Superior Bat Company of Jamestown has stepped up to the plate for the Hugh Bedient Centennial Banquet, which will be held Oct. 20 at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown. Steve Trapani, sales representative for Superior Bat, has commissioned a special bat to honor his hometown hero, Hugh Bedient.
The first official Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award was given in 1947 to Jackie Robinson, but who were the top freshman performers before that season? The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) conducted a vote of its membership to determine the hypothetical Rookies of the Year from 1900-1946. The winner of the 1912 American League Rookie of the Year was Hugh Bedient of the Boston Red Sox
Bedient, a Falconer native, was a rookie pitcher for the 1912 Boston Red Sox compiling a sterling 20-9 record while leading his team to the American League pennant. In the World Series, Bedient was magnificent, pitching 18 innings in four games with an 0.50 earned run average.
Steve Trapani, sales representative for Superior Bat Company, displays the special bat made for the Hugh Bedient Centennial Banquet.
To formally recognize Bedient, Trapani and Superior Bat Co. manufactured an A-Bat inscribed "SABR 1912 American League Rookie of the Year Hugh Bedient Boston Red Sox" that will be awarded to Bedient's grandchildren. Russell E. Diethrick Jr., SABR member, will make the presentation.
Superior Bat Co., located on First Street in Jamestown, makes high-quality maple baseball bats used by many professional players including Curtis Granderson, the New York Yankees centerfielder.
The featured speaker at the Hugh Bedient Centennial Banquet will be Dick Berardino, a player development consultant for the Boston Red Sox. Berardino was a coach for the Jamestown Falcons when it was a Red Sox affiliate from 1968-70. Dick, a renowned speaker and storyteller, has been an integral part of the Boston Red Sox organization for 45 years.
The Hugh Bedient Centennial Banquet will closely replicate a similar banquet that was held 100 years ago. Bedient was welcomed back to his hometown with a parade witnessed by more than 25,000 Chautauqua County residents and was feted with a reception and banquet on Oct. 22, 1912. The event was held at the Odd Fellows Lodge on Main Street in Falconer.
The master of ceremonies for the event will be baseball historian Greg Peterson, who will present a video he has made about Bedient.
Dinner will be provided by Vicki McGraw of Elegant Edibles Catering, who is planning a similar menu to that of the original 1912 banquet.
A cocktail hour, hosted by the Hugh Bedient Celebration Committee, will begin at 6 p.m., with the banquet to follow at 7 p.m.
Tickets to the banquet are priced at $30 and are available by calling Diethrick at 665-2265, Sam Ognibene at 450-0663, or Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame president Randy Anderson at 640-6219.