The Jamestown Times-News

Ted Wyberanec Honored For Helping Youngsters

Ted Wyberanec, a man whom pro baseball brought to Jamestown as a young fellow, is the selection of the sports department of the Jamestown Times-News as the top sports personality of the city and area for the month of July.

Ted Wyberanec merits the selection for his work with the kids with an abiding belief in the value of athletics to the young during their most impressionable years.The 44-year old Jamestown resident has devoted much of his spare time during the last dozen or so years to instructing the youngsters in the fundamentals of baseball and basketball.

Ted's personal crusade in behalf of the boys is reminiscent of the pattern fashioned by the circuit riders in the nation's pioneer years. In the past, he has conducted clinics in both sports in nearly all the Chautauqua County population centers, enlisting the aid of many of his former teammates whenever his projects have reached proportions beyond the capacity of one individual.

Right now, for instance, Wyberanec is planning two baseball clinics for the kids in and around Chautauqua Institution, a program that is in its fourth year of operation. Average attendance at these clinics in other years has hovered around the 25 mark at each two-hour session.

The first clinic session is given over to instruction by Wybernec and his aides or aide. The second gives the players an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned and additional instruction.

Because the institution season is conducted on a tight eight-week schedule, it is necessary to conduct the clinics when other Chautauqua features do not conflict, Ted tailor-makes the scheduling of instructions periods. Jack Fulford, a well known Jamestown athlete and official, is his No. 1 aide this summer.

In addition to his work with the interested Chautauqua boys, ranging roughly from 8 to 16 years of age, Wyberanec is in his fourth season as manager of the institution's baseball Lakers, a semi-pro team which last Saturday defeated the strong second-placed Gorskis of the Buffalo Double A League, 4-2, for its first win after two losses. Wyberanec-managed teams have won 20 games and lost four during the first three seasons of his regime.

The Gorskis evidently are hard to convince, for another game has been booked for Saturday afternoon, Aug. 15 at Institution field. In this connection, Ted has been helping Barry Graham of Lakewood, one of the collegians pitching for the Lakers, to solve the problems which beset every young twirler. Detroit Tiger Scout Cy Williams of Buffalo has given Graham a "look".

Other Laker pitchers are Denny Swan, who was in the pro ranks for some five seasons, Dick Jezeroski and long Bob Winterburn. Wink Richardson, a former pro, plays first base, Clair Hammond, second, Jim Hannon or Don Brown third, and Steve Pachol short. Hannon is shelved by a broken thumb suffered in softball at present.

Outfielders are Tom Nary, George Parsons, Jim Goodell and Tommy Sharp. Catchers are Fulford and Johnny Bloomquist.

Wyberanec has conducted basketball and baseball clinics for kids in Jamestown, Ellington, Cassadaga, Busti, Lakewood, Falconer, Frewsburg and other towns and villages in the county.

Ted was manager of the Jamestown entry in the County American Legion League for three campaigns, his charges winning two pennants. A majority of these went on to star in high school and collegiate ball. Wyberanec also was an officer in the local Babe Ruth League organization one year.

When not busy with his youth-program, Ted rides the officiating trail. He has been a basketball official for seven years and an umpire for five, working local and county games. It is altogether possible he will try his hand as a football official this fall. The personable old pro also finds time for "a little golf", although this is on the relaxation level only.

The Word War II U.S. Navy veteran of three years has a lush professional background. Born in New York City to Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Wyberanec, he attended public schools there, playing basketball and baseball.

His first collegiate basketball experience came at Long Island University where Clair Bee was coach. He moved on, with a basketball scholarship to John Marshall College in Jersey City and wound with still another scholarship at Baltimore University.

Just as it seemed the cage game would claim him, his baseball potentialities caught the eye of a friend of Harry Bisgeier, then the owner of the Jamestown PONY League Falcons.

Bisgeier brought Wyberanec to Jamestown and installed him at short in the spring of 1942. Then Pat McNair, a more experienced player, joined the Falcons and Bisgeier sent Ted to Lockport for a short period. But he soon brought Ted back and he played third base for the remainder of the season.

In November of 1942, Wyberanec was called to the Navy. He returned to the Falks in 1946, when Marv Olson was manager, and was converted to a pitcher in mid-season. He compiled a 6-5 record and was fifth in the league’s ERA ratings. In 1947, he appeared in 42 games won 15 and lost 5 decisions for a 2.60 ERA and batted .329, one of his good nights being a five for six plate performance of three singles and two triples.

He was with the Buffalo Bisons for the first two weeks of the 1949 season, then was shipped to Williamsville. In 1949, he was sold to Tempe in the Class C Big State League in Texas and hung up a 13-12 mark. He remained with Tempe the following season, suffering a knee injury which required surgery the ensuing winter. He played his last season with the Lamesa Club in the West Texas League.

Returning to Jamestown, Wyberanec played and managed the semi-pro Marlin-Rockwell Rollers for a number of years. One season during this period, he pitched for the touring House of David club.

His experience backlog also includes the captaincy of the Utica club of the New York State Professional Basketball League in 1948-49, while under contract to the Syracuse Nats, and guided the Uticans to the championship and the playoffs victory. Ted's cagers played exhibition games with the Rochester Royals, the Nats, and the Harlem Globetrotters.

Wyberanec married the former Miss Virginia Bemus of this city in 1943 and the couple celebrated their twenty-first wedding anniversary on July 21st. The Wyberanec's oldest daughter, Barbara, is married to Arden Corey, a JHS football star, and will teach in the Warren school system starting in August.

Another daughter, Kathy, was graduated from JHS, where she was a member of the cheerleading team, in June and will matriculate at Buffalo's Bryant-Stratton School this fall. She is director of the REC Department’s Willard Street Playground this summer. Daughter Karen will be a ninth grade pupil at Lincoln Junior High during the upcoming school year. A son, Ted, is three years old.

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.