January 7, 2004
Banquet Planned To Honor Area Baseball Coach
George Barone of Jamestown will be recognized for his service to the local league as well as to the area in general at a banquet scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Jan. 17 at the Vikings Lodge, 318 Washington St., Jamestown.
Barone, 61, has been involved in numerous civic organizations through the years, but it is in baseball where he has left his biggest impression. From 1955 (when he was 13) through 2003, Barone coached youth baseball in several different leagues, totaling 2,015 games and a .684 winning percentage.
Along the way, he coached in the Lakewood Youth, the East Lake Babe Ruth, the Jamestown Babe Ruth and the Chautauqua County Babe Ruth (16-18) leagues and in the Junior Olympics. He was also the varsity baseball coach at Southwestern High School and managed numerous all-star teams, taking many of them to tournaments in such places as Ontario, Quebec, Florida and California.
“We want to honor him for all the work he’s done,” said Charlie Kent, president of the Jamestown Babe Ruth League. “We thought we’d have a night to get some of his old players back.”
In addition to his on-field accomplishments, Barone, who has retired from coaching, has also served as an officer in many leagues, including, most recently, the Jamestown Babe Ruth League where he was a vice president.
“Being president, I didn’t have to worry about an entire division (in the league),” Kent said. “He took care of everything.”
Barone, who is suffering from cancer, has resigned as vice president and manager of the Jock Shop team in the JBRL, but he will remain as special assistant to Kent.
Among the highlights of the Jan. 17 banquet are an auction, a buffet dinner, cash bar and speeches by former major league pitcher Dave Ford and Babe Ruth League Inc. president and chief executive officer Ron Tellefsen.
Ford, a first-round draft pick (23rd overall) of the Baltimore Orioles in 1975, pitched in the major leagues from 1978-1981, highlighted by a World Series appearance in 1979. He is now a high school baseball coach in Rocky River.
Tellefsen, who has made many visits to Jamestown over the years, will present Barone with an award from Babe Ruth League Inc.
Auction items, which will be available for viewing starting at 5 p.m., will include signed baseballs from former Orioles greats Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer and Frank Robinson. Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kris Benson will also have a signed baseball, glove and spikes in the auction.
Tickets, priced at $20, can be purchased at the Jock Shop, 10 Harrison St., Jamestown or by calling Kent at 499-3545 or 488-9323.
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.