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Jamestown Jammers

Jamestown Jammers
Jamestown, New York
Previous Short-Season A
Minor league affiliations
  • Pinckney Division (1998-2014)
  • Stedler Division (1994-1997)
Previous leagues
New York-Penn League
Major league affiliations
Minor league titles
Division titles 1 (1994)
Team data
Previous names
Previous parks
Russell Diethrick Park

The Jamestown Jammers were a minor league baseball team based in Jamestown, New York from 1994 until 2014. The team was the Short-Season A classification affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and played in the New York–Penn League. The team played all of their home games at Russell Diethrick Park.

On August 25, 2014, a week before the end of the 2014 season, it was announced that the team would cease operations in Jamestown and be relocated to Morgantown, West Virginia, United States beginning in 2015. The team, which is owned by Bob Rich, Jr., will play at Monongalia County Ballpark as the West Virginia Black Bears.

Another team bearing the Jamestown Jammers name will begin play in the Prospect League, an amateur collegiate summer baseball league, beginning in summer 2015.[1]


New York-Penn League

Niagara Falls Rapids

The team was previously based in Niagara Falls, New York as the Niagara Falls Rapids, a Detroit Tigers affiliate. Their home stadium in Niagara Falls was Sal Maglie Stadium. The team played in Niagara Falls from 1989–1993.

Jamestown Jammers

Cap insignia
The later-era Jamestown Jammers “angry grape” logos

The team was preceded in Jamestown by the Jamestown Falcons (initially known as the Jamestown Jaguars) and the Jamestown Expos. The Expos had played in Jamestown up until the 1993 season, when the team moved to Vermont and became known as the Vermont Lake Monsters.

In 1994, immediately following the Expos' departure, the Rapids moved to Jamestown and assumed the name “Jamestown Jammers.”[2] The Jamestown Expos had left the city after the 1993 season, relocating to Vermont. The new team was named the "Jammers" after a fan vote, with the winning name beating out others such as the All-Americans, Furniture Makers, Jimmies, Lakers, Lucys, Muskies and Steamers.[3] The team's logo was a Tasmanian Devil-esque character. The mascot was a similar character named J.J. Jammer.

In the off-season before the 2006 season, in an attempt to put an end once and for all to the "what is a Jammer?" questions, the Jammers changed their logo to a cartoon grape theme. The new logo represents the strong tradition of grape-growing in Chautauqua County. On June 19, 2006, the eve of opening day, the team officially announced the name of its new mascot: Bubba Grape, the Baseball Ape.

After a decade of affiliation with the Florida/Miami Marlins, the Jammers signed a player development contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 18, 2012.[4]

Although Rich also owns the Buffalo Bisons, a higher-level minor league baseball team in the same media market, he never affiliated the two teams with the same parent club during the Jammers' time in Jamestown, and as a result, the two teams have always been in separate farm systems.

Relocation to Morgantown

Published reports released in March 2013 (and reiterated in August 2014)[5] indicated that the Jammers were the leading candidate for relocation after the league announced it would be relocating one of its franchises to the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia in 2015.[6] The team's new name, the West Virginia Black Bears, was selected shortly after the Jammers' last game.

Rich, who will continue to own the team, confirmed the news in a press conference on August 25, 2014, as did officials from the city of Jamestown, who indicated that the New York-Penn League had been trying to get out of Jamestown for several years (the league had been in the city continuously since 1960 and intermittently since the league's launch in 1939, long after nearby cities such as Bradford, Olean and Wellsville had lost their pro teams). Rich Baseball still has one year remaining on its lease with Diethrick Park, and it is unknown how the team will fulfill the terms of the lease.[7] Attendance declines were a major factor in the team's departure; the team averaged less than 800 fans per game in 2014 and had lost half of its attendance in the past five years.[8]

Prospect League

The Jamestown Jammers intellectual property rights were then transferred to what had previously been the Lorain County Ironmen of the Prospect League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The Ironmen will relocate to Jamestown and take on the Jammers identity.

Season records

(from Baseball Reference Bullpen)

Season W L Finish (games back of leader) Playoffs
2014 35 40 2nd in Pinckney Division (12.5 GB) Out of playoffs
2013 43 32 2nd in Pinckney Division (5 GB) Lost Semifinals (State College Spikes)
2012 35 40 3rd in Pinckney Division (10.5 GB) Out of playoffs
2011 35 40 5th in Pinckney Division (10 GB) Out of playoffs
2010 43 32 2nd in Pinckney Division (2.5 GB) Lost Semifinals (Brooklyn Cyclones)
2009 34 42 5th in Pinckney Division (15 GB) Out of playoffs
2008 47 29 2nd in Pinckney Division (0 GB)* Won Semifinals (Staten Island Yankees)
Lost Championship (Batavia Muckdogs)
2007 28 47 6th in Pinckney Division (18.5 GB) Out of playoffs
2006 33 39 5th in Pinckney Division (8 GB) Out of playoffs
2005 31 44 4th in Pinckney Division (14 GB) Out of playoffs
2004 30 45 3rd in Pinckney Division (20.5 GB) Out of playoffs
2003 22 51 4th in Pinckney Division (33.5 GB) Out of playoffs
2002 32 42 4th in Pinckney Division (14 GB) Out of playoffs
2001 39 36 2nd in Pinckney Division (9.5 GB) Lost Semifinals (Williamsport Crosscutters)
2000 36 38 3rd in Pinckney Division (11 GB) Out of playoffs
1999 38 38 4th in Pinckney Division (5 GB) Out of playoffs
1998 32 43 3rd in Pinckney Division (12.5 GB) Out of playoffs
1997 25 49 4th in Stedler Division (24 GB) Out of playoffs
1996 39 36 3rd in Stedler Division (4.5 GB) Out of playoffs
1995 32 44 4th in Stedler Division (9.5 GB) Out of playoffs
1994 42 32 1st in Stedler Division (0 GB) Lost Semifinals (New Jersey Cardinals)

* – The Jammers and Batavia Muckdogs finished in a virtual tie for first place in the Pinckney Division in the 2008 season; however, the Muckdogs played two fewer games, finishing at 46–28 to the Jammers' 47–29. The Muckdogs' .622 winning percentage gave them the division title over the Jammers' .618.[9]


  1. ^ "Prospect League Team Keeping Jammers Name". The Post-Journal (Jamestown, New York). January 17, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ Michel, Lou (October 16, 1993). "FALLS RAPIDS BASEBALL TEAM MOVING TO JAMESTOWN". Buffalo News. 
  3. ^ Riggs, Jim (April 10, 2004). "All In A Day's Sports". The Post-Journal. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Vingle, Mitch. Morgantown lands NY-Penn League baseball team. Charleston Gazette. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  6. ^ Correction: Jammers move. The Post Journal. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  7. ^ Mayor speaks about Jammers' departure (full article in source code). The Post-Journal (August 26, 2014). Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  8. ^ Houghtaling, Jeremy (August 26, 2014). It's time to say goodbye to the Jamestown Jammers. Auburn Citizen. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  9. ^ Riggs, Jim (September 8, 2008). "Playoffs Begin Tonight: Jammers Entertain Staten Island In Game 1 Of Semifinal Series". The Post-Journal. 

External links