In a few weeks, New York-Penn League baseball will return to Jamestown, but for about a week in October of 1993, Jamestown was without an NY-P League baseball team.
On Friday, Oct. 9 of that year, it was announced the Jamestown Expos were moving to Burlington, Vt., and for the first time since 1976, the city did not have an NY-P League team.
But the void lasted only until Friday, Oct. 15, when it was announced that the Niagara Falls Rapids of the NY-P League were moving to Jamestown.
Suddenly, Jamestown was back in the league, but the name Rapids didn't fit with the area.
Since the Rapids were affiliated with the Detroit Tigers and because Jamestown had been a Tigers' affiliate from 1949-56 and 1961-65, many thought the name Tigers might be adopted.
However, Rich Baseball Operations, owners of the team, decided to have a contest open to the fans to pick a new name. A ballot appeared in The Post-Journal and some of the suggestions were All-Americans, Bisons, Bluebirds, Falcons, Flyers, Furniture Makers, Indians, Gametowns, J-Cats, Jazz, Jimmies, Lakers, Maulers, Muskies, Mustangs, New Yorkers, Pearls, Pride, Sea Gulls, Slammers, Stars, Steamers, Stripes, Tigers, Tiger Cubs and Tiger Muskies.
At that point, Falcons had been submitted the most times with Tigers second and Muskies third. But it had been emphasized it was not a popularity contest and the chosen name might be one that was suggested once and stood out.
Later the name Jammers came up and, for all intents and purposes, the contest was over.
The Rich Baseball Operations employee in charge of the Jamestown team heard that name and his eyes lit up. I heard him say the name Jammers a couple of times with a smile. Then I learned he was a big fan of Jamaican singer Bob Marley and one of his big hits was called ''Jamming.''
That's when I knew the contest was over.
The contest continued for a few more weeks and then the winning name was announced - and it just happened to be Jammers.
Team colors were also chosen and in the early 1990s, teal had become a popular color for sports teams and many feared the Jammers would end up being trendy with that color. Fortunately, the team colors were selected as red, white and black.
No one knew then the Jammers would eventually be a Marlins' affiliate and teal would have fit right in.
Next a logo had to be designed and that was a major undertaking. The first hurdle was deciding what was a Jammer? That was a question often asked and never answered.
The only jammer I had known was the skater wearing a specially-marked helmet in roller derby back in the days when I used to watch Joanie Weston of the Bay Area Bombers on TV.
Even though it was never determined what a Jammer was, a logo was designed and the process took months. It was a top-secret affair and when the logo was finally finished, I needed a copy before the official announcement so it could be published in The Post-Journal on the same day. I can still remember a Jammers' employee arriving at my house with a copy of the logo and nervously looking around (for spies?) as he walked up my front steps.
The logo featured a mouse- or rat-like figure holding a bat. Many said it looked like the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character.
Even though no one knew what a Jammer was, it became a very popular name locally and also nationally. The front office received numerous orders for team merchandise from baseball teams all over the country that were using the name Jammers.
When the Jamestown Jammers finally got on the field in 1994, they provided the fans with a memorable inaugural season which extended into the postseason.
The offensive leader was outfielder Bubba Trammell, who hit .298 with 41 RBIs. He also became the first Jammer to make it to the major leagues when he made his debt with Detroit on April 1, 1997.
Other Jammers on the first roster to make it to the major leagues were outfielder Dave Roberts, shortstop Luis Garcia, catcher Javier Cardona, pitcher Bryan Corey and pitcher Matt Skretta.
They were managed by a former major leaguer, Dave Anderson, who had been an infielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants and he is currently the first-base coach for the Texas Rangers.
It all came down to the last game of the regular season at then College Stadium when first-place Jamestown took on the second-place Batavia Clippers, who trailed by one game in the Stedler Division standings. The Jammers had to win the game to claim the division title and a spot in the playoffs because if they finished tied with Batavia, the Clippers would win the division due to a tiebreaker.
Batavia took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth inning, but Jamestown tied the game in the bottom of the ninth.
It finally ended in the bottom of the 12th when Mike Martin of the Jammers scored on a one-out single by Mac White, who returned the University of South Carolina the next day to begin classes.
Meanwhile, the Jammers opened their semifinal series that night against the New Jersey Cardinals and won 3-2. But when the series moved to the Garden State, the Cardinals won, 13-4 and 9-5, and the Jammers' first season was over.
"We had to play hard to get here," Anderson said after the final loss. "We just ran out of gas."
But there was plenty in the tank during Jamestown's first exciting season as the Jammers.