Special Night On Tap

‘Greg Peterson Unplugged Part 2” To Honor Scotty James

In this July 2022 file photo, clubhouse manager Scotty James leads members of the Jamestown Tarp Skunks in singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” P-J file photo by Scott Kindberg

A couple years ago, Randy Anderson was behind the wheel of his truck for the Memorial Day parade in Jamestown. In the bed of the pickup was Whiffy, the Jamestown Tarp Skunks’ mascot. Walking behind the vehicle were the players on the city’s entry in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

And riding shotgun was Scotty James, the team’s clubhouse attendant.

In terms of parade-route response, there was no doubt who was the most popular.

“Whiffy got a lot of cheers, the players got a lot of polite applause, but nobody, NOBODY, got more recognition than Scotty James,” Anderson recalled in 2022. “It was like riding with Queen Elizabeth. Scotty has his hand out the window (waving at the people lining the streets) and somebody would call his name and he’d say, ‘What’s up?’

“We got to the end of the parade,” said Anderson, the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame president and board member of Jamestown Community Baseball LLC, “and the players (asked), ‘Does everybody in this town know Scotty?'”

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At 6:30 p.m. April 23 at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, local sports historian Greg Peterson will share stories of some of his best baseball moments with Mike Billoni, the former general manager of the Buffalo Bisons, who also served in that same capacity with the Jamestown Jammers of the New York-Pennsylvania League in 1994.

Entitled “Greg Peterson Unplugged Part 2:” — he debuted his first event in April 2023 — Peterson will incorporate videos of interviews that he has produced over the years, with Billoni serving as the master of ceremonies. Christian Dolce, the Tarp Skunks’ general manager and director of business sales and operations, will also be in attendance.

“This has many facets to it,” Peterson said earlier this week.

What separates this trip down memory lane from last year, however, is the inclusion of what Peterson calls “a tip of the hat to Scotty James for his dedication to Jamestown baseball.”

And much like that ride in Anderson’s truck 23 months earlier, Scotty will be the star of the evening, as he continues to recover from recent health setbacks. Peterson expects the community will fill the Carl Cappa Theater.

“He’s been the face of baseball,” Peterson said of Scotty. “There’s been one constant. The players come and go, the managers come and go and the owners are known, but unknown. The face to the fan in the baseball community is Scotty. Not only on the field as a bat boy and a clubhouse manager, but in the stands encouraging the fans. He’s everywhere, the omnipresent Scotty James.”

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One night two years ago at Russell E. Diethrick Park Jr. Park, Anderson watched Scotty show not only his love for America’s pastime, but also his love for people.

“He’s got such a kind heart and everybody knows he’s got a kind heart,” Anderson said back then. “He never does anything because it’s ‘good for Scotty.’ He’s concerned about other people all the time. (He’s always asking), ‘How can I help? How can I make this team better? What can I do?’ That’s Scotty. That’s a credit to him and the upbringing he received.”

To confirm that, Anderson recalled the summer night in 2022 when, after watching Scotty compete in a between-innings mascot race with “Whiffy” (the Jamestown mascot) and the ball boy from the Elmira team, he also witnessed an act of kindness that truly resonated.

“Scotty went around to the merchandise store, bought a miniature tarp skunk and went back and gave it to the kid from Elmira,” Anderson recalled. “I watched it happen. Scotty is a good sport on top of (everything else).”

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Admission to “Greg Peterson Unplugged Part 2,” which should last about 90 minutes, is free.

“It will all kind of hover around during the (city’s) NY-P League days,” Peterson said. “The managers of the other teams would often be (former) Major League players. I would seek them out and do interviews with them and, inevitably, ask them to give me their best, humorous story, and they would. You’ll see some of that that night.”

Those in attendance will also get to greet Scotty, and the first 100 fans will receive a Scotty James baseball card.

“That will put everybody in a different tax bracket if they own it,” Peterson said with a chuckle.


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