Parkhurst Field to host vintage baseball game

GLOVERSVILLE – The Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame will host its 2013 inductions on Saturday at Parkhurst Field between innings of a vintage baseball game.

The game will be played that day between the Whatley Pioneers of Western Massachusetts and the local A., J. & G Team, which is being compiled of former Gloversville Little Leaguers who once played at the historic Parkhurst Field site and have gone on to play professionally.

The starting pitcher for the Whately Pioneers will be former New York Yankee Jim Bouton, while the manager of the A., J. & G Team will be major league coaching legend Jack McKeon.

Set to be inducted will be players from the old New York State League Teams that played in Johnstown & Gloversville from 1895-1907. Inductees will include Jack Chesbro (Johnstown Buckskins 1895/NY Yankees/MLB HOF’er), Cupid Childs (MLB 1888-1901/A.,J&G’s 1902), George Bell (A.J.,G’s 1904-1905/MLB 1907-1911), Howard Earl (MLB 1890-1891/A.,J.&G’s 1904-1907) and Joe Birmingham (A.,J.&G’s 1906/MLB 1906-1921).

“We are excited to be blending our traditional HOF concept with a vintage game to be played at an historic site such as Parkhurst Field where some of the 2013 Inductees actually played over 100 years ago,” event co-chairman Mike Hauser said in a news release.

“We are taking the concept a step further by creating a team that honors the A., J. & G teams and players who played on this site with former Gloversville Little League Players, who also began their baseball careers on the very same patch of land several decades later,” said David Karpinski, President of Gloversville Little League and co-chairman of the event, in the release.

“Both teams will be wearing throwback uniforms consistent with those worn by their respective teams at the turn of the century, while playing by MLB rules in place at that time. Adding such modern day legends as Bouton and McKeon will add to the excitement of the day and provide a wonderful memory not only for the players participating in the actual game, but for the residents of Fulton County and upstate New York who will have the opportunity to witness this historic event,” Hauser said in the release.

This marks McKeon’s first managing job since he retired as the Miami Marlins Manager at the end of the 2011 season.

Prior to that, McKeon had guided the Florida Marlins to the 2003 World Series championship over the New York Yankees. McKeon has been in the game of baseball professionally for 64 years and has managed the Kansas City Royals (1973-75), Oakland A’s (1977-78), San Diego Padres (1988-90), Cincinnati Reds (1997-2000) and the Florida/Miami Marlins (2003-2005 and 2011).

McKeon is the only manager in the history of baseball to win over 1,000 games in both the minor leagues and the major leagues.

Along the way, he earned Major League Baseball’s Manager of the Year Award in 1999 and 2003, while becoming the oldest person to win a World Series in 2003 at the age of 72 when he guided the Marlins past the Yankees.

Bouton, who authored the controversial book Ball Four, a tell all diary and memoir of his playing days as a MLB player, will start the game for the Pioneers. Bouton’s major league career spanned from 1963 to 1978, with the Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. He was a 1963 all-star and a World Series champion with the Yankees in 1962. His World Series pitching record is 2-1, with a 1.48 ERA.

At the conclusion of the game, a roadside ceremony will take place in which representatives from the Fulton County Museum will be on hand to help unveil the very first Fulton County Sports Historical Society road marker that denotes that baseball has been played at that site since 1906. The Parkhurst Field Museum chronicles the history of the facility since 1906 and will be open to the public that day. Admission to the game will be $5 donation to the group’s Hall of Fame fund. Gates will open at noon and the vintage game/ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m.

Parkhurst Field/Gloversville Little League is located at 50 Harrison St. in Gloversville.

For more information, visit www.fchof.com or contact Mike Hauser at 725-5565. Information also is available at the Parkhurst Field or Fulton County Baseball & Sports HOF Facebook pages.