For those that have attended a Hershey Bears game, they’ve likely seen or run into a man that is affectionally known as Beaker. Beaker, whose real name is Dan Stuck, has been a fixture in Hershey for parts of the last five decades. He’s as Hershey as Hersheypark and his stories are as rich as the chocolate produced there.
Wednesday, the Bears’ longtime head athletic trainer announced he would be retiring from the team at the end of the year.
Stuck, one of the most decorated trainers in AHL history, revealed his decision in a note posted to social media by the Bears.
It is with mixed emotions that I will be closing this chapter of my life with the Hershey Bears at the end of the year. I feel the team and the organization are in an incredible place- and I feel optimistic about the team’s immediate and long-term future.
I love this team and the many different roles and responsibilities I have had over the years. My goal has always been to assist in providing the best possible experience for our players and fans while proudly continuing the amazing “Hershey” legacy. It’s been an honor to play a part in one of the greatest sports franchises of all time.
Thank you to all who have supported me during my tenure. Working for the Bears was a lifelong dream of mine. I enjoyed every minute of my time with the Bears organization and the amazing work that it does to support The Milton Hershey School. It has been an awesome journey.
I look forward to supporting the Bears and wish everyone in the organization all the best.
Thanks for “BEARing” with me.
Bye for now,
Dan “The Beaker” Stuck
The Bears also posted photos spanning Beaker’s 35-plus years with the club.
Former Bears great, Chris Bourque, was the first player to respond to the news, posting on Instagram that the trainer was the “Best teammate I’ve ever had!”
Stuck was first hired by the Bears during the 1983-84 season as an assistant athletic trainer according to Elite Prospects. The next year Beaker served as an assistant equipment manager for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers before returning to Hershey in 1985 with a promotion to head, athletic trainer. Stuck stayed in that position until 2018 when Hershey made him its manager of wellness and team affairs. Beaker filled a mentorship role with some of the team’s top prospects, helping mold many of them into the professionals they are today.
Beaker’s vast accomplishments include being a member of five Hershey Bears championship teams under five different head coaches: John Paddock (1987-88), Bob Hartley (1996-97), Bruce Boudreau (2005-06), Bob Woods (2008-09), and Mark French (2009-10). He has also worked seven AHL All-Star games and is a veteran of over 2,600 AHL games.
Beaker received the first Career Achievement Alumni Award in 2014 from the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society/Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers. Beaker was honored for his dedication and excellence in the field.
During the 2021-22 season, Beaker became part-owner of the USHL Hershey Cubs, joining an ownership group that includes Bruce Boudreau.
Beaker lives in Palmyra, PA, with his wife Janice. He has two children, Alexis and Dustin. Just like dad, Dustin is a head athletic trainer with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.
From everyone at RMNB, congratulations on your retirement, Beaker, and thank you for all of the kindness over the years! Your first drink is absolutely on us.
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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