Syracuse Chiefs mourn the loss of legendary ballpark hawker, biggest fan

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Jimmy Durkin

One of the most familiar faces in Syracuse Chiefs’ history has died.

Legendary ballpark hawker Jimmy Durkin died Tuesday morning at the age of 81.

For 60 years, Durkin sold drinks, popcorn, and programs at sports venues throughout Central New York – but he was best known to Chiefs fans.

Durkin was a Chiefs’ fan his whole life – growing up just a couple of blocks from MacArthur Stadium.

“We only lived a couple of blocks up the street. From the ballpark and I think we could get in for a dime or something,” Durkin told NewsChannel 9 during an interview last year.

He watched baseball legends the likes of Jackie Robinson play at the Chiefs’ stadium.

Growing up watching players throw balls into the stands, Durkin was known for sometimes throwing balls to children in the stands.

Despite the wear on his body, Durkin soldiered on.

“I tell my wife I’m going to retire, I just love the ballpark so much, I’ve got to go back for one more game,” he said.

In 2016, Durkin was inducted into the Syracuse Chiefs Wall of Fame.

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