JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Tarp Skunks collegiate baseball team will soon be searching for a new General Manager.
On Wednesday current team manager Frank Fanning announced he was leaving the team after one year at the helm. During his tenure, Fanning was responsible for helping to launch the new name and brand of the team. But due to COVID-19, he was never able to actually see the ball club play.
“Baseball is sometimes a season-by-season sport for players, as we all know. And sometimes it is season-by-season for members of the front office as well. Even when there’s no season,” Fanning said in a press release sent out by the team on Wednesday afternoon. “For the most part, I was signed for one year to turn the franchise around, and I made good on my promise. The current global climate plays a factor into my decision too, it’s time for me to return home.”
From 2016 to 2018 the Jamestown Jammers collegiate baseball team took the field at Diethrick Park. But the ownership of the team opted to not continue for the 2019 season. They handed the team over to the newly created Jamestown Community Baseball ownership group, and it hired Fanning last year to help prepare the team for the 2020 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season after it took the 2019 season off. Part of that preparation including a new team name and brand.
On Jan. 22, the new Tarps Skunks name and logo was announced, helping to put the city and the county in the national spotlight. According to Fanning, there were over 3 million impressions for Jamestown, NY and Chautauqua County, NY on social media and the brand quickly took off with fans eager to purchase hats and shirts in support the team.
“I’m proud of the splash that the Tarp Skunks made. I so appreciate the renewed fan interest in baseball. Every day I was here I had the fans in mind – especially the children and families,” Fanning said, adding that Tarp Skunk merchandise has outsold the last five total years of the prior grape logo, and “many more millions of impressions have been made since the relaunch.”
“The ‘Tarp Skunks’ brand is a gift to Jamestown. It is so baseball-universal, and the groundwork is laid for the management group to continue to do something special with it. It requires serious work and attention to sustain,” Fanning said. “There were obviously challenges, but I always felt like I could overcome anything. Now, it’s up to the Board of Directors to maintain that momentum and continue the positive trend. The goal was to give Jamestown something it never had before. Here it is. I wish them luck.”
Fanning plans to fulfill his July 1st memorandum of understanding. Fanning is not aware of any job postings at this time. Visit TarpSkunks.com for more information on the club.