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July 30, 2010 - 1:03pm
posted by Russ Salway in batavia, Basebal. Dwyer stadium, muckdogs, Red wings.

149.jpg Listen I know you all have probably read posts here online or elswhere about our Batavia Muckdogs. I'm sure you all know that the Muckdogs have had financial problems over the last few years and that this is a very important year for the future of our franchise.

Something you might not have thought of is the quality-of-life issue for our city and county. The Muckdogs have been a part of our area since 1939. I believe that's the year both the "Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind" came to our theaters. Needless to say, it's been a long time. During those years, many players have passed through Batavia with their dreams of some day playing in the big leagues. Most go onto other cities, carrying those dreams until one day they either make it to the big leagues or they get sent home looking for a job in "the real world."

Seasons pass, but one thing has always remained, our Clippers, Pirates, Indians, Trojans and Muckdogs have always returned. The "Boys of Summer" come to Batavia with their dreams. This could very well be the last summer where that happens! The 2010 Batavia Muckdogs might be the last season of professional baseball to ever play at Dwyer stadium on a beautiful summer night. What will that mean for the people of Batavia and Genesee County?

Our community will welcome next spring like it always does after a long hard winter! Spring fever will be everywhere! The "snowbirds" from the south will come back north to Batavia to be with family and friends for the summer. Kids will be getting out of school looking forward to a summer of fun! Yes some things will always remain the same, but something will be very different, something that has always been taken for granted. Our Muckdogs could be GONE FOREVER!

Summer nights at Dwyer stadium aren't just about baseball games. They are the last place in our county where people gather weekly to see old friends and make new ones.  Many kids from the NY State School for the Blind come to games, kids of all ages gather at Dwyer for a summer night of fun. Some even get to run on the field with Muckdog players. Buses come to Dwyer with Batavia's older generation from area retirement homes for a night out of summer fun. Area businesses promote their own businesses at Dwyer and promote community togetherness. Church groups join together for a summer night. Everyone in Genesee County seems to come to Dwyer on the 4th of July for their traditional fireworks!

Please never take anything for granted, because once you do, you stand a great chance of losing it forever! Our baseball team (no matter what name you call them) will be the same! Oh yes we will have the stories to share with friends about fun nights at Dwyer.  Just like many have of former nights at many other local area traditional places that are now nothing but ghosts!  I can already picture it now for the 4th of July celebration for 2011. Cars driving down Bank Street packing the sides of the street and people walking down to a quiet Dwyer stadium. All of them questioning if they already missed the fireworks?  Then maybe they will realize that they missed out on a lot more. That they took things for granted and now start to realize what they have lost forever!

It's not too late! You can make a difference Batavia and Genesee County! You can start with coming out tonight and tomorrow night (July 30th &31st). Pack the stands, show your support, spread the word, enjoy new friendships and old ones as well, watch young men start their dreams and end the night with fireworks both nights! Nobody would take our team if the stands were packed the rest of the season! Why would they? But if they aren't packed, be ready to start sharing your past stories once this season is over!

January 16, 2009 - 2:28pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports, Red wings.

Dave Wellenzohn has a championship ring and had a great experience while meeting "great people in Batavia".

But he was let go as general manager of the Batavia Muckdogs after this season by the Rochester Red Wings, who are owned by the Rochester Red Wings Management, LLC.

Things happen fast in minor league baseball, and Wellenzohn found his new job quickly after searching since the end of the season.

Just yesterday, Wellenzohn was hired by the Savannah Sand gnats as  Director of Tickets and Sales.

"I was the one left holding the short end of the stick (after the season)," Wellenzohn said. "I'm thrilled to be leaving Batavia. I'm happy to be going to Georgia because I've lived there before. I'm looking forward to setting up residence and hopefully being there for a while."

Wellenzohn being happy about leaving Batavia has nothing to do with the people or his experience during the season. In his interview he used the words "bitter sweet" very often. 

Batavia won its first New York-Pennsylvania League title in 45 years on September 14 and he was let go on the 15th. 

"I would not trade my experience in Batavia for anything, but I wouldn't do it again either," Wellenzohn said. "It was bitter sweet and I was the only one that lost. But it was nice. We won a championship and I met a lot of nice people."

Wellenzohn literally was ready to move back to his home town of Buffalo. He had the moving truck booked, found an apartment and had an appointment to have his satellite TV set up.

After having no luck finding a job, he was just going to head home.

But he was hired by the Sand gnats yesterday and is now looking for a place to live there, while canceling his plans to move to Buffalo.

"One of my former employees at Jamestown is there and is the public relations director for NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray, and she's helping me to find some housing. I need to find a place that allows dogs because I still have my trusty companion, my german shepard."

The Sand gnats are a full-season Class A team that is an affiliate of the New York Mets that plays in the South Atlantic League. The team has one of the oldest stadiums in the country, but there is talk of a new one being built in the near future.

He will be wearing his first championship ring when he starts his job on February 2.

"Baseball continues to move on and the calendar moves on," Wellenzohn said. "I'll be with a new team and a new affiliate, but I'll have my first championship ring on my finger. We won 50 games and that is neat. It's something I'll never forget."

December 18, 2008 - 7:57am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, baseball, muckdogs, business, sports, Red wings.

Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle reports this morning that the Red Wings operations crew, Rochester Community Baseball, lost more than $250,000 on the Muckdogs in 2008 "in an effort to save professional baseball in Batavia." Because of that loss, not even a $150,000 profit pulled in by the Red Wings was enough to keep the company from losing nearly $95,000 for the year.

Naomi Silver, chief operating officer of RCB, spoke with Bob Matthews:

"Considering the poor economy, we're pretty happy with our overall financial statement. But Batavia was a tough nut. We won't stay in Batavia indefinitely if the operation continues to lose money."

Red Wings group outings and advertising set all-time record highs, according to Matthews. Not so rosy in Batavia.

"We expected to lose some money in Batavia due to startup costs at Dwyer Stadium, but attendance was disappointing," Silver said. "We're going to run the Muckdogs again next year, and this time we'll have a full offseason to sell tickets and advertising.

Attendance for the 2008 Muckdogs was 45,398, including the playoffs. That was up slightly over 2007. The Muckdogs won the NY-P league championship for the first time since 1963.

"Although the Batavia operation was unprofitable in 2008, we recognize that it was a transition year — and a losing year," RCB president Gary Larder said. "We are optimistic about an improved financial outcome in 2009."

Silver stressed that the company wants to keep the team in Batavia, "ideally" for 20 years, but she was careful to note that "we're taking our committment one year at a time."

Please check out the complete article by Bob Matthews.

November 10, 2008 - 9:11am

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.

Congrats, Muckdogs!

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.

September 2, 2008 - 10:30pm
posted by Russ Salway in baseball, muckdogs, dwyer stadium, Red wings, fans, playoffs.

We have come a long ways from city council meetings and searching for ways to save our team! The community needs to come together now for a strong finish with attendance and what better way to come together with a very possible playoff run? I challenge everyone on this site to bring family, friends or co-workers to the remaining games at Dwyer stadium. We have three home games left on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Then the playoffs! Yes the playoffs! Lets fill the stands, make some noise and have some fun at 299 Dwyer!  Let's send a message to Rochester thanking them for saving "OUR TEAM" and let them know we will be here for years to come supporting our team!  Business owners, buy two tickets to the rest of the games and give them away to your employees. Season ticket holders, bring a friend to the remaining games.  Every little bit helps, we have proven that since last December. I will see you there! Thanks Dave, Naomi, Travis, Mollie, Rock, Barb and all of the other great people associated with the Muckdogs!  You have done a great job all season with all the obstacles you have hurdled! From the season opener with the rain delay to the end of the season, you have been great! GO DOGS!

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