Better luck next season, Chiefs

Yes, thank you Steven T, my dear wife Karen and I would love to join you for the last Syracuse Chiefs game of the season.

And a lovely way it turned out to spend our Labor Day afternoon, indeed.

Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo in any gallery for an enlarged slide show.

We got there before Steven T, so I grabbed my iPhone 6 and scouted for an outside NBT Bank Stadium angle I hadn’t captured and shared already our five times here this 2015 season.

What is that decorated horse statue doing over that ledge, anyway?

Steven T explained that because they’d heard that parking was free on this Customer Appreciation Day, Jen decided to drive herself. She’d join us a few minutes late. And take off a few early, too, so she could go enjoy an hour or so of the holiday at Green Lakes State Park. Smart woman, Steven T’s wife is.

Even though our Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals fell from last season’s first-place finish in the division to last place, the organization led by second-year General Manager Jason Smorol still worked hard to put out a professional and fun product. It’s obvious that attitude reached the clubhouse and field, too. The players perform and act as if they’re happy to be spending the summer with this stadium and city as their home base.

According to my friend Lindsay Kramer’s story on, the Chiefs drew more fans than last season, but still finished last in the minor leagues in attendance, trailing Gwinnet by 5 fans per game.

The crack of the bat.

The crack of the bat.

In our general admission seats — thank you, Steven T, for using the rest of your book plan up by including us, by the way — in the second deck, I focused my iPHone 6 at home plate, zoomed, when Chiefs third baseman Matt Skole came to the plate in the bottom of the second inning. Home run. Really. Skole pulled the ball over the right-field fence to give the Chiefs the lead.

I also followed Skole around the bases on his home run trot.

Home at last.

Home at last.

Nice way to get the Chiefs rolling.

Here’s a video I shot during the seventh-inning stretch.

Alas, extra innings were needed as the RailRiders, the top team that feeds the New York Yankees, tied things up 3-3 after nine.

The Chiefs won it with two in the bottom of the 11th.

Now Karen and I are back to TV and rooting for our first-place New York Mets.

When you go to baseball game, do you pay attention to the between-innings antics of the mascots, and if so, which are your favorites?

37 thoughts on “Better luck next season, Chiefs

  1. I like the different animals that some teams hsve, Mark. Was it the Mudhens that had a mascot who looked like a big chicken? That was cute, thanks to Beth. I could easily head up the road to BGSU and really enjoy the Falcons. The mascots don’t look noble, like hawks, but cute again, like big chickens! Ha ha! The Clippers have a sailing ship on their programs but some kind of cute animal. Is it a dog? I am silly and a little “slap happy,” Mark.


  2. Whenever I go to a baseball game, I pay attention to all the antics on and off the field, Mark. I’m going to my first and only Red Sox game at Fenway this year on September 24 and I wonder what antics I’ll see then. Sorry you haven’t been seeing my usual level of antics here, lately. Thanks for this post!


  3. Looks like you had a great time Mark. I enjoy a day out at the ball game. In all honesty since we lost our triple A team to Allentown in 2008 there hasn’t been any pro ball here in Ottawa. Apparently, we now have a Can-Am team called the Champions (wishful thinking?). I didn’t even realize this until about two weeks ago when I happened to be passing the stadium and saw an audience. I inquired but few knew the story. I just googled it when I read your post. Huh, the things you learn. Ha! I had heard zippo about the new arrivals. I hope they do good. We used to take the kids out for a game a few times a season – the price was good and the kids enjoyed the day in the sun.


  4. Not been to a baseball game so I can’t really comment on that. But….I do really like that painted horse on the ledge, and I loved the video. Looks like everyone was having a great time.


  5. I guess it just hasn’t been a good year to be in any way affiliated with the Washington Nationals.

    I had also noticed the umpire following the runner from second to third. Do they use a full slate of umps at Triple A games? My only non-Major league pro ball experience was with our independent league Gateway Grizzlies, and they get by with just a pair of men in blue…


      • No name, no explanation, but a very striking presence. Here’s what I think: Years ago they had a charity event where businesses bought white horses and painted them up any way they wished. They were all displayed in one place in the city for a big event. Maybe they gave them to the organizations afterward to do with what they wish, and this guy turns up around town?


  6. aw, well at least they had you and karen as avid and loyal fans, better luck next season, chiefs. ) i love mascots, especially the mud hens’ family – kitty holmes, jim flealand, muddy and his mate –


  7. I must I positively must get to a ball game next year! We have the Diamond Dawgs in Little Falls, a mere six miles from Herkimer, but I bet I could get my sister in Liverpool and her family to join us for the Chiefs. It is an excellent subject for a blog post.


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