Batavia Muckdogs feeding off fans
BATAVIA, N.Y. (WHEC) – Regardless of how many superstars are on a roster, the pedigree of the coach, or the history of a franchise, the chemistry of the players fuel a team.
For a summer baseball league, that’s an even bigger challenge. Players come and go from year to year and any consistency that is gained by the end of August is usually lost by the next June when an all new roster comes to town.
But something is different about the Batavia Muckdogs.
“After about that first week you kind of come together as a family and it seems like you’ve been with each other for a couple years but really it’s been about two months out of the summer," said Jerry Reinhart.
Nicknamed the "Mayor of Batavia" by pitching coach Thomas Eaton, Reinhart is originally from the Western New York city originally and is also in year two with the Muckdogs.
Eaton is from Daytona Beach, Florida, but says he’s also found a home 1,161 miles away in Batavia. Eaton isn’t alone. Many of the players and staff who also aren’t from the area have adapted quickly.
"You can tell, the kids at the end of the season, they kind of love it here. This community embraces this team and it’s a big part of what we do here," said Joey ‘Skip’ Martinez, the head coach of the Muckdogs.
It’s that aspect – the Batavia baseball community, or ‘Muckdog Mafia’ as they like to call it – that gives them an extra boost of team chemistry.
“Knowing that the community has your back and they’ll always be rooting for you is great," said Nolan Sparks, a starting pitcher for the Muckdogs.
The Muckdogs continue their season in the PGCBL through July 30th with playoffs finishing up in August.