The Syracuse Chiefs are deeply saddened to announce the loss of longtime employee, friend and Syracuse Baseball Wall of Famer James "Jimmy" Durkin this morning at age 81. Durkin passed peacefully with his family by his side.
Jimmy Durkin, born December 8, 1935, first worked for the Chiefs in the 1950s after growing up just steps away from McArthur Stadium on First North Street. He sold popcorn, drinks, ice cream and programs as a team vendor for more than 55 years. His trademark shouts of "Hey!" and "You're Next!" were essential parts of the Chiefs' gameday experience at both Big Mac and NBT Bank Stadium for generations of Syracuse baseball fans.
On three separate occasions, Durkin attempted to retire only to return to the team each time thanks to unprecedented fan support for his enthusiasm and love of the game.
"I always knew who Jimmy was growing up as he was the vendor guy, popcorn guy, beer guy, program guy," said Chiefs General Manager Jason Smorol. "I did not officially meet him until October 2013 a week or so into this job. In the last four years, I came to love that man as he is just as sweet and caring as any person that can walk this earth."
Durkin was the recipient of the team's 2006 Jake Meyers Good Guys Award and was inducted into the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame on July 17, 2016.
An obituary and services information will be forthcoming from his family.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.