The press conference Monday made it official.
The rumors regarding which New York-Penn League team would move to Morgantown for the 2015 season were finally laid to rest. After more than 17 months of speculating which city would lose their team, we can start to say our goodbyes to the Jamestown Jammers.
Any Auburn Doubledays fans worried the team might move to West Virginia can breathe easier again.
But let’s not dance on any graves here.
Jamestown, a soon-to-be ex-division rival, is one of the elder statesmen of the NYPL. With a 3251-3016 all-time record heading into this season’s all-star break, Jamestown has the most wins in league history and is second in overall games played to Batavia.
Although not recently, Jamestown also boasts numerous NYPL titles. The Expos won the championship in 1989 and 1991, and the Falcons took home the title in 1942, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1952 and 1953.
But to be fair, it was probably the right time.
Tradition is one thing, but averaging 764 in attendance indicates that the interest in Jammers baseball isn’t what it used to be. Just five years ago, Jamestown’s reported average was nearly double that figure.
With the league constantly moving to bigger markets that are able to bring in thousands of fans each game — like Staten Island, Brooklyn, etc. — it’s understandable why a franchise would leave Jamestown.
Still, the Jammers’ move to Morgantown brings more questions.
With more teams outside New York and Pennsylvania, how will the divisions look? What will the playoff format be? Will the divisions still keep their traditional names to honor Robert Stedler, Vince McNamara and Auburn legend Leo Pinckney?
More importantly, is it time to rename the New York-Penn League? With six of the 14 teams using addresses outside New York or Pennsylvania, the league’s name is a bit misleading.
In terms of what we do know, it’s the end of an era. Jamestown and Auburn, who have faced off in the NYPL for decades, are scheduled to play their final game against each other at Falcon Park Tuesday.
Even if you’re not a fan of Jamestown, it might be a good chance to say goodbye.