How to win a mayors race

valleycats mayors mascots

A rare time out from the intensity of the race for (left to right) "Gary McCarthy," "Lou Rosamilia," and "Jerry Jennings."

By Casey Normile

While many politicians are just gearing up for the fall elections, some Capital Region politicians have been at it since the beginning of summer.

The nightly mayors race at the Tri-City ValleyCats games have kept Albany mayor "Jerry Jennings," Troy mayor "Lou Rosamilia," and Schenectady mayor "Gary McCarthy" in peak political shape.

Hardened with the fire of intense competition, honed to a razor sharp edge by experience, the three mayors now graciously offer some tips to other local politicians on how to win...

how to win a mayors race illustration

Be an athlete first

"I always say, be a good athlete first and the politician will come," says Michael Johnson, the body behind "Lou Rosamilia."

And though the mayors agree that some politicians are just born with natural ability, they say you still have to want it more than the rest of the field.

Winning comes with important advantages. The more times a mayor finishes first, the greater his approval rating and the more confidence he has to go into the crowds and take pictures with babies, give everyone a firm handshake, and keep that big head balanced for every photo op.

valleycats mayors mascot Jennings
It's important to keep your head on straight.

Be an honest politician

What does that mean for Eric Nieto/Jerry Jennings? "No performance enhancing drugs, not in my house."

But for Johnson, it means keeping his hands clean. "I was bribed by a certain former (actual) mayor to trip another guy during a race," he recalled. But he didn't take the bribe. If he was going to win the race, it would be fair and square.

Train hard

Chad Herring, the strength and conditioning coach for the ValleyCats, raves about the mayors. "Focus is their main thing. It's all business for them. I'm just hoping one day for my players to be as good as them. If they trained like the mayors do, their home to first base times would be cut in half, easily."

Greg Dietz/Gary McCarthy explains his regimen: "My day starts at 6 am everyday; watching my films of past races, watching YouTube videos for new dance moves, then just training all day until game time."

But Nieto's won't let himself get out-worked by the competition. "I don't even go to bed. I just train all the time."

mayors mascots running

Proper attire

The first and most important part of any mayor's look is the oversized head. For all politicians, the key is to keep your head on straight -- both for balance, and so they can always keep that smile on.

For the ValleyCats mayors, the smile is permanent, so that part is easy.

The second tip is to always wear the same tie. "So that people will recognize you someday," says Dietz.

You still have to be willing to get dirty, though. Yes, politicians may have to dress in business formal the majority of the time, but you have to pick the shirt, pants, and shoes that will allow you to move. Also: the fabrics have to be able to take a stain or two.

Candidates, ask yourself: "Can I do a cartwheel in this?" If the answer is no, then it's not the right outfit.

mayors dance moves
The signature dance move for the mayor of Troy -- "The Crazy Leg."

Dance it out

Sure, these guys put their whole heart into the race and will do anything for the win. But after that 20-second run from right field to the dugout -- like after any long electoral race -- you just have to dance it out. Literally.

No matter who wins or who loses, "We just leave it all on that field. We just dance it all out and that's when we truly shine," says Nieto.

And that's an important lesson for any politician looking to win a race. It's the sweet moves after the finish line that really count.

Comments

Real bobbleheads of politicians are creepy enough. But human bobbleheads? Get outta town.

Seriously look forward to this race every game. The race isnt even the best part - that is the dance moves right in front of visitors dug out. Last year mayor Harry got down and danced everyones faces off. Please bring it to that level Lou.
more ridiculious dancing please!

also the Tebowing was a good choice last race i saw

I like that they gave Jerry Jennings a tan.

That is the only race Jerry Jennings will ever win again.

This goes down as one of my all time favorite AOA articles!

I agree with Jessica - this was great!

I'm ashamed to admit I haven't been to a ValleyCats game in a couple years - did the Mayors' Race take the place of the condiments on gokarts?

But...my favorite entertainment was back a few years when the Hemboldt pig used to run around the stadium. I love that piggy.

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