by Scott Kindberg
February 23, 2000
A Night To Remember
But, in reality, the evening belonged to four native sons, the late Lou Brown, John Jachym, the late Les James and Lloyd Moore, who by distinguishing themselves in various sports, were inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame at the 19th annual banquet Tuesday night at the Holiday Inn.
“It’s a great honor to be around such great men,” said Sam Gash, the Buffalo Bills fullback. “My heart goes out to them.”
With that, Gash literally took off his baseball cap – the words “PLAYERS” emblazoned on the front - and saluted in the inductees.
It was a fitting tribute.
For by inducting Brown, Jachym, James and Moore, the Hall of Fame added some major “players” to a group that now numbers 87.
“I was sitting there in awe,” said Bills’ defensive end Marcellus Wiley.
Brown, a South Dayton native, had an athletic career that included successes as a baseball player, official and coach.
Among the highlights of his early years was his involvement with the Steel Partitions Bombers, who won two New York State semi pro tournaments with him as a catcher and coach, thus enabling them to enter the national tournament in Wichita, Kan. Brown also officiated baseball, basketball and football for more than 30 years.
“I know my father would be very happy to be here and I know he’s watching,” said Rick Brown, Lou’s son. “Since the (inductees) announcement was made, a lot of people have said he touched their lives. They all felt whenever he was around officiating or playing that it was going to be a great contest.”
Jachym, who also grew up in South Dayton, made his mark in baseball – he once worked for a St. Louis Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey, owned the Jamestown Falcons and was later a major stockholder of the Washington Senators – and golf where, among numerous other highlights, is just one of five to have received a honorary lifetime membership in the Professional Golfers Association of America. But, Jachym, who became an extremely successful businessman following his tenure in baseball, chose to recognize others during his induction speech, including Brown, fellow Hall of Fame members and South Dayton native, Bill Bergey and Bob Brown, and former Post Journal sports write Waite Forsythe.
Jachym ended his speech with the following:
“Fame is a vapor. Popularity is an accident. Money takes wings. The only thing that endures is character.”
Jachym also received a framed letter of congratulations from Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Les James, a Falconer Central School graduate distinguished himself in various sports as an athlete, manager, coach and official.
But Robert Ord said his father-in-law would not boast about his significant accomplishments.
“It was always about team rather than himself,” Ord said. “He lived in the present rather than the past.
Still, James, known as “Flash” for his prowess in baseball, sported an impressive resume that also included the building of some outstanding teams for the South Side Blue Devils of the Jamestown Midget Football League.
“Les James was truly a man for all seasons,” Ord said.
Moore, the third auto racer to be inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, began racing cars in the later 1940’s and eventually moved up to the NASCAR Grand National, which is now known as the Winston Cup. With the help of car owner Julian Buesink of Findley Lake and teammate Bill Rexford (a 1997 inductee), Moore had a fine career, including making the NASCAR top 20 in 1951.
When Rex and I were on the track, we were enemies,” said Moore, 88. “Off the track, we were friends. We never made much money, but we certainly had a lot of fun.”
Moore said he had just recently been released from the hospital, but, with tongue planted firmly in his cheek, he suggested he was ready to make a comeback.
“I’d go right down and join NASCAR and tear into them,” he said with a smile.
Danny Gare, a former Buffalo Sabre and now a member of the television broadcast team for Empire Sports Network, Gash, Wiley and Jamestown Jammers general manager Dave Wellenzohn were the guest speakers. Mike DeGeorge, a sportscaster for Empire Sports Network, was the master of ceremonies and Todd Peterson, the former voice of the Jamestown Jammers, introduced the guest speakers.
Banquet chairman Chip Johnson presented plaques to area champions from the past year, including the Jamestown Community College men’s basketball team, which won the NJCAA Region 3 Division II championship for the second straight year; the JCC women’s volleyball team, the NJCAA Region 3 Division III championship for the fourth straight year; and Caroline Werdelin, an NJCAA Division III women’s volleyball first-team All-American, Kathy Stedman, the volleyball coach and the college’s assistant athletic director. Men’s basketball coach Mike Cordovano was at the Jayhawks’ game last night and was unable to attend.
Also recognized for earning first-team all-state high school honors were Clymer’s Jehuu Caulcrick, Chad Nickerson, Chris Tewinkle and Coach Howard McMullin (football); Randall Secky of Maple Grove (football); Chad Sileman of Pine Valley (football); Andy Betts of Westfield (football); Mario Muscarella of Falconer (baseball), Frewsburg’s Bill Prince and his coach and father; Tim (wrestling) and Ed Pawlak of Southwestern (wrestling), who was represented by his parents, Steve and Mary Sue.
The Babe Ruth 13-year-old all-stars, which won a state championship last summer, was also honored. Representing that team were Coach George Barone and players Chuckie DeMarco, Mark O’Neill and John LaMancuso.
Charles Sinatra, the president of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, provided the welcome and presented the plaques and rings to the inductees; the Rev. Nicholas Rafael of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, performed the invocation and benediction; and Gary Kindberg sang the national anthem.