Instead of typing this message, I wish that I were still at Veterans Memorial Park… hearing our fans cheer, watching kids chase foul balls, and seeing our players fight for the win. As hard as we fought last night, we just couldn’t close the deal. And we did fight… until the very end.

After the game I heard one player say, “this is the first time I don’t want to go home…” He said that partly because we were so close to that win, we could all taste it. But also because Veterans Memorial Park is a very special place, and when he goes home, the stadium lights will go dark one last time.

Every summer we gather at Veterans Memorial Park to root for players from around the country. These players didn’t even know each other just weeks prior, and we are lucky enough to watch them build an amazing bond and form an amazing team that makes the Mohawk Valley proud. When our players arrive, our fans don’t know their names. But as the summer progresses, we watch them become a true part of this community, and become members of a new family – the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs. And win or lose, the end of the season is never easy… but one thing still remains. Pride.

I’m proud of these players, not only for their skill on the field, but also for the way they conduct themselves – top-notch, always. I don’t think I could have found a better group of guys. Thank you for choosing to spend your summer in the Mohawk Valley. I’m proud of my coaching staff, who were all brand new this season. They continued the Diamond Dawg tradition of hard work and integrity pays off. I’m proud of my staff and volunteers, you all have so much heart. You go above and beyond for a summer baseball league (that ends up being year-round work). I’m proud of this team… every single member of it, on and off the field. I’m also proud, and thankful, for our fans.

Year after year, our fans come out to support the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs. I’ve been to games in every single stadium in our league, and WE have the best fans in the Mohawk Valley. There is absolutely no denying that. I appreciate it, our coaches appreciate it, and our players appreciate the support more than you will ever know. We would not be who we are without our fan support.

Our support system doesn’t stop with the fans though… we have so many incredible sponsors who invest in us because they believe in us, and we thank them for that. And I would be remiss if I didn’t give a special thank you to Empire Recycling. They stepped up to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs, and agreed to be our presenting sponsor this year. Thank you.

And our host families… wow. Thank you for graciously opening your homes to our players, year after year. They come to you as strangers, but leave as a member of your family. It’s hard to not get emotional when I see the bonds that form between our players and their host families. Giving our players a home is probably the most important piece of the puzzle, and on behalf of our players, thank you.

Lastly, the support of my wife, Emily, and my children, Sofia and Frankie, is second-to-none. I would never be able to live this baseball dream without their support. You’ve probably seen them at the park all summer rooting for the Dawgs right alongside all of you.

The 2018 baseball season has come to an end, but the work has already begun for your 2019 Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs! (Really, it has!) Thank you for always supporting your Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs! We’ll see you in June!

Travis Heiser
Owner & General Manager
Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs