Futures League Team To Call Wahconah Park Home
Jeff Goldklang will be the owner of Pittsfield's next baseball team.
UNICO Inducts Five Into County Baseball, Softball Hall
Johnny Walker expressed his thanks to a packed Itam Lodge on Friday night when he was inducted into the Berkshire County Baseball and Softball Hall of Fame.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — UNICO inducted five athletic stars into its Berkshire County Baseball and Softball Hall of Fame on Friday night.
Tom Bowler, Tim Kearns, Mike Quadrozzi, Lynn Stockley and Johnny Walker make up the 2011 induction class.
At UMass, she helped the team win the Atlantic 10 championship and NCAA regionals in 1986. That year, she had a 20-3 record with a .80 ERA.
Wahconah Park Seeking Tenant For 2012PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Single mature ballpark seeks outgoing professional baseball team.
The city's Parks Commission is now accepting applications from professional baseball teams to play at Wahconah Park for the 2012 season with the possibility of a long-term relationship.
The 92-year-old park had just recently divorced from a two-year marriage with the Pittsfield Colonials after the couple constantly fought over finances. The park enjoys basking in sun-delays and taking long boat rides when it rains. The ideal team should be able to pitch well and round the bases quickly in front of a large crowd.
Interested prospects can contact James McGrath, the city's natural resources manager, at 413-499-9344 or at email@example.com. Submission deadline is Nov. 10.
Frank Grant Honored By Pittsfield Colonials
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ulysses Frank Grant was on the edge of being forgotten in history but now, his memory is instilled on the outfield wall of Wahconah Park.
The Pittsfield Colonials honored the Hall of Famer Friday by hanging the logo of his team – the New York Cuban Giants, of the former Negro leagues – on the walls. While the team would liked to have retired his number, he never wore one.
Team owner Buddy Lewis presented Grant's great-grand niece Marion Grant Royston, who lives in Williamstown, with a team jersey and cap and read an honorary citation from Gov. Deval Patrick, who was expected to throw out the game's first pitch but was unable to.
Grant was born in the city in 1885 and later moved to Williamstown. He made it into the minor league system before Jim Crow laws led him to the Negro league. With the Giants, he continued to play a high level of baseball until he retired in 1903. When he died he was buried in an unmarked New York City grave.
According to local baseball historian James Overmyer, who spoke at the ceremony, the Negro leagues were at the cusp of being forgotten when historians "rediscovered" them in the last 30 years – as well as Grant – and in 2006, the middle-infielder was inducted to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Overmyer and baseball historian Lawrence Moore discussed the growth of Negro league baseball, which Grant played a role in promoting. The ceremony was a tribute to the Negro leagues that is coupled with the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival.
Pittsfield Colonials Sign Former Major Leaguer
Colonials owner Buddy Lewis and manager Jamie Keefe pose for photos at Wahconah Park with newly signed Pittsfield resident Chad Paronto and his children.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After pitching seven season in the major leagues, Chad Paronto is coming home.
The 35-year-old city resident signed a contract with the Pittsfield Colonials in dual roles as pitching coach and starter.
Despite having been invited to spring training by multiple professional clubs, Paronto decided to hang up his professional career to be closer to his family.
"I know that I can pitch in the big leagues but that's the least of my concerns," Paronto said at a press conference Friday. "I chose to retire for my family."
Last season, Paronto led the Pawtucket Red Sox in appearances with 54 and posted a 4.22 ERA out of the bullpen. But at the end of the year, he said he began thinking of retiring in order to spend more time with his children.
When Colonials manager Jamie Keefe found that out in January, he jumped at the opportunity to bring him in as a coach. The two reached a deal earlier this week.
"I know Chad wants to be able to help the younger players," Keefe said.
Paronto moved to the city 15 years ago when he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1996. He got his first crack in the show in 2001 when he posted a 5.00 ERA in 24 games. He then went to the Cleveland Indians for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He spent the following two seasons in the minors before getting back to the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves.
With the Braves, he posed a 3.18 ERA in 11 appearances in 2006 and a 3.57 ERA in 12 appearances in 2007. He then pitched for the Houston Astros for two years before signing with the Red Sox.
"I could have gone back to the Red Sox but I chose not to," Paronto said. "I was most excited about the coaching aspect."
The team is comprised of players who could play in the upper levels in the next few years, Keefe said, and Paronto is looked at to be the mentor and leader.
"We want to win a championship. We want to win it for the city," team owner Buddy Lewis said. "Chad brings the leadership to get that championship."
He will be used mostly as a coach but will also be part of the starting rotation.
"I've got plenty of bullets left," Paronto said.
Paronto pitched in 177 professional games going 6-12 with a 4.32 ERA in 183.1 innings. He struck out 107 batters and walked 66. With the bat, he got three professional plate appearances and stuck out all three times.
The colonials open the season at home on May 26. Keefe said there are three roster spots left to be filled.
"We look forward to a real exciting baseball season," Mayor James Ruberto said.
|Tags: Paronto, Colonials, Pittsfield|