Muckdogs received the 2021 Entrepreneurial Business of the Year

The Batavia Muckdogs received the 2021 Entrepreneurial Business of the Year Award. When Robbie Nichols, owner of CAN-USA Sports, LLC, which owns and operates the Muckdogs, came up to the podium to speak, he had a number of people to thank. 

They included Erika Grazioplene, owner and director of KMS Dance Studio, who held a dance event at Dwyer in 2021; and Batavia City School District Community Schools Coordinator Julia Rogers, who, he said, helped the Muckdogs when the team needed to fill the stadium seats. Pellegrino became a good Muckdogs sponsor after Nichols and Witt went to see him, Nichols remembered. “As we were leaving, he says, ‘How long did you commit to Batavia?’ We said, ‘At least five years,’” Nichols said. “He said, make mine a five-year (sponsorship) deal, too.” There were other sponsors to thank, including Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Graham Corporation, Chapin International Inc., O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc. and HP Hood. Then there were those who worked on maintaining the field, such as Larry Hale, who joined as head groundskeeper in May 2021. “Larry ... had Dwyer Stadium back in shape in no time and now (it) is the gem of the PGCBL (Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League),” he said. “Thank you, God, for sending us Larry Hale.” 

The City Council approved a five-year Dwyer Stadium lease and sublease in January 2021 which would allow the Muckdogs to play games at Dwyer. The day after the City Council approved these agreements, Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning owner Bill Hayes called Nichols and wanted to be the Muckdogs’ first sponsor, Nichols recalled.

“We started running into this great problem everywhere we went. Genesee County is full of caring, great people,” Nichols said.