A New Era of Baseball in Syracuse A New Era of Baseball in Syracuse

It’s a new era of baseball in Syracuse. For over 80 years, the Salt City was home to the Chiefs, but now…the Mets are in town. And as play-by-play broadcaster Michael Tricarico says, that creates some benefits for the fans both on, and off, the field.

“The New York Mets have committed to keeping baseball here in Syracuse for many many more years to come. They want to be in New York, they want to be in Syracuse. Our Opening Day rosters out there…the amount of Major-League players that we have on our roster…21 of the 25 players have played in the Major Leagues combining for more than 7,000 games.”

Aside from the former Major Leaguers, one name that keeps popping up is…

“Certainly Tim Tebow is gonna be here, Tim certainly brings his own following…whether people are baseball fans or not. So having him here certainly will help attendance.”

But more than anything, Tricarico says the Mets and Syracuse…well, it just makes sense.

“I’ve met a lot of Mets fans over the last few months whether it’s them coming to buy season tickets or them coming to buy merchandise in our team store and they’re all really excited. So there’s, this is a big Mets town, even though it’s not the first thing that may come to some people’s mind.”

One such Mets fan is Syracuse University junior Seth Weingarten.

“I was very excited, very excited. Obviously as a Mets fan to see the, the orange and blue be repped for something other than Syracuse University.”

As for his favorite player on the triple-a Mets…

“The rise and fall and rise again of Tim Tebow has been one of the most motivating stories in recent sports history.”

And while Weingarten hasn’t always frequented N-B-T Bank Stadium, he certainly expects to now.

“I actually did, I only got to one or two games which doesn’t mean I won’t be going to more now. Definitely gonna try to go to more.”

“Last year the Syracuse triple-a team averaged just over 4,000 fans per game. That was second last of the 14 teams in the international league. But now with a New York team in town, fans are expected to flood through the gates and pack N-B-T Stadium once again.”

“On almost every night, you’re going to have a much bigger crowd than we’ve had in the past. A much more electric crowd, the product that is going to be put on the field, in addition to the crowds we’re going to have here, it’s going to be something fun, and I’m really looking forward to coming here day in and day out.”

The home opener for the Mets is April fourth, Jake Graziano, N-C-C News.

Baseball season is finally here in Syracuse. But this year, it’s a little bit different. After 84 years of being known as the Syracuse Chiefs, the local baseball team has a new affiliation, and a new name, in 2019: the Mets.

And while many Central New York baseball fans are excited to have a New York team in town, the on-field product could be enough to draw in any remaining skeptics.

Michael Tricarico is one of the play-by-broadcasters for a team that has as much talent as any you’re going to find in the International League.

“21 of the 25 players (on the Opening Day roster) have played in the Major Leagues,” Tricarico said.

Altogether, those 21 players have combined to play in more than 7,000 Big League games, appear in three All-Star games and win two World Series titles.

However, the main attraction might just be one of the four players with no Big League experience at all.

“Certainly Tim Tebow is going to be here,” Tricarico said. “He brings his own following whether people are baseball fans or not. So having him here will help with attendance.”

Tebow is a former National Champion, and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, at the University of Florida, but the 31-year-old is now in his third year playing professional baseball in the New York Mets’ organization.

It was announced before the game that Tebow would be in the Mets’ Opening Day lineup, batting sixth and playing left field.

In 2018, the then Syracuse Chiefs averaging a mere 4,202 fans per home game, which ranked 13th out of 14 International League teams. It was also a 9.3% decrease from the season before, according to Syracuse.com.

However, with the early response the organization has seen from local Mets fans, that number is expected to grow exponentially this season.

“On almost every night, you’re going to have a much bigger crowd than we’ve had in the past,” Tricarico said. “It’s going to be something fun and I’m looking forward to coming here day in and day out.”

Between the potential for on-field improvement (the Chiefs finished 20 games out of first place in 2018), and increased fan interaction, this year has a chance to be a special one for local baseball fans.

“I’ve met a lot of Mets fan over the last few months and they’re all really excited,” Tricarico said. “This is a big Mets town even if it’s not the first thing that may come to some people’s minds.”

The Syracuse Mets open up their inaugural season on Thursday, April 4 at home against the Pawtucket Red Sox.

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