The Post-Journal

The Expos And NY-P

Professional minor league baseball in Jamestown means a quarter of a million dollars to the community and immediate area, General Manager Dan Lunetta of the Jamestown Expos said this week. Lunetta took time out to talk baseball from a hectic week of preparing for the 38th opener in the Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York (PONY) and New York-Pennsylvania (NY-P) circuit which will be getting its 45th pennant chase underway. The league was the PONY from its inaugural in 1939 to 1956, when Hamilton, Ont. dropped out and became the NY-P.

The money shelled out locally in operating the club, owned outright by the Montreal Expos, includes salaries for 25 players, much of it spent here; also salaries for managers, coaches, a trainer, office staff, travel costs such as bus and air fare, plus the money spent by visiting teams during 38 games at College Stadium. The forgoing is not a complete rundown to smaller details but it gives one a general idea what professional baseball, even Class A, means to a city. The NY-P, by the way, is the oldest continually operating Class A league in organized baseball. It was the only (then Class D) circuit to operate during World War II.

Lunetta is highly optimistic in talking of the forthcoming season. So is Montreal Vice-President and head of player development, Jim Fanning, who arrived earlier in the week and will likely be on hand for the opener.

“One thing I would like to point out,” Lunetta said, “is that fans under our (Montreal’s) policy of developing players within the system, rather than buying or trading for them, gives fans a chance to often see coming major leaguers in action, something the city and those who support the team, can be proud of.”

He ran through some players once in Jamestown, who have gone up to the majors – fellows like Cecil Coper and Ben Oglivie, both now with Milwaukee; Dwight Evans of the Boston Red Sox and Gary Roenicke, Baltimore. He also recalled quickly recent Montreal-owned Jamestown grads who are highly regarded potentials for the top such as Roy Johnson, Wallace Johnson, recently traded to San Francisco; Tom Wieghaus, Pat Rooney, Dick Grapenthin, Larry Parrish, now with the Texas Rangers; Bill Sattler, Jeff Taylor and Bryan Little.

Jamestown fans are no strangers to pointing upstairs and saying, “He came from here.” Readily coming to mind are old guards like the late Nellie Fox, Johnny O’Neil, Myron Ginsberg, Clem Koshorek, Pat Dobson, Elmer Weinschreider, George Lerchen, Charlie Lau and Pat Haggerty.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.