A bee-yoo-tiful day…!


Contributing Editor
Walt Pickut

“Hello again, everybody. It’s A bee-yoo-tiful day for baseball!

That’s how the late, great and legendary sportscaster, Harry Caray, signed on at his microphone every day of his 53 years in broadcasting baseball, or so it seemed.

What a memory for a January day like today! Nobody’s hitting homeruns with snowballs on a day like this, and sliding home probably says more about your driving than your base-running.

Hall of Famer Roger Hornsby, after notching his never-to-be-matched .424 batting average, said, “People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

Though it’s hard to tell just now, Spring really is coming. And from there, we’ll be able to see Summer. Every day is getting longer now, already by about three hours more than in the middle of last December.

So this week your Jamestown Gazette is delighted to bring our readers news of our own “Boys of Summer” already starting to prepare for another great season of baseball in Jamestown, New York.

The Tarp Skunks home office down at the Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park is already working on another winning roster for the 2023 season, every kind of ballpark fun, food and drink, and special event to make every game another great memory for the record books.

The Jamestown Tarp Skunks compete in the 16-team Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, a summer baseball league with teams all across New York state.

A dedicated off-the-field team of local citizens—die-hard fans of both baseball and the community—back the team financially and consider it their sworn civic duty to have a lot of fun on a summer evening down at the old baseball diamond. Team names across the nation are also joining in the fun. It seems to have become a nationwide fad.

Our Tarp Skunks seem right in tune with so many others across the country, like these:

  • Hartford Yard Goats
  • Amarillo Sod Poodles
  • Burlington Sock Puppets
  • Rocket City Trash Pandas
  • Carolina Disco Turkeys

In the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’s Western Division, the Tarp Skunks are joined in the naming game by the Batavia Muckdogs and six more, each with their own great stories behind each one.

Yet, there’s more to a pleasant summer evening than a W or an L on the scoreboard. Collegiate baseball also schools the young players in some of life’s most important lessons. The pros at Baseball Camp in Houston, Texas suggest these, just a few of many:

  • Down is definitely not out. A comeback can be right around the corner.
  • The score isn’t always the whole story. Sometimes it’s effort over outcome.
  • Never think that you are too good to fail. Respect everyone in the game.

Here’s to a warm springtime thought and a sunny summer dream on a wintery January day.

Go Tarp Skunks! Another bee-yoo-tiful day is coming for the boys of summer—and all of us.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor

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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.