JAMESTOWN – On Thursday, the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame released an article taking a trip down memory lane of Jamestown Baseball.
Dubbed the “JCB Journal”, the article featured a photo of an old logo in 1952 when the team was the Jamestown Falcons, as well as a photo of fans at Municipal Stadium.
Tony Lupien returned as manager of the 1952 Jamestown Falcons and once again led the squad to a second place finish in the PONY League regular season standings. But unlike ’51, the Falks got hot in the playoffs and won the Governor’s Cup, their fourth title in 14 years.
Among the top players was catcher Charlie Lau, who later in life became an influential batting instructor in the Major Leagues. Lau wrote a popular a book about the subject titled “The Art of Hitting .300.”
Another key performer was pitcher Jerry Davie who posted a stellar 17-3 record. Davie had a “cup of coffee” with the Detroit Tigers in 1959.
The 18-year-old shortstop of the 1952 Jamestown team would be the guy with the most interesting post-Jamestown career. This player suffered a career-ending knee injury two years after his stint at Municipal Stadium. He opened a pizza parlor in Garden City, Michigan in 1959 and named it Little Caesar’s. A few billion dollars later, Mike Illitch purchased the Detroit Red Wings hockey team in 1982 and the Detroit Tigers baseball team in 1992. Illitch died in 2017, but the family business, Illitch Holdings, still owns the two sport franchises. “Pizza! Pizza!”
The stadium was renamed to Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park in 1997.
Articles of times past of Jamestown Baseball will be released by the CSHOF every week until Opening Day of the 2020 season.
The new Jamestown team is still in search of a new identity was team name possibilities being the Fightin’ Beavers, Woodchuckers, Funny Bones, Jumping Bucks and Tundra Swans.
Jammers ownership relocated to Milwaukee after the 2018 season in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.