JAMESTOWN, N.Y.- The Jamestown franchise of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League has officially rebranded as the "Jamestown Tarp Skunks," the team announced on Wednesday. Following a one-year hiatus, Jamestown and their newly rebranded ballclub will resume play in the PGCBL this May.
'We are proud to announce this new name, which is a baseball name, is universally applicable to all fans throughout the county & beyond – wherever there are ballparks with tarps, and skunks who live in them!" Tarp Skunks general manager Frank Fanning said in a statement.
The Tarp Skunk moniker represents two notable figures in the history and lore of Jamestown baseball. The "Tarp" aspect pays tribute to 15-year Major Leaguer Howard Ehmke, who was a resident of Chautauqua County and founded a company - Ehmke Manufacturing Company - that would revolutionize baseball by inventing the infield tarp.
As far as the "Skunk" aspect of the name, the mammal is a typical sight around Diethrick Park, where baseball in Jamestown has been played for over 80 years. Skunks at Diethrick Park can even be found in the bullpens, dugouts, and even, of course, inside the tarp.
Fanning said at the team's introductory ceremony that the Tarp Skunks name, which was branded by San Diego-based sports marketing company Brandiose, would allow for Jamestown to develop a fresh experience for its fans.
“We can’t promise the playoffs,” Fanning said, ” … What we can promise is a new experience, and it was about time for fans in Jamestown to come to the ballpark … and expect something very different than what they remember.”
After spending the 2019 season on voluntary suspension, Jamestown will return as a full member for the 2020 season. The team's reactivation was spearheaded by a new local ownership group, Jamestown Community Baseball LLC. The team's baseball leadership group will also include new general manager Frank Fanning and manager Jordan Basile, who also serves as the head coach at Jamestown Community College.
In a press release announcing the team's return to the league, Dr. George Carlo, a partner in Jamestown Community Baseball LLC, stated the team plans to be a destination for top players from across the nation.
“Our plan is to establish the (team) not only as a competitive team, but as a player development summer destination for rising college players,” Carlo said in a press release. “We will focus on improving not only baseball skills, but also mental skills, physical training, tools for energy management, nutrition, sleep, (and) repair and recovery. In short, those things that players will need to succeed at the professional level. Our recruiting of players from across the country ... will be based on that.”
Jamestown will play in the West Division of the PGCBL, with full schedule and announcements about the 2020 season to follow in the coming weeks.