Babe Ruth and World Series of Cars Team Up

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Judges rate cars on a long list of critical factors.
Judges rate cars on a long list of critical factors.

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut

“The World Series of Cars joining together with the Babe Ruth World Series is a great thing for our city,” said John Bauer who has been a key event organizers since 1980. “It boosts our local economy and it promotes some really fine kids.” This is the second year of both organizations joining forces under the Babe Ruth banner. Organizers say it is shaping up to be a bigger success than ever – Sunday, July 26, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Jamestown’s Bergman Park.
The Babe Ruth World Series committee took over the job of organizing and running its biggest annual fundraiser, the World Series of Cars, last year. “That was our initiation,” said Babe Ruth’s Ralph D’Angelo, a car show Registration Tent volunteer in 2014. “Now we appreciate the work it took during all those years to put on one of the country’s premier car shows.”
The Chautauqua Lake Region Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), founded in 1957, now serves as advisors to the Babe Ruth Committee instead of in their previous role as the main car show organizers. The annual event also continues to be proudly supported by the City of Jamestown.
This year marks the 32nd annual World Series of Cars in Jamestown. “We expect 400 to 500 of the most beautiful antique cars in the country once again,” Bauer said, “assuming we have a sunny day, which we usually do.”
Because of the car show’s continuing support, Diethrick Park will be the site of the 16th Babe Ruth World Series to be hosted in Jamestown since 1980. The first pitch of game-1 in the 2015 World Series for 13-year-olds will be thrown out at noon on Saturday, August 15 with the official Opening Ceremonies scheduled for 7 pm on Saturday evening.

Great Support
The car show has supported the Babe Ruth World Series with more than $300,000 of its show day earnings since the AACA first dedicated its proceeds to Babe Ruth, according to Russ Diethrick, one of the founders of both events.
“The car show has been incredibly generous to us over the last 32 years,” said Felix Muzza, vice president of the Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series group, and Coordinator of Experiential Learning at JCC. “Now it is our turn to take over the hard work of putting the show together. They have a lot to teach us and we want to carry on in the grand style they turned into such a wonderful tradition.”

Babe Ruth World Series for 13-Year-Olds brings action packed baseball to Jamestown.
Babe Ruth World Series for 13-Year-Olds brings action packed baseball to Jamestown.

World Series Lineup
Ten World Series teams will arrive in Jamestown by the busload from across the nation – from the Atlantic to the Pacific – on Thursday, August 13. Warm greetings by members of the Eastside Fellowship along with a traditional welcome meal will await the roughly 500 visitors, friends, coaches and players’ families who will take part in this year’s edition of the 10-day event. Ultimately, the 2015 Babe Ruth Baseball World Series Champions will be crowned after winning the final game at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 22.
The 10-team field pits the eight nationwide regional champions, the Western New York State Champions and Jamestown (the Host Team), split into National and American Divisions, against each other.
“The kids have such a great experience here in Jamestown,” said CJ Kelly, a local administrator with the Babe Ruth World Series organization, “that a player from one of the Babe Ruth western divisions who played here a few years ago in the World Series, chose to play for the Jamestown Jammers this year in the Prospect League. Jamestown makes that kind of an impression on the players and their families. That’s why the World Series has been here for the last 16 out of 32 years. Teams from across the country even come here to learn how to host a Babe Ruth World Series.”

Regional champs bring heat from the mound in Babe Ruth World series.
Regional champs bring heat from the mound in Babe Ruth World series.

Driving for Baseball
The World Series of Cars is recognized by antique car enthusiasts as one of the best regional car shows in the Northeast. The show also features a wide variety of non-antique automotive classes (see the complete class list at: http://www.jamestownworldseries.org/classes).
The event is billed by organizers as a wonderful walk through the history of the automobile. Many participants travel hundreds of miles every year to place their lovingly handcrafted and meticulously restored cars, trucks and motorcycles on display for the day.
Some fans travel just as far to attend. Bill Perkins from McAllen, Texas, for instance, plans to drive one of his own five restored vintage vehicles all the way to Jamestown for the show, perhaps next year. He was on hand at Bergman Park last week to attend the Car Judging class presented by Chief Judge Frank Tantillo, another of the car show’s long time organizers and a longstanding member of the Chautauqua Region AACA.

Polish, color and chrome sparkle on hundreds of prize winning cars at the World series of Cars.
Polish, color and chrome sparkle on hundreds of prize winning cars at the World series of Cars.

Something in Common!
For imaginative fans, the Babe Ruth World Series and Jamestown’s World Series of Cars may have a historic connection, though mostly whimsical.
The oldest car at the World Series of Cars, as recalled recently by Russ Diethrick, was a 1902 Model-T Ford. That great icon of the automotive age is only one year older than the venerable World Series itself, who’s first modern, Major League appearance took the field in 1903 where the Boston Americans of the American League bested the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League, taking the best-of-nine series five games to three. Jamestown’s two signature events this summer are practically twins. Fans of either can celebrate both.

Festival Fare
A pancake breakfast will be hot and ready for car show fans from 7 to 11 a.m. A Chicken Bar-B-Q will be served from 12 to 4 p.m. Many additional food and craft concessions, door prizes, an automobile related flea market and special attractions will round out the event. Spectator gate donation suggested: adult $3.00; children under 12 free.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.