That’s according to team officials and city leaders, who joined with more than 30 community members on Tuesday afternoon at Jamestown City Hall to officially introduce the team’s field and business manager, Jamestown native Anthony Barone.
Barone said the roster for the new Jammers Team is nearly rounded out and will feature at least one local player – Austin Alonge, a native of Westfield who’s currently playing for Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. He added that there may be some other opportunities for local players to join the team.
“We’re always looking for guys locally that can come in and do the job. We do have five roster spots left,” Barone said. “A lot of it is determined based on what we need. It’s not necessarily that we want to give a local guy an opportunity – that can’t always be the case. It’s what we need. But if a guy locally can do it, we’re going to sign him. Ideally, you want to keep kids from your own back yard.”
Barone also said the team will feature what he thinks will be the fastest and most athletic summer collegiate team in the country. He said that because summer collegiate baseball leagues are so popular, a key component of recruiting is convincing prospective players why its important they should come to Jamestown.
“We have to sell Jamestown to a lot of these kids, we have to sell them the ball park, the club house, the location.” Barone said. “Because we’re competing for players not only with other teams in our league, we’re competing with other leagues in the country. Summer collegiate baseball has become huge. So we try to pitch the ballpark, the schedule, the competition, the scouts that come. Even though their amateur athletes still, they want the experience of being treated professionally.”
In addition to comments from Barone, team officials Tuesday also revealed several of the promotions that will be taking place during the season. They include a “Throwback to the 50s” home stand, “Beer Garden Tour,” and a “Princess and Superheroes” week – among others.
Also during the press conference, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi helped to kick off the start of ticket sales by making the first purchase of season tickets. The mayor purchased five season tickets and plans to donate a pair to the Jamestown Boys and Girls Club and the Eastside YMCA.
The Jammers team is owned by Milwaukee-based MKE Sports & Entertainment and will play 60 regular-season games in 70 days from the end of May to the first week in August. It replaces the former Jammers team, which played in the New York-Penn League and relocated to Morgantown, West Virginia at the end of the 2014 season. That team is now known as the West Virginia Black Bears.
The 12 team prospect league will feature college baseball players from throughout the country, mostly from the Midwest. The Jammers will open up the season at home on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:35 p.m. against the Butler BlueSox. Ticket prices for all Jammers games will range from $8-12.
Season ticket packages are also available. For more information, JamestownBaseball.com.