ALABAMA — On Friday, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer visited Genesee County to unveil a plan that he says would potentially jolt the upstate New York economy and the U.S. semiconductor industry into high gear.
During a press conference in front of local officials and media outside of the STAMP campus in the town of Alabama, Schumer also commented on the potential of Minor League Baseball being taken away from the local community, as the cancelation of this year’s MiLB season has left many wondering what’s next for the Batavia Muckdogs.
“I hope so,” said Schumer about the ‘Dogs run continuing in Batavia. “I’m working hard (to keep the Muckdogs in Batavia), but with COVID everything slowed down.”
In late February Schumer visited NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton, home of the Rumble Ponies - the New York Mets’ Double- A affiliate which is among the 42 minor league franchises targeted by MLB in a new initiative which will parse down the number of minor league franchises around the county. During his visit to Binghamton, Schumer said that keeping Minor League Baseball in upstate and western New York is a priority and he reiterated that message on Friday.
“We have four teams at risk (in New York) the Muckdogs here in Batavia - the Rumble Ponies in Binghamton, the Yankees in Staten Island and the Doubledays in Auburn,” said Schumer outside the STAMP campus. “And I’m working to save them all.”
The Muckdogs, Doubledays and Yankees are all members of the New York Penn League whose members have also been targeted by MLB’s initiative, as 28 Class A short season teams are expected to be replaced under the new plan.
Last season the Muckdogs enjoyed one of their finest seasons in recent memory, both on and off the field.
The ‘Dogs saw a 47 percent increase in attendance and averaged 1,165 fans per game over the course of 37 home games. A total of 43,118 fans filed in to Dwyer Stadium throughout the season to help cheer on the 2019 Pinckney Division Champion Muckdogs, who finished the season 41-35 with a loss to the Lowell Red Sox in the New York Penn League semifinal.
The cancelation of the ‘20 season may have signaled the end of the NYPL’s 81-year history, which began in Batavia, but local, state and federal officials are working to avoid that possibility.
In the end, however, it will all come down to MLB.
“For next year, we always hope for the best, but it is out of our hands,” said Rachael Tabelski, acting Batavia City Manager.