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The Batavia Muckdogs are searching for host families for the upcoming season. 

Mike Ewing, the Muckdogs’ assistant general manager, says there’re several reasons why host families are so important to Muckdogs’ players. First is the fact that, unless a player was a very high draft pick and was the recipient of a large signing bonus, he might only bring in a $1,000 check a month which eliminates living in a hotel room. Players also need to be able to bike to workouts and Dwyer Stadium. Not to mention that getting a rent for two and a half months is difficult, especially when they are on the road all the time. Ewing says it helps them become incorporated into our community.

“The host families are great,” Ewing said. “They bring them in as their own kids a lot of times. When I went to college, I was fortunate enough to meet people at orientation. (The players) are drafted, signed, put on a plane and a bus and they’re in Batavia with all these people they barely know.”

Russ Salaway has been a host for 10 years.

“It’s been real rewarding to our family," he said. "Our kids just loved it. We have players in all of minor league baseball that we follow and stay in touch with including Daniel Descalso who’s the second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals.”

One former Muckdog, Seth Maness, is a St. Louis Cardinal just two years removed from Batavia. But if your intention is to help out a young man starting his career in a foreign place, you never know if you can end up with a future Miami Marlin. If anything, you should at least get free tickets left gratuitously to the host family.

If you live close to Dwyer Stadium, call the office during regular office hours. Ewing says some families request English-speaking players for convenience, while others can work to perfect their Spanish by hosting a Latin player.

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