MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Anyone that’s been to a BayBear game in the last 22 years knows Wade Vadakin. He’s never thrown a pitch or swung a bat, but he’s a staple of the team.
“I’ve been here for 22 years, collecting bats and riding the bull. It’s just terrible to see this team end,” said BayBears Director of On-Deck Circle Operations Wade Vadakin.
“We’re all sad that Mobile is losing their team,” said Pensacola Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith. “Now we’ll be the team for Mobile.”
“We’re such fans of the Mobile BayBears,” said Wade’s mom Kit Vadakin. “It’s been our entire life and Wade’s entire life. We’ve been so blessed to have him here.”
Mobile’s baseball team may be moving to North Alabama, but one member of the BayBears will help convert Mobile fans into members of Hoosville.
“Wade’s always been a staple in Mobile, when they came over here for visiting games we have film of him riding the bat and all that stuff. He loves his job and we thought it would be awful if he lost his job,” said Griffith. “Now we can’t wait for him to ride a Wahoo bat into the dugout.”
“Wade is a character and I’m sure that Pensacola will be so glad they have him. He’ll be a fan favorite, there’s no doubt in my mind,” said Wade’s mom.
Wade is excited for the next chapter in his Southern League career, but admits it will be hard to leave behind the only organization he’s ever known.
“It’s going to feel bittersweet. On one hand it will be hard saying goodbye to Hank Arron Stadium and the place I called home for 22 years. But on the other hand it’s exciting being a part of a new team,” said Wade.
The Wahoos bussed up hundreds of fans to Mobile this weekend to take in the final Bay-To-Bay series and welcome Wade to their family, and Wade was happy to show them what’s in store for next season.
“It will be an awesome sneak preview for them so see coming up ahead for the years to come,” said Wade with a smile.