap), the city continues to diligently commit one-time surplus funds to fund balance reserves for future capital investments,” the report reads.

Achievements over the past year, per the report, include:

-- Strong assigned and unassigned fund balances in the general fund and strong balances in the water and sewer funds, along with “healthy” operations in general, water and sewer funds;

-- Committing surplus to reserve funds for one-time equipment purchases and infrastructure and facility improvements;

-- Implementation of fiscal policies such as a fund balance policy, investment policy, revised purchasing manual and monthly financial monitoring.

Tabelski: Move $761,000 to Reserve Funds

The city manager, in a memo to the city’s Audit Advisory Committee dated Aug. 25, writes that after the 2021 fiscal year, the city is in “a good position to increase the percentage of unassigned fund balance … to 15 percent of current year general fund expenses.”

She recommends transferring $711,000 in general fund balance to reserve funds and another $50,000 in the workers’ compensation fund to that fund’s reserves.  Even with these transfers, she said there will be about $2,527,600 left in unassigned fund balance.

Tabelski noted that the city’s capital plan calls for “multiple” expenditures over the next two to five years, including public works equipment, sidewalk replacement and facility improvements – “without negatively affecting the city’s financial position or tax rate.”

The recommended transfers are as follows:

  • Police Reserve, $50,000, primarily to replace patrol and detective vehicles on an annual basis, with two vehicles to be replaced next year.
  • DPW Equipment Reserve, $100,000, raising the fund to $437,225, with the goal to replace three dump trucks/plows, six sedans, four pickup trucks with plows and a one-ton dump truck by the end of 2025.
  • Facilities Reserve, $136,000, considering work on multiple proposed projects, such as the new police station, improvements at the fire station, Bureau of Maintenance, City Centre and other buildings.
  • Compensated Absences, $75,000, noting the city’s liability in this area is $1.94 million, with nearly $200,000 due within a year, and also that three pending retirements will affect the general fund by nearly $100,000.
  • Parking Lot, $100,000, with an eye on repaving, by 2025, lots on Williams Street, Court Street Plaza and Bureau of Maintenance
  • Health Care Fund Reserve, $250,000, to build back funds spent over the last two years. As of March 31, the fund had $10,155.47 in restricted reserves and $13,863.08 in assigned fund balance.
  • Workers’ Compensation Fund Reserve, $50,000, with the goal of reaching $1 million in the fund’s restricted reserve. As of March 31, the WC fund had $580,424.34 of restricted reserves and $485,111.13 in assigned fund balance.
July 15, 2021 - 12:15pm

From BPD:

The Batavia Muckdogs are proud to host the inaugural "Battle of the Badges" game between our local Police and Fire departments in Batavia.

The game will take place this Sunday, July 18th, on Give716 Day at the ballpark -- Western New York's community-wide day of giving.

Batavia will host the Elmira Pioneers for a 4:05 p.m. start, with the "Battle of the Badges" game following the completion of the Muckdogs vs. Pioneers game.

Tickets will be required for the police vs. fire matchup, and admission will be counted toward both games that occur on Sunday. Tickets range from $9-11, and a dollar is added if purchased the day of. For tickets, call (585) 524-2260.

July 7, 2021 - 6:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, sports, baseball, news.


The Muckdogs battled at home on Tuesday night but in the end just couldn't put up enough runs to beat Geneva, dropping the final game of a homestand 3-2.

The team is in Niagara tonight and will play Elmira at home tomorrow.  

The losing pitcher Tuesday was George Osborne, a junior at Alcorn State University. Osborne, with an ERA of 2.34, put in six solid innings, fanning 10, but picked up his first loss (no wins) in three starts.  

Tyler Prospero, from Batavia, struck out two in a scoreless inning of work.

Cameron Conley, who will be attending Pepperdine University, raised his average to .281 with two hits. Conley has appeared in nine games, getting a hit in all but two of those games.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene Photography.










May 18, 2021 - 4:14am
posted by Press Release in sports, Batavia Muckdogs, baseball.

Press release:

As heavily requested, single game tickets are now available for all 29 home games throughout the 2021 baseball season. The official Muckdogs schedule can be found on the Perfect Game website (pgcbl.com) and on our Facebook page, “Batavia Muckdogs Baseball.”

To purchase tickets, please call (585) 524-2260 to be in attendance and cheer on your Muckdogs at historic Dwyer Stadium!

Season ticket packages are also still available for the 2021 season. For inquiries, make sure to call (607) 734-7825 before our home opener against Elmira on June 4th.

Be on the lookout for more Batavia Muckdogs news as the season kicks off in less than three weeks!

We hope to see you in the stands; Go Dogs!


May 11, 2021 - 3:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Eli Fish Brewing Co., Sanzo Beverage, Batavia Muckdogs.


Eli Fish Brewing Co. is counting on Sanzo Beverage to distribute and promote its core brands, with the goal of introducing Western New York to the independent brewery’s expertise in the craft beer industry and to attract beer lovers to the City of Batavia.

Owners and key employees of the two Batavia businesses announced the joint venture Monday afternoon at the Eli Fish location at 109 Main St.

“We’ve been established as a maker of fine products and for our restaurant in Batavia and we just celebrated our third anniversary,” said Matt Gray, Eli Fish co-owner. “We’ve grown each and every year, and the next logical step is to start this distribution in our own home territory and we’re really thrilled about partnering with Sanzo Beverage.”

Rick Sanzo, owner of Sanzo Beverage, which has been in Batavia since Jan. 1, 1995, said his distribution system is set up for Eli Fish to grow its market share.

“I always told Matt that I would be interested in being a part of Eli Fish if the opportunity every arose,” Sanzo said. “Now, they are making enough beer – they have the tanks to support a mobile canning line – for the hauling of cans and kegs (draft beer). Matty finally let me know that they had the capacity, that they could branch out and we were very interested in branching out with them.”

Sanzo said his company currently trucks beer to Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties and has a group that will distribute it to Erie, Niagara and Monroe counties.

“Batavia is making great beer and Adam (Burnett, the head brewer at Eli Fish) is very well respected in the brewing industry. If we can get it into people’s hands and make Batavia a destination – get people to come here and try the beer – we think it’s great for our community as there are a lot of locally owned businesses that people can go to here.”

Initially, the plan is to distribute three principal brands -- Strange Days, a Scotch ale; Pillow Talk, a witbier (Belgian wheat), and Maple Blueberry Sunshine, a Six Flags Darien Lake co-branded product. The latter is brewed, packaged and sold by Eli Fish for Darien Lake to sell under its name.

“We’re excited about the initial launch of Strange Days, Pillow Talk and Maple Blueberry, both in cans and draft,” said Mark Stark, vice president/craft for Sanzo Beverage. “The nice thing about having a hometown brewery in our network is that if you have the obscure place that is looking for something a bit different, Eli Fish has 23 varieties on tap. We can come and get them because they’re right in our backyard, and we are able to provide these brews to our customers.”

Burnett said that 23 of the 24 beers on tap at the brewery are Eli Fish-made beers, with the other being a cider that is mixed outside of Batavia.

“We have light lagers, pale ales, IPAs (India Pale Ale), stouts, sours, fruited beers and seltzers,” Burnett said. “I try to keep at least two or three of each of those on all the time.”

Eli Fish co-owner Jon Mager handled the brewing on a full-time basis when the business opened, but now assists Burnett.

“I was brewing everything for about a year but working with my other day job (as the owner of Arctic Refrigeration), it started to take a toll,” he said. “I knew Adam from high school and we brought him in full time. Now, I relieve Adam when he needs a break.”

Burnett pointed out that they get all of the malt needed for the brews from Batavian Ted Hawley, who provides it from his Bank Street Road location.

“About 95 percent of beer is malt while hops are minimal,” Burnett explained. “A normal batch of beer is going to be 500 pounds of malt and five pounds of hops. We dechlorinate city water and use salts to make the profile mimic the styles were trying to create.”

Gray said his company has done “very limited self-distribution to a couple local restaurants in town that we have relationships with (including Alex’s Place, which he also owns).”

Sanzo said his drivers will take the beer to restaurants, bars, stores – any venue that has a liquor license.

“They’re already partnering with Darien Lake so that’s a huge sampling opportunity. Maybe this year, the amphitheater will open up again and we can do some sampling there, too,” he said.

Eli Fish also makes Muckdog beer – the official craft beer of the Batavia Muckdogs, who open their baseball season at Dwyer Stadium on June 4.

Gray said he hopes that getting Eli Fish beer to other locales will result in more traffic in Downtown Batavia.

“We’re a community-focused business and we love being downtown, We chose to be downtown for a reason,” he said. “We hope that people who do visit here walk downtown, go to other restaurants and other bars, and go shopping. It helps the entire community.”

For more information about Eli Fish Brewing Co., go to its website – www.elifishbrewing.com.


Photo at top: Jon Mager and Matt Gray of Eli Fish Brewing Co.; Rick Sanzo of Sanzo Beverage, and Adam Burnett, head brewer for Eli Fish; bottom, Adam Burnett stands next to brewing apparatus. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

January 19, 2021 - 3:49pm
posted by James Burns in Batavia Muckdogs, sports, dwyer stadium, baseball.

bataviamuckdogs.pngWhen was the last time an actual owner of the Muckdogs was at Dwyer Stadium? There is one there today.

Things continue to change for the new Muckdogs under the ownership of Robbie Nichols. He's at Dwyer stadium talking to fans and helping sell season tickets until 6:30 this evening. 


General Admission seats are just $99.

Reserve box seats are $199.

Reserved seats come with waitstaff so you don’t miss a pitch. 

If you can't make it down to Dwyer Stadium today, please call or email the Batavia Muckdogs at (607) 734-7825 or [email protected]

Nichols has been in town this week meeting with local businesses, talking to fans and he also has plans to reach out to the area's Little Leagues to talk with them about the Muckdogs being a more active part of the community.  

The Muckdogs are finalizing this season's plans and now have a new official Facebook page you can follow for more updates on the coming season. 


January 7, 2021 - 3:25pm

The Batavia City Council on Monday night will be asked to consider a proposal from the owner/operator of the Elmira Pioneers, a team in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, to place a PGCBL club at Dwyer Stadium for the 2021 summer season.

Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski this morning informed The Batavian that Robbie Nichols will make a presentation during Council’s Special Conference session to take place via Zoom videoconferencing at 7 p.m.

It will be followed by a Business Meeting where the board – if it likes the idea – is expected to vote on a lease agreement with Nichols’ enterprise, known as CAN-USA Sports LLC. Nichols and his wife, Nellie, also own the Elmira Enforcers of the Federal Prospects (Ice) Hockey League.

“Robbie Nichols has been approved by the (PGCB) League to start and operate a team here in Batavia,” Tabelski said. “He has been interested in putting together a second team in the league and, with things happening the way they did with Major League Baseball, he actually had reached out to the (New York-) Penn league, and the NY-P put us in touch with him.”

Tabelski said representatives of other teams contacted her, “but none had league backing already -- nor a record of success in owning a team in this league.”

According to a memo from Tabelski to City Council dated Jan. 4, the terms of a new lease agreement to use Dwyer Stadium are as follows:

  • A five-year lease;
  • Rent from Year 1-3, $1; Year 4, $7,500 (placed into the Dwyer Stadium Capital Reserve Fund); Year 5, $10,000 (placed into the Dwyer Stadium Capital Reserve Fund).
  • Operator pays for the field maintenance and utility costs to operate.
  • Operator will allow use of the field, as appropriate, to community groups, Little League, high schools, etc.

The City has had long history with a Batavia professional baseball franchise, starting in 1939 with the Batavia Clippers as an original member of the Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York (PONY) League.

The Batavia team later was named the Indians, Pirates, Trojans and Clippers (again) before taking the Muckdogs name in 1998 based on a fan poll that chose the nickname and logo.

In 2019, Batavia celebrated its 80th anniversary as the only founding member of the league still in existence.

Since then, MLB has taken control of Minor League Baseball and discontinued short-season competition, with the Muckdogs not among the teams invited to remain as a Major League affiliate.

Tabelski wrote that the PGCBL was founded in 2010 by eight summer baseball teams across Upstate New York in conjunction with Perfect Game USA, baseball’s premier scouting service. The league’s eight founding members were in Albany, Amsterdam, Cooperstown, Elmira, Glens Falls, Mohawk Valley, Newark and Watertown.

Per its website, current teams are located in Watertown, Adirondack (Boonville), Newark, Mohawk Valley, Utica, Oneonta, Albany, Saugerties, Geneva, Elmira, Amsterdam, Glens Falls and Jamestown.

Due to COVID-19, the league cancelled its 2020 season.

For more information about the league, go to www.pgcbl.com.

A telephone call to Nichols was not returned at the time of the posting of this story.

January 6, 2020 - 1:49pm

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today released the following statement, following his meeting with Commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB) Rob Manfred:

“Last month, Commissioner Manfred and I had a productive meeting to discuss Minor League Baseball’s presence in New York. Throughout the state, from Binghamton to Auburn, to Batavia, Staten Island and beyond baseball is woven into the very fabric of our communities, with fan bases that glean a sense of pride and joy from their success.

"That is why I will continue to fight to ensure that these teams remain in those communities. It is critical going forward that all of the parties — from team owners, to local leaders, to MLB and MiLB representatives—step up to the plate and negotiate in good faith,” Senator Schumer said.In fact, I have urged MLB officials to come to these communities and hear directly from local leaders, and I expect that will occur early this year.” 

 “We appreciate Senator Schumer’s efforts to bring the parties together to discuss the issues that currently exist in Minor League Baseball,” said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred Jr. “We are at the very early stage of negotiations and are hopeful that Minor League Baseball will come to the negotiating room and engage in good faith negotiations in an effort to make a deal.”

In November, news reports revealed that MLB proposed plans to take 42 teams that are currently affiliated with Major League teams and reassign them to compete in a newly-formed league, called the Dream League. Reports indicate that MLB’s proposal would mean the reassignment of four teams across New York State: the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Batavia Muckdogs, Auburn Doubledays and Staten Island Yankees — and an alteration of the business plans of the Tri-City Valleycats, Hudson Valley Renegades and Brooklyn Cyclones.

In November, after learning of the proposal, Schumer wrote to MLB to express his serious concerns, request the league sit down with local stakeholders to discuss the plan and search for constructive solutions that would maintain minor league baseball’s strong presence in Upstate New York.

In the time since, MLB met with representatives of MiLB and team owners to work through and negotiate potential plans in further detail. Schumer is now urging those conversations to continue and for all of the parties to negotiate in good faith to figure out a way to preserve baseball throughout Upstate New York.

August 13, 2019 - 5:51am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Muckdogs, baseball, first responders night.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs are pleased to announce that the Thursday, Aug. 15th, game vs. the West Virginia Black Bears will be First Responders Night at Dwyer Stadium.

In appreciation of area first responders, the Muckdogs will be offering two complementary General Admission tickets to the game for all active police, fire, and emergency services personnel.

First responders can receive their tickets by showing proper identification at the Dwyer Stadium box office during normal business hours (weekdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) leading up to the game or on game night up until the seventh inning.

In addition, first responders will have the opportunity to purchase additional tickets beyond the two complementary at the group rate of $5 per ticket.

The Muckdogs currently have a three-game lead over West Virginia for first place in a hotly contested playoff race.

First pitch Thursday is set for 7:05 p.m. and it’s also Thirsty Thursday, presented by Labatt. All fans 21 and over can enjoy $2 16-ounce cans of Blue and Blue Light until the seventh inning.

July 28, 2019 - 12:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs will try again today to end the toughest losing streak of the 2019 season as they host the Williamsport Crosscutters at 5:05 p.m. as part of Irish Night.

On Saturday, a crowd of 2,779 packed Dwyer Stadium -- thanks to Tompkins Bank of Castile purchasing all of the general admission tickets in an effort to draw a record crowd (the bank also hosted an employee picnic) -- but the Muckdogs fell to Williamsport, 7-0.

Batavia (24-18) remains not only in first place in the New York-Penn Pinckney Division, but in the hunt for the best overall NYPL record, trailing Lowell (Red Sox) 26-14) and the Mets' farm club, Brooklyn Cyclones (24-16).

The Muckdogs, the affiliate of the Miami Marlins, still have a two-game lead over the West Virginia Black Bears, who have lost two in a row and are 21-19. Mahoning Valley (22-20) has won two in a row and State College (22-20) has won three in a row. The Muckdogs have lost four.

The first year of the Batavia minor league team in the current league, the team drew 3,000 fans on May 10, 1939. The stadium was called State Street Park and to accommodate so many fans, they watched from the outfield fence, which was a snow fence at the time, and borrowed chairs from a local funeral home.

The record-setting attendance was set on July 4th 2008,when the Muckdogs drew 3,021 fans.

Saturday night, thanks to Tompkins Bank of Castile buying 2,000 tickets for fans who packed the park, the Muckdogs drew 2,779. This time, kids and families were in the grass on the first- and third-base lines and the picnic area was full of fans.

The Williamsport team was having the fun on the field as Kendall Simmons hit a home run and Juan Aparicio went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple.

Batavia was led by the hot-hitting J.D. Orr, who went 2-for-4. The 10th-round pick this year of the Marlins is now hitting a lead-leading .375 on the season.

Andrew Turner, Troy Johnston and Dalvy Rosario all had hits for Batavia.

Muckdogs' pitching has now put up some budding two-game stars. A total of seven pitchers have thrown 18 innings with 21 strikeouts and zero walks.

Saturday, Easton Lucas (four Ks in three innings), Dakota Bennett (two strikeouts in 5.0 innings) and Joey Steele (a scoreless ninth and he struck out the side) combined for nine strikeouts and no walks.

Muckdogs catcher Dustin Skelton, an 18th-round Marlins draft pick this year, threw out three runners trying to steal.

Sunday is a 5:05 p.m. start and it's O'Lacy's Irish Day. O'Lacy's has specials and tickets, you can visit the restaurant or follow them on Facebook. It is also free admission for MuckPups and kids can run the bases.

Before the game, next to the souvenir stand, it is Autograph Alley as eight players will sign autographs, pose for photos and selfies with fans. There will be special Irish Chips, which are fries covered with fresh corned beef, gravy and cheddar cheese. There will also be specials on Irish beers.

Tickets are available at muckdogs.com or stop by the Dwyer Stadium Ticket office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. The number is 585-483-3647.

Photo: Fans received foam fingers entering Dwyer Stadium on Saturday, courtesy Tompkins Bank of Castile. A crowd of 2,779 came close to the near record-setting crowd of 3,000 on May 10, 1939. The record-setting attendance was set on July 4th 2008, when the Muckdogs drew 3,021 fans.​

February 26, 2019 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, baseball, sports, news.

Press release:

TicketReturn announced today that it will become the exclusive ticketing provider for the Batavia Muckdogs professional baseball team.

The club’s box office will be able to take advantage of TicketReturn’s strategic partnerships and dedicated client support representatives to best serve fans across Genessee County.

TicketReturn, a leading provider of box office, online and mobile ticketing services, offers nearly two decades of technology management experience to help clients across the country exceed their goals.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company offers a full suite of ticketing innovations, including event marketing, access control, attendance reporting, accounting and fundraising features for sports and entertainment venues.

The Muckdogs will benefit from TicketReturn’s strategic partnership with Groupmatics, which offers a streamlined process for the sale and distribution of group tickets. The club will also be able to add its own color palettes and logos on TicketReturn’s enhanced mobile design for customer transactions.

Batavia can now offer non-ticket inventory items during the online transaction. TicketReturn has shown a proven ability to deliver incremental revenue for its ticketing partners.

The Muckdogs will be able to offer fans a variety of ticket packages, including season tickets and mini-plans.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with Batavia’s box office team as they prepare for the season.” said Christie Hussey, TicketReturn’s vice president of Sales and Marketing.

“We pride ourselves on offering client support representatives that are available to provide support and fast onboarding as the Muckdogs prepare for the new season.”

The Batavia Muckdogs competes in the New York-Penn League as the Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins.

This partnership furthers TicketReturn’s commitment to provide ticketing solutions and services to professional sports teams, colleges and universities throughout the country.

About TicketReturn  

TicketReturn is a leading provider of box office and online ticketing services serving more than 250 client venues and issuing more than 38 million tickets annually. As the leading provider of ticketing services for Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in the United States and Canada, TicketReturn also serves minor league hockey teams, soccer, basketball and lacrosse. TicketReturn’s diverse client venues range from theater and casino showrooms, motorsports, horse racing, university arenas and sports stadiums reflecting the ease of use and scalability of the platform.

For more information about TicketReturn, visit us at www.ticketreturn.com

January 22, 2018 - 11:48pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city council, Batavia Muckdogs, dwyer stadium, Batavia Players.

The prospect of keeping professional baseball at Dwyer Stadium is looking brighter after the Batavia City Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the assignment of the Dwyer Stadium lease to the New York-Penn League and its wholly owned subsidiary, Batavia Muckdogs Inc.

The NY-P has decided to step in and run the Short Season Class A team, which had been operated by the Rochester Red Wings for the past decade. The league ended the agreement between Rochester and the Genesee County Baseball Club Inc., in November.

“We had several conversations (with NY-P officials) in late fall, and they expressed a desire to stay in Batavia for 2018,” City Attorney George Van Nest said at tonight’s meeting at City Centre Council Chambers.

Van Nest said the issue of extending the lease and sublease is time sensitive since the NY-P hopes to begin assessing Dwyer Stadium later this month. He said the all terms of the current lease will remain the same – removing the GCBC from the lease -- and the extension will be in force through April 2019.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian noted that the Red Wings “removed their equipment,” inferring there could be additional City expense above and beyond the $25,000 it contributes to the stadium on an annual basis.

Van Nest said NY-P officials talked about improvements to the facility.

It also is believed that pre-existing agreements for local high schools to use Dwyer Stadium will continue. It is unclear if the NY-P will supply its own staff or use local employees, including longtime groundskeeper Don Rock, who attended tonight’s meeting.

In other action, Council:

-- Agreed to consider leasing three City-owned City Centre Mall parcels (known as the Dent property) to the Batavia Players theater troupe, but expressed concerns about the rent schedule, square footage and the ability to sell the parcels if desired.

Christian questioned Patrick Burk, Batavia Players president, about the number of employees, wages, volunteers and hours invested into their productions. Burk said there are 15 to 20 part-time employees throughout the year at their current location of 56 Harvester Ave., some who receive stipends that pay them “more than minimum wage in some cases.”

But Christian said she had a “problem with leasing any parts of the mall.”

“I want to totally get out of the mall,” she said. “I have a problem with nonprofits not paying property taxes.”

The lease agreement calls for monthly rent charges of $747.92 for months one through six ($1 per square foot), $1,223.86 for months seven through 12 ($3 per square foot), and $2,991.66 for months 13 through 60 ($4 per square foot). It also allows the City to sell the property, with 180 days’ notice. By multiplying the initial rent times 12, that comes to 8,975 square feet that the City would be leasing to the Batavia Players.

Councilman Robert Bialkowski said he found a discrepancy in the square footage, and asked if the City would end up subsidizing part of the maintenance fees.

Van Nest said he and Interim City Manager Matt Worth would look into the fees and square footage and provide that information to Council prior to the Feb. 12 Business meeting.

Council members John Canale and Patti Pacino spoke on behalf of Batavia Players, with Canale calling the organization “a pillar of the community” that would draw much activity to downtown.

“Plus, with the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative award that the City received), part of it is to get the arts to the downtown area,” he said.

Burk said the Batavia Players are seeking more than $500,000 from the City's $10 million DRI award to fund most of the organization's relocation project.

Pacino urged her colleagues to “please put feet on the street downtown” by leasing space to Batavia Players.

In the end, Council voted to move the proposal to the Feb. 12 meeting contingent upon an accurate count of the square footage to be leased.

-- Moved resolutions concerning the 2018-19 budget, water rate changes, Business Improvement District plan and City Centre concourse user fee local law amendments (see preview story below) to the Feb. 12 Business meeting.

-- Agreed to consider a contract with In Site: Architecture LLP, of Perry, to assess the deteriorating condition of the pillars at the north entrance of Redfield Parkway, and conduct design work as required related to lighting, preparation of bid documents, construction specifications, bidding coordination and construction administration at a cost of $4,860.

Worth said In Site: Architecture has an outstanding track record of historic work, and called its bid a “soup to nuts proposal.”

Earlier, Council heard from city resident John Roach, who asked that if it was possible to create a special use taxing district – likely consisting of residents on or near Redfield Parkway -- to pay for the repairs.

“The study will cost $4,800 and it may take $17,000 to fix them (the pillars),” he said. (A special taxing district) would raise money to pay for the pillars without irritating the rest of us.”

Worth and Van Nest said they will look into that.

June 25, 2017 - 9:31pm


Batavia Muckdogs played a doubleheader this afternoon and split the wins with West Virginia, losing the first game 6-4 and winning the second game 4-1.

Muckdogs led 3-1 after the fifth inning until the eighth when the Black Bears had two men on base. Then Deon Stafford gave West Virginia a 5-4 lead and capped a three-run inning for the team. They added another run in the ninth to finish the game that was suspended yesterday.

In the second game, during the first inning both teams scored a run and remained tied. Bottom of the ninth bases loaded for Batavia, Marcos Rivera hit a walk-off three-run homer as the Batavia Muckdogs beat the West Virginia Black Bears 4-1.

Muckdogs' record improves to 4-3 and they are in a three-way tie for second place in the Pinckney Division with Mahoney and State College.

Next game is tomorrow night to finish the series with West Virginia, game time is 7:05 at Dwyer Stadium. There is a pre-game chicken wing eating contest sponsored by Batavia’s Original Pizza. Email Travis Sick at [email protected] before 4 p.m.






July 2, 2016 - 1:28pm
posted by Zachary Lee in news, Batavia Muckdogs, dwyer stadium, business, agriculture.

The Batavia Muckdogs at Dwyer Stadium is one of five Minor League Baseball teams statewide offering New York food and beverages this season, Gov. Cuomo's office announced this week. This is the second year that the Muckdogs have partnered with the Taste NY branding and sales initiative began by Cuomo in 2013.

Taste NY is overseen by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and was launched to create opportunities for our food producers to showcase their goods at large public events like the Great New York State Fair and other places crowds gather, like Minor League Baseball games.

The expanding program has also opened stores at Thruway rest stops along the state’s highways and in transportation hubs, enabling travelers to buy New York State’s homegrown and homemade products. Approximately 1,100 local companies have participated in these opportunities, thereby expanding New York's food and beverage markets, according to a press release from the governor's office.

For the 2016 season, four craft beer companies in the Empire State have products for sale at Dwyer:

  • Brooklyn Brewery
  • Ellicottville Brewery
  • Genesee Brewing Company
  • Rohrbach Brewing Company

Plus, there are hot dogs and sausages from Zweigle's, breads and rolls from Di Paolo Baking Company, both of Rochester, and Akron-based Perry's Ice Cream.

"The Muckdogs are proud to be a part of the Taste NY program," said Muckdogs' General Manager Travis Sick. "We believe strongly in supporting as many local vendors as possible and look forward to featuring all of their great and, more importantly, delicious products at Dwyer Stadium this season."

The other participating teams and stadiums are:

  • Tri-City ValleyCats at Joe Bruno Stadium
  • Auburn Doubledays at Falcon Park
  • Staten Island Yankees at Richmond County Bank Ballpark
  • Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field

Together, these stadiums see approximately 820,000 seasonal visitors and those fans will be treated to the same great ballpark staples, such has hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice-cold beer -- now sourced from some of New York State’s best agricultural producers. Taste NY has helped vendors triple their gross annual sales from 2014 to 2015, and with this increased promotion, they are on track to doubling those sales in 2016, according to the governor's office.

“New York grown and made food and beverages are second to none and building upon the great success of the Taste NY program, we are partnering with local baseball stadiums to expose even more New Yorkers to these great Empire State products,” said Governor Cuomo in a press release.

“When New Yorkers buy New York products from New York businesses, the home team wins every time.” 

For more information about Taste NY, click here.

February 14, 2016 - 2:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Muckdogs, baseball, sports.


We're less than a week away from the annual Batavia Muckdogs Hot Stove Dinner hosted by the  Genesee County Baseball Club.

Above, Travis Sick, general manager, with Diane Hawn and Russ Salway, hold a few of the items that will be up for auction at the dinner.

The dinner is from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday, at the Sacred Heart Church Hall, 17 Sumner St., Batavia.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.

The evening will begin with a cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner at 5:30. 

The night also features live and chance auctions of baseball-related memorabilia (including signed bats and balls), work by local artists, and gift certificates from a variety of local businesses.

Tickets may be purchased in Batavia at Dwyer Stadium, Gerace’s Hair Care, the Williams Law Firm and the office of Dr. Alan Barcomb.

August 28, 2015 - 4:54pm
posted by Russ Salway in Batavia Muckdogs.
Event Date and Time: 
August 29, 2015 - 6:05pm to 9:30pm
Muckdogs Window Cling Giveaway Presented by: CSEA Dollar Draft Saturday From 6:00-7:00 pm, 12-oz. Bud Light and Genny Light draft beers are just $1.00! Presented by: Eastown Beverage & Batavia Redemption Center Pregame Concert featuring Mama and Papa Root Enjoy oldies rock & roll in the concourse Presented by: Tim Horton's/Cole Stone Creamery of Batavia & New Buffalo Impact
August 28, 2015 - 4:51pm
posted by Russ Salway in Batavia Muckdogs.
Event Date and Time: 
August 28, 2015 - 7:05pm to 10:05pm
Post-Game Fireworks Last of this season! Fans will be wowed by post-game fireworks after every Friday home game! Launch-a-Ball to benefit the Hillside Family of Agencies
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