May 24, 2022

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Rename Stadium

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Syracuse Chiefs Rename Stadium Horse
Horse finds new home atop stadium gates

Syracuse, NY – The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are proud to announce that as of today, the horse outside NBT Bank Stadium shall be known as Homer. The name was selected as the winner in the organization’s “Rename the Horse” contest.

The name “Homer” was submitted by Chiefs fan Jay Bauer. He will receive a Chiefs sweatshirt and baseball hat as winner of the contest. “Homer” was part of a list of over 200 names submitted by Chiefs fans who submitted their ideas on the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The new name was ultimately chosen by artist Lisa Mattes who originally painted the fiberglass horse.

“There were so many good ideas,” said Mattes. “I laid awake at night thinking of what the name should be.”

“Homer”, formerly known was “Sportee”, is now perched atop the front gates of the stadium, welcoming fans to the ballpark. He was originally created in the early 2000s as part of the Syracuse’s Horses on Parade program, where he then found a home with the Syracuse Chiefs.

A few years ago, “Sportee” vanished and was not seen again until November 2013, when he reappeared atop the gates of the stadium. With a new home, new friends, and a new season, the horse deserved a new name.

“This is the year of the new Syracuse Chiefs, while we are proud of our past it is exciting to let the fans have a little fun as we continue on into our future,” said Jason Smorol, General Manager of the Syracuse Chiefs.

Make sure you stop by NBT Bank Stadium to see “Homer” in 2014. It’s a brand new ballgame!

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Introduce New Birthday Perk for Fans

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Chiefs are one of 22 teams to form partnership with HULEDET

Syracuse, NY–The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to announce that they will be partnering with HULEDET in order to give local fans a free ticket and hot dog for their birthday. HULEDET (, a one-year old company based in New York City, partners with local and national companies to enable them to reward their loyal customers on their birthdays, and to bring in new customers with the incentive of a birthday perk.

As fans enter Chiefs home games this season, they will be given the opportunity to register to receive the birthday gift by simply providing their name, email address, birth month and day, and zip code. When the first day of their birthday month comes, they’ll receive an email from HULEDET giving them a free ticket and free hot dog voucher to use during their birthday month.

Fans with birthdays during the off season need not worry – they’ll get their gift from the team on their half birthday.

“We are very excited to work with HULEDET on this new promotion,” Chiefs general manager John Simone said. We look forward to offering a birthday present to each of our fans.”

The Chiefs are one of 22 minor league baseball teams who will be working with HULEDET during the 2013 season. Says HULEDET founder Michael Frankel, “We have seen great success with HULEDET at local restaurants and businesses, and we are excited to work with the Chiefs as we bring HULEDET gifts to sports fans around the country this spring.”

Fans may also join the Syracuse Chiefs birthday list online at

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Opening Day Roster, April 4

Today, April 4 is the opening day for the Syracuse Chiefs, Washington Nationals Triple-A Affiliate.

12 players from last year’s team to return

Syracuse, NY—The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to announce their preliminary roster for the 2013 season. Syracuse, led by second-year manager Tony Beasley, will begin its season on Thursday, April 4, at 7:05 at Lehigh Valley, with its home opener on Friday, April 12 at 2:05 vs. the IronPigs.

Syracuse’s active Opening Day roster features 16 former major leaguers and seven players on the Nationals’ 40-man roster. The Chiefs also return 12 players from last year’s Syracuse squad and 15 former Chiefs in total.

The Chiefs’ opening day staff will consist of 13 pitchers, five of whom spent time in Syracuse last season. Yunesky Maya (11-10, 3.88 ERA in 28 starts with the Chiefs in 2012), Tanner Roark (6-17, 4.39 ERA in 26 starts) and Ryan Perry (1-1, 4.50 ERA in 11 relief appearances) are slated to hold three of the spots in Syracuse’s rotation. Maya returns for his fourth season with Syracuse, with Roark and Perry as second-year Chiefs.

The other two spots in Syracuse’s season-opening rotation will be held by right-hander Ross Ohlendorf and left-hander Danny Rosenbaum. Ohlendorf, a veteran of 108 major league games with the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres, is in his first year with the Nationals’ organization. Rosenbaum, recently returned from Colorado after being selected in the 2012 Rule V draft, will begin his fifth professional season in the Nationals’ organization. He sported a 3.94 ERA for Double-A Harrisburg in 26 starts last season.

The bullpen will feature returning right-handers Erik Davis and Jeff Mandel, with Mandel also entering fourth Syracuse season and Davis his second. Right-hander Ryan Tatusko also rejoins the team for the second time after spending the entire 2012 season in Harrisburg, where he sported a 3.50 ERA.

Two other former Chiefs join the bullpen – left-hander J.C. Romero and right-hander Jeremy Accardo. Romero, a veteran of 680 major-league games, pitched in five games for the Chiefs in 2011. Accardo, who’s pitched 262 games in the majors, tossed five games for the Chiefs in 2008, the final year of Syracuse’s affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The remaining three spots in the bullpen are filled out by two former major leaguers – left-hander Fernando Abad (Houston) and right-hander Mike Crotta (Pittsburgh) – and left-hander Patrick McCoy, who finished 7-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 50 games for Double-A Harrisburg last season.

Offensively, both Chiefs catchers return from last year’s squad. Jhonatan Solano rejoins Syracuse for the fourth time after a season in which he made his major league debut (.312 batting average in 12 games with Washington), while veteran Carlos Maldonado also returns to Syracuse for the fourth time. The two have combined to play in 306 career games with Syracuse.

Syracuse’s infield is split between three returning Chiefs and three newcomers. First baseman Chris Marrero, shortstop Zach Walters, and third baseman Carlos Rivero – a postseason International League All-Star last season – will rejoin the Chiefs after spending time in Washington’s major league camp this spring. Infielder Jeff Kobernus, who led stole 42 bases for Double-A Harrisburg to lead the 2012 Eastern League, will join them for his Triple-A debut. Former major leaguers Mike Costanzo (Cincinnati) and Will Rhymes (Detroit, Tampa Bay) round out the six-man group.

In the outfield, postseason International League All-Star Corey Brown will return to Syracuse for the third time. Brown led all Chiefs players in 2012 with 25 home runs and also appeared in 19 major league games for Washington. He’ll be joined by 22-year-old Eury Perez, the youngest Chief on the Opening Day roster. Converted pitcher Micah Owings, who’s appeared in 174 major league games, and former Canadian Olympic outfielder Jimmy Van Ostrand will both join the Chiefs for the first time.

Tickets for all Syracuse Chiefs home games are on sale now and can be purchased online at, by calling 315-474-7833, or in person at the Chiefs ticket office. Full- and partial-season ticket plans are also available through each of the same three methods.

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Game Program Cover Contest

Any artists or creative fans out there? Here is a chance to get your art featured on the game cover for the Washington Nationals triple-A affiliate.

Show off your artistic ability on the First Pitch Express

Syracuse, NY—-The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, invite fans to show off their artistic skills on the newest Chiefs publication, the First Pitch Express. The new 32-page, full-color program will be issued in five editions in 2013 feature stories about the Chiefs and their opponents for the upcoming series.

The Chiefs invite fans to submit their cover art to be used as the cover of the program. Submit an 8.5w x 5.5h photo, drawing, or graphic for the cover of The First Pitch Express that best represents the theme: This Is Your Town. This Is Your Team.

Submission deadline is the 15th prior to each month. Send entries electronically to:

NATS: Syracuse Chiefs Spring Training Schedule Announced

Syracuse to play 13 games vs. minor league teams in Florida

Syracuse, NY-The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, will play a 13-game spring training schedule in preparation for the 2013 regular season.

The Chiefs will take on the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) four times, Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves) four times and Oklahoma City RedHawks (Houston Astros) five times. Syracuse home games will be played at the Washington Nationals’ complex in Viera, FL.

The complete schedule is as follows (all games begin at 1:00pm):

March 14 at Oklahoma City Kissimmee, FL
March 15 vs. Oklahoma City Viera, FL
March 16 at Toledo Lakeland, FL
March 17 vs. Gwinnett Viera, FL
March 20 at Gwinnett Lake Buena Vista, FL
March 21 vs. Oklahoma City Viera, FL
March 22 at Toledo Lakeland, FL
March 24 vs. Gwinnett Viera, FL
March 25 vs. Toledo Viera, FL
March 26 at Gwinnett Lake Buena Vista, FL
March 27 at Oklahoma City Kissimmee, FL
March 28 vs. Toledo Viera, FL
March 29 vs. Oklahoma City Viera, FL

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Offer Bus Trip to Yankees/Nationals Exhibition Game

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See Major Leaguers in action before the season starts

Syracuse, NY—The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, announce a fan bus trip to Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 29th to see the Chiefs’ parent club, the Washington Nationals, take on the New York Yankees. The game will be held at Nationals Park and is scheduled for a 2:05 P.M. first pitch.

The bus will leave Alliance Bank Stadium at 6 A.M. and is slated to arrive at Nationals Park at approximately 1 P.M. The bus will return to the home of the Chiefs after the game. The trip includes a game ticket, bus fare, snacks and a Syracuse Chiefs winter hat. The trip costs $150 per person.

Join other Chiefs fans in cheering on former Syracuse players in their final tune-up for the regular season. For more information about the trip, contact Desiree Ellison at or 315-474-7833.

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Announce New Fan Club

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Smoke Eaters debuts, Ladies of Summer returns

Syracuse, NY—The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to unveil their new fan club, the Smoke Eaters. In addition, the Ladies of Summer fan club is back with new perks.

The Smoke Eaters costs just 25 dollars to join and members receive:

*An invitation to a special question and answer session with Chiefs players
*Ticket to the Wall of Fame induction ceremony
*A 2013 Syracuse Chiefs yearbook
*Special deals on tickets and the Whistlestop souvenir store
*Personalized Smoke Eaters page in the yearbook

In addition to the debut of the Smoke Eaters, the Chiefs are pleased to announce the Ladies of Summer, the team’s fan club exclusively for women, is back. The club costs just 25 dollars for a membership and includes:

*An invitation to a special question and answer session with Chiefs players
*Ticket to both Ladies Night and Soap Opera Saturday
*A 2013 Syracuse Chiefs yearbook
*Special deals on tickets and the Whistlestop souvenir store
*Personalized Smoke Eaters page in the yearbook

To join, go to the Syracuse Chiefs’ website at or call 315-474-7833.

NATS/CHIEFS: Corey Brown, Carlos Rivero Named to International League Post-Season All-Star Team

Outfielder Corey Brown at Nationals Park in September 2011 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to announce that outfielder Corey Brown and third baseman Carlos Rivero have been named to the International League Post-Season All-Star Team for 2012.

Brown, 26, has excelled in his second season with Syracuse. He currently ranks among the league leaders in several offensive categories. Brown is second in the International League in runs scored (77), triples (8) and total bases (238), while placing third in slugging percentage (.516), fourth in extra-base hits (53) and fifth in home runs (23). He also leads the Chiefs in each of those categories. Additionally, Brown has stolen 17 bases in 24 attempts, giving him the second-most steals by a Syracuse player this season. He becomes the first Post-Season All-Star outfielder for the Chiefs since John-Ford Griffin in 2005. Brown was also named as a starter to the International League’s Mid-Season All-Star team.

Rivero, 24, has shined in his first season with the Chiefs. His .307 batting average is good for fifth place in the International League, and he’s currently tied for third place in the league with 135 hits. Rivero, who has played third base, shortstop and first base for Syracuse, has hit .342 after the All-Star Break, the third-highest mark after the break in the International League. He’s the first Syracuse third baseman to be named a Post-Season All-Star since Kelly Gruber in 1985. Rivero was also one of four Chiefs to be named a Mid-Season All-Star in the International League.

The Chiefs are currently in the middle of a nine-game road trip, with three games remaining at Charlotte and one at Lehigh Valley. Syracuse will return home on Saturday, September 1st, to begin a two-game series with the Rochester Red Wings at 7:00. The Chiefs’ final fireworks show of the season will take place after the game.

John Lannan tossed second complete-game shutout for Syracuse

John Lannan could be an integral piece for the Nats stretch drive. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Great news for Nats fans. It sounds like John Lannan is ready to ready to Washington.

The southpaw tossed his second straight complete-game shutout, becoming the first Syracuse pitcher with two shutouts this season, in his final start of the season for the Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

Lannan struck out a season-high 10 and scattered eight singles without walking a single Charlotte Knights batter with 122 pitches. The complete-game shutout was the second straight for the left-hander, who also aced Gwinnett on August 25.

Lannan is expected to join the Nats rotation when rosters expand in September.

Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events for Nats News Network and Caps News Network since 2006. Cheryl is an accomplished action photographer and has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.

Syracuse Chiefs Tentative 2013 Schedule

The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to announce their tentative 2013 International League schedule.

Syracuse is slated to open the season on Thursday, April 4, on the road against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The Chiefs will embark on a seven-game season-opening road trip before returning home for an eight-game homestand. Syracuse’s home opener is scheduled for Friday, April 12, with a 2:00 PM home game against Lehigh Valley.

The Chiefs’ longest homestand of the season will take place from June 6 to June 16. Syracuse will play 10 consecutive home games over that 11-day span, taking on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Pawtucket Red Sox and Toledo Mud Hens. The Chiefs are also scheduled for four separate eight-game homestands over the 2013 season.

Syracuse’s home schedule is evenly balanced, with the Chiefs playing from 12 to 16 home games in each of the season’s first five months. The team will then close out the season with two home games on September 1 and 2 against the Buffalo Bisons.

The Chiefs are also scheduled for three additional days off in their 144-game, 152-day season in 2013. The team is slated to play in three scheduled Sunday doubleheaders, on April 14 vs. Lehigh Valley, June 23 at Gwinnett and July 7 at Buffalo. Syracuse’s schedule includes 11 days off, including the International League All-Star break from July 15 to 17.

Tickets are still available for Syracuse’s two final home games of 2012 – a 7:00pm game on Saturday, September 1st and a 2:00pm contest on Sunday, September 2nd, both against the Rochester Red Wings. The Chiefs’ final fireworks display of the season will conclude Saturday night’s game. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Chiefs ticket office at Alliance Bank Stadium, by calling 315-474-7833 or online at

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