At a packed press conference in JCC’s Carnahan theater, Frank Fanning, General Manager of the Jamestown Community Baseball LLC team, revealed the new name and logo for the upcoming season. The Tarp Skunks. Yes, you read that right. Prior to the reveal, Fanning showed a 12-minute film which began with Mr. Baseball, Russ Diethrick, and included stories about the ball park from former general manager George Sisson and local baseball history from Randy Anderson, president of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. What they all had in common was the reason tarp and skunks were picked for the team brand.
According to the team’s media release:
Jamestown Tarp Skunks ownership and management honor Chautauqua County baseball heritage by selecting ‘Tarp Skunks’ as the team name. ‘Tarp’ representing Mr. Howard Ehmke, former Chautauqua County resident, MLB Pitcher, 1929 Philadelphia A’s World Series Champion, 1983 Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, and the founder of the Ehmke Manufacturing Company – who produced the original infield tarp. He is proudly our “Father of the Infield Tarp”.
‘Skunks’ to represent a very common creature at Diethrick Park, a creature which has made a habit of pestering and wreaking havoc on baseball team employees for decades at Diethrick Park; specifically living inside the infield tarp, and under the visiting bullpen’s bench. Skunks are also seen wandering the concourse in the evenings.
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, & skunks who live in them!
Russ Diethrick said, “I’m very proud of all that is going on here. It’s important for the community to get together like this. It’s important for community pride. When you bring a friend to Jamestown, this is the place to bring them. Bring them down to the ballgame and make it a complete visit to the area. Win or lose, it’s a lot to be proud of.”
“The skunk is a cute, feisty, smart animal. It’s a name that can’t be ignored,” said Fanning.
It has not been ignored on social media. While many think the name is “cool” and really like the logo image, others are not so supportive, yet. Time will tell and the team management is hoping the unique name and catchy logo will become a household name. According to Fanning, the management team worked with a well-established branding company Brandiose that specializes in minor league teams. For those that would like to buy a hat, winter cap and other merchandise, visit tarpskunks.com and select items are also available at the Team Jock Shop location at 10 Harrison Street in Jamestown.
Randy Anderson of the Chautauqua Sports Hall Fame added “It’s a rebranding. It is important to indicate that this is a whole new community effort. It’s not the same old same old. It’s new people and new investors, new managers and a new general manager. It’s a whole fresh start. It is important to have a fresh brand. It is the way minor-league in college is going. It’s fantastic!”
The team is a franchise of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL). In three previous seasons in the PGCBL, Jamestown has been to PGCBL Playoffs in each season, which includes a West Division championship in 2017 and a PGCBL title in 2018. Players are recruited from colleges and newly graduated high school players must be enrolled in a 2 or 4 year college to be eligible to play. The team roster is available on the Tarp Skunks website.
As past General Manager George Sisson said so well in the brand reveal film, “The biggest thing is we can rally around the skunk … and we can be pretty stinking good at doing it.”
The theater was filled with many familiar faces from the ballpark and City and County officials. Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist expressed his support for the team and those that have kept the team effort going in 2019, “The Jamestown baseball team has always been a staple at the center of Jamestown’s life. To have it revived after a break is really incredible. I can’t take credit for this. This was a lot of work by a lot of community members and Jamestown’s former mayor. I’m here now to support their work and vision as the new season opens.” As I hope we all are Mr. Mayor.