May 2010

Rowdy Finds a Home

Watch the Rowdy video series below!

It sure looked like Rowdy’s 16-year career would be over when the Albany River Rats decided to leave the Capitol Region for warmer pastures in Carolina. Like most hockey players, Rowdy did not want to go down without a fight.

With his bag and his hockey stick, Rowdy headed down South Pearl St. after saying good-bye to the Times Union Center one last time. Only problem was, he did not know where to go. The TU Center had been his home for 16 years and was always rat friendly. Where else would he go? Would anyone take him in? Would he find a job?

He skated down to the Greyhound Albany Bus Terminal to try and follow the team to Carolina. He was sure he could find a job with his old team, and he figured that his past experiences with the team would give him a slight edge over the competition. Unfortunately for Rowdy, rats aren’t allowed on Greyhound buses. That puts Carolina out of the question. There is no way he would skate all the way down to Carolina just for a job when there are some here in New York.

Rowdy headed right for the Classifieds, but there wasn’t much. He sat for a while on the side of the road sifting through job listings when it finally hit him. The Recovery Room. It was right in front of him. Maybe they would help him “recover” from the loss of the River Rats. He was not inside for any longer than five seconds before a waitress chased him out with a broom. What else can go wrong? He can’t travel with the team because he can’t get on a bus. He’s having a hard time finding a job because there seems to be nothing out there for rats.

With no place to stay and no job, Rowdy found himself sleeping on the streets, on park benches, pretty much anywhere he could catch a few winks in peace. Eventually, he wandered away from Albany and stumbled upon the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society. It was too good to pass up. Free food and a place to stay? Sounded like paradise. He checked himself in with Brad Shear, the Executive Director of the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society.

Brad hadn’t seen many rats at the humane society before, and surely none that were as big as Rowdy. Shear knew he would be able to find a new home for Rowdy very quickly. He called Steve Caporizzo and asked him if he would do a special “Pet Connection” segment with Rowdy the Rat. Steve agreed to have the fur ball on the show. He knew Rowdy wouldn’t be camera shy because he used to be on Time Warner for so many years.

Rowdy loved being at WTEN. He was pampered, petted, and even got to eat some cheese doodles (one of his favorites). He had a great time playing with Steve and his crew. He knew that someone watching surely would take him in.

Someone was watching that day. SouthPaw was flipping through the channels and stumbled upon the “Pet Connection” segment. He stopped and noticed one of his fellow mascots. He knew Rowdy was out of a job, but didn’t know that Rowdy was suffering this bad. He had to do something. He got in the ValleyCats Fun Van and drove down to the humane society to adopt Rowdy and give him a place to stay. Rowdy was relieved, to say the least. After thanking and saying good-bye to Brad Shear, Rowdy hopping in the back of the van ready to meet his new family.

Southpaw told the mascots before he left that he would have a big surprise for them when he got back. They were all standing outside of “The Joe,” eagerly waiting for Southpaw’s return. He got out of the van and opened the back door. Rowdy popped out of the back and skated into the arms of his fellow mascots.

Come to Opening Night at “The Joe” on Friday, June 18th for the unveiling of Rowdy’s new uniform. Call 629-CATS (2287) if you have any questions. 

Evan Valenti

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Videos produced by the ValleyCats Network

Jumping In

Welcome to ‘Cats Corner, the official blog of the Tri-City ValleyCats.  In addition to our website, our Twitter account, and our Facebook page, we are starting this blog as another medium to connect with fans.  We have lots of talented people on staff this summer, and we are all very excited for Opening Day on June 18th.
Over the next couple weeks, we’ll post about topics such as preseason preparations, the upcoming MLB Draft, which prospects might come to Troy, future promotions, and the performance of some former ‘Cats at higher levels.
And once the season starts, we will have more content than we know what to do with.  We will provide you with pictures and videos of the entertainment at Joe Bruno Stadium, game recaps, season analysis, manager and player interviews, information on promotions and whatever else we come up with along the way.
So join us for the fun.  Follow the season at ‘Cats Corner and contribute your own thoughts in the comments section.  And make sure to come out to “The Joe” to see the ValleyCats play!
Kevin Whitaker