The Post-Journal

Tributes Pour In For Frank Hyde

Sports editor. Sports booster. Friend. Tributes have been paid to Frank Hyde by a number of people who knew him through his newspaper work or who had contacts with him through sports activities over many years.Hyde, who died Thursday night in Cleveland Clinic following back surgery, was an institution in the area, serving as sports editor of The Post-Journal for 35 years. He retired in 1979, but continued to contribute his weekly column “Frankly Speaking.”

G. Ogden Nutting, president of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., parent company of The Post- Journal, said, “Frank was a good newspaperman, a good citizen, and a good friend. He will be missed so much by those of us who were fortunate enough to have known him and worked with him.”

“Frank was very special. To know Frank was to respect and admire him, to like him and to love him.”

Robert S. Kroon, vice-president of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., said, “There are no words to express adequately the feeling of loss that comes when we lose a friend and co-worker like Frank Hyde.”

“I was Frank’s boss during those years I was editor of The Post-Journal. But Frank played a greater role. He was my teacher and my friend. Frank’s positive influence on me and thousands of others will be everlasting. He will be sorely missed.”

Donald L. Meyer, publisher of The Post-Journal, commented, “I find it difficult to express the sorrow and sense of loss at this moment. I have always deeply respected Frank as an outstanding newspaperman and sports writer. But more than that, Frank was a good friend, not only to me and this newspaper, but to this community as well.”

“Hopefully the example he set will inspire others to follow in his steps. The world needs more men the caliber of Frank Hyde.”

Jim Roselle, WJTN personality and sports enthusiast, said, “Of the many associations I’ve had in my career here, I couldn’t have found a more generous man who gave everything he had. I held him in the highest esteem. He was available to me for comment even as early as 6:00 in the morning if I needed him. I used his expertise frequently in the field of boxing. There’s no doubt there’s going to be a big void without a man like him around. In my many talks with Frank we always talked about Jamestown. I’m sure he had the chance to go elsewhere, but he loved this town, just as I do.”

Rep. Stan Lundine, D-Jamestown, said, “In losing Frank Hyde, Jamestown really loses one of its great community contributors. He was a real expert on boxing and I remember as a kid following that sport and Frank’s comments about it. But mostly I remember him from minor league baseball games, first as the Falcons and later as the Expos, and for many years Frank was the scorekeeper down at College Stadium. He certainly will be missed.”

Joseph Gerace, state commissioner of agriculture and markets, and former Chautauqua County executive, said, “I can remember him following the good old Lakewood High School games and writing up our rivalry with Falconer. I know all the football teams of those years will miss him. I had written a letter I never mailed, and I wish I had, to The Post-Journal about five years ago that God made a special mold when he made Frank Hyde and then tossed it away. He was a real special guy and he inspired me in many ways all my life and I will surely miss him. It will take a lot of people to fill his shoes in the community. He was a real friend.”

Basil “Cappy” Caprino, a local boxing official, said of Hyde, “I first came in contact with him in 1947 when he was a boxing and wrestling official. He was probably the fairest and most intelligent judge I have ever met. Frank couldn’t be swayed either way. A lot of times he didn’t agree with the other judges but never once did I ever question his judgment.”

Caprino added, “Anytime I had a question or problem with boxing, I’d call Frank and he’d have the answer in just a minute. This town will be a lot poorer without his knowledge of boxing, wrestling and all sports in general.”

Mark Hammond, who broke into baseball in Jamestown the same year Hyde came to town said, “We started together and got along just fine. We were both rookies and hit it off well. We respected each other and Frank treated me tops.”

The Jamestown and Area Oldtimers Baseball Association began in 1964 and Hyde was instrumental in getting the organization off the ground. “He helped out in every way he could,” Oldtimers secretary Harry Martenson said. “He was giving us good write-ups and he helped get things going.”

The Oldtimers began playing games amongst themselves and now the organization has spread its competition with home-and-home games with teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Martenson said that extended play is due mainly to the publicity created by Hyde.

“There’ve been so many things I’d hate to single out one particular thing,” said Komo Tane, supervisor of health, physical education and athletics in the Jamestown Public School System, of his experiences with Hyde through the years.

Tane dealt with Hyde since the former was a junior high coach in the late fifties.

“I’ve known Frank for many years and I can truly say that he was the most understanding and kindest person… He loved people… and he always found the best to say about them.”

Russell Diethrick, Jamestown director of parks, recreation and conservation, had a long association with Hyde in all areas of sports, including the time Diethrick was involved with the Jamestown Falcons.

“My reaction is not only have I lost a good friend, but the community has lost a good friend,” was Diethrick’s response when he heard of Hyde’s death. “Whenever we pass College Stadium, the Gerry rodeo grounds or any athletic field, we will have flashes of Frank.”

“Those of us who were fortunate to live in his generation were benefactors.”

Dan Lounsbury, veteran wrestling and track coach at Falconer Central School said, “Frank was the first who really gave us support in wrestling. He always found the time to come down and watch some meets. The same held true for track – he always supported it.”

“He’s like a father to area sports,” former Moon Brook Country Club pro Ed Golen said. “He had no bias toward any sports.”

Golen and his wife, Sue, who was a subject Frank wrote about many times when it came to bowling, came to this area in 1963 and they found Hyde to be more of a friend than a sports editor. “When he called for information, it was friendship first,” Golen recalled.

One of Hyde’s talents that Golen appreciated was his ability to tell a story. “He’s the type of person, if you pumped him for stories, that could entertain you all night. And he loved telling them.

“He was a 100 percent person who devoted himself to sports. He could have been a top- notch writer in anything.”

Bucky Cappalino, proprietor of Ten Pin Lanes, said he has known Hyde “since he blew into town in 1945.”

“Frank has done 100 percent for bowling in this area,” Cappalino said. “He has done a lot for my tournaments in the area and when all the big-time bowlers came to town, Frank Hyde would be down at the alleys taking the pictures.”

Cappalino added, “Frank boosted bowling in the area more than anyone. By running the scores in the paper, it was one of the biggest assets to bowling locally.”

“Personally Frank was one of my closest friends I had in town. Anything I wanted – he’d be there to print it.”

“He was a fine gentleman and a good sports writer,” was the way John Pollock described Hyde.

The former Jamestown Falcon, who later made his home in Jamestown, said, “He was honest, he was straight-forward and he wrote what he thought was just right.

“He did everything possible. He didn’t leave anyone out. He was good to all our players.”

Jim Barone, proprietor of the Satellite Bowl, characterized Hyde as a real professional and a gentleman. Barone noted, too, Hyde’s support of bowling: “Frank never actively participated in bowling, but he did a fantastic job. He covered the pro tournaments and the Cancer Bowl-Athon and was right here with coverage. The coverage he gave was good for the city of Jamestown and bowling.”

Joseph Nalbone, veteran umpire and president of the County Grape Belt Baseball League, remembers Hyde’s devotion to baseball and to the league: “He was the one that kept interest alive in the league by running photos and putting in game scores. Also, he made me as an umpire. Frank would run pictures and write stories about my accomplishments.”

And as a professional journalist, Nalbone said, “Hyde was a very reliable and dependable sports editor who knew what the people liked. He gave recognition to all sports. I think he favored baseball, but he was well-versed in all sports.”

Bob Brown, athletic director and veteran coach at Pine Valley Central School, said, “Frank is tops with us at Pine Valley and is thought of very highly here. He had something in about all the schools – large and small – in the area. He always had those little stories about the kids in the whole area in his column which everyone liked. Frank is an institution at The Post- Journal and will be sadly missed.”

Dave Hall, Gerry Rodeo Committee chairman, said Hyde was instrumental in bringing the rodeo to the area 40 years ago.

“Foghorn Clancy was the advance man for the J.E. Ranch Rodeo,” Hall recalled, “and he told Frank that there was going to be a rodeo in Gerry and Frank believed it could happen.

“Frank’s stories kept the rodeo in the public’s eye, and now it has been going strong for 40 years,” Hall said. Along with his stories in The Post-Journal, Hyde would send stories about the Gerry rodeo to up to 70 newspapers and various rodeo publications nationally.

“Frank believed rodeo was a sport and helped make the Gerry rodeo a success,” Hall said.

Fairness and sincerity are two words Sheridan Hardenburg, long-time coach, sports official and school administrator, associates with Hyde.

“He was fair when he was talking about sports. He also didn’t criticize.

“He was a good story teller. His attitude toward sports was honest and sincere. He always had the time for you. His sincerity put him in the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. He was considered locally by everybody to be qualified. That’s a tribute to him,” Hardenburg said.

Ted Wyberanec, a former Jamestown Falcon who stayed to make his home in Jamestown, said Hyde’s columns reached the whole county.

“He was quite a sports innovator, not only in baseball, but every portion of sports,” Wyberanec said. “He showed compassion to all individuals. Being in the baseball and basketball end of it, there were some of his articles that were very close to Jamestown.

“He was the type of individual who always remembered. The whole county is going to miss him when it comes to sports; and everything for that matter,” Wyberanec said.

Vincent McNamara, president of the New York Pennsylvania Baseball League for 35 years, knew Hyde since 1939 when McNamara was an umpire in the league.

“In 1939, when the league was first formed, I came in as an umpire the middle of the year,” McNamara said. “He was always up in the booth and that’s how I got to know him.”

McNamara noted Hyde’s support for the NY-P League through the years: “Frank Hyde made a contribution to this league. He did it meticulously and frankly without much compensation. I’ve lost a friend and baseball – the NY-P particularly – has lost one of its best.”

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.