the JEDSEY JOURNAL

"All the fits - Our news to print"

- - - -PPD VISITS FLORIDA - BADD LADD DAY REPORT - - - - - - - BASEBALL IN JERSEY CITY - - - DONOVANS PARTY SEPT 22


January/February 2001 -vol. 14-# 1 published on the 15th day of odd numbered months - on line at HTTP://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/jedsey_journal/ - e-mail to jedsey_journal@compuserve.com - US Mail to - 74 Cottage St., Jersey City NJ, 07306


INTRODUCTION

This project revives a Jersey City based newsletter from the late '50s/early '60s, and is dedicated to John White, Bobby Rey and Badd Ladd - holding a spot at the bar for us at that big Joe Crine's in the sky.

BADD LADD DAY REPORT

MIKE DONNELLY leads the Crawl into Jack Miller's Pub which served as the centerpiece for this years event. The other Mike Donnelly visits with Peter Brennan - both were principals in the previous Sunday's Parade. Brennan's is the only bar remaining on the route that Badd Ladd ever visited.

(Jersey City) 3-16 - This year's Badd Ladd Day pub crawl visited seven Jersey City Pubs in seven hours, including two new entries: PJ Ryan's and The Harbor Casino. Mike Donnelly and Jed, who have been at each of these nights dedicated to the fallen Ladd, since they were reestablished back in 1996, were backed up mainly by a group from the Hudson Neighbors Internet forum. The Honorary Grand Marshall for this Crawl was in fact "Shabby Kunk", a Hudson forum member who had penned a song honoring Ladd after last year's event. Captain Al of the Harbor Casino was happy to tell us that his establishment will NOT be torn down to make room for high rise condos as had originally been reported here. He credited former Mayor Gerry McCann with helping him to be able to continue the operation of a family property that goes back a hundred years. Lorretta Cosgrove had slipped into town and was staying with her sister Cathy Macchi who lives next door to Brennan's Pub. The pair had the date wrong and went to Brennan's the night before the Crawl but the surprise was on them. On the next night Lorretta watched from the front window for the Crawlers, but did not recognize the well behaved group that showed up at Brennans, so she never joined in.

Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the Ladd's death so please set March 15th aside and plan to attend this milestone event. A special effort is being made to locate either or both of Jim Laird's brother or his good friend, Bob Tetzel, to join with us next year.

ST PAT'S PARADES - PARTIES - ELECTION CANDIDATES

ROD'S FLOAT in the Morristown St Pats Parade was manned by Gene Keller's extended family and carries a model of the famous railroad dining cars that his dad Rod Sr. had restored as part of the restarurant. In the Jersey City parade on the following day, Mayor Bret Schundler poses with Jack Miller and former 6 time World Champion Emile Griffith.

It's an election year in New Jersey and all of the St. Patrick's parades around here had political overtones. Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler campaigned for name recognition and marched around shaking hands with the spectators who stood curbside in as many of these New Jersey parades as he could find. The JEDSEY JOURNAL captured some of his efforts in Morristown and Jersey City. The Morristown parade also featured a Rod's float that carried many of Gene Keller's children and one of his wives. Back in Jersey City, Peter Brennan was Parade Chairman and Irishman of the year was the other Michael Donnelly who marched with the Badd Ladd Day Pub Crawlers the following weekend. Our Michael Donnelly also attended both events and was seen in the parade carrying the banner for the Friendly Sons of Ireland. Tommy Norton led another group followed by Richie Kist who carried the banner for the Emerald Society. A few bands later came Mayor Schundler who had just thawed out from a chilly yesterday in Morristown and he was backed up by Jack Miller's bag pipers and then the classy entourage from Jack Miller's pub all garbed in formal wear. Other politicians marched with various groups down the line and the parade which had returned to the route of Lincoln Park to Journal Square was much better received this year than in previous years where it marched from the Square to god knows where north of here. The weather also cooperated and many people missed work the next day as the revelers continued into the night at bars like Miller's, Carrol's Ale House and Brennan's.

As far as the elections go, Jed has been volunteering to help out Mayor Bret Schundler in his campaign against the Trenton bosses, but fear of Schundler's growing popularity has resulted in some dirty tactics akin to deciding to add an asterisk to Maris' homer record in the middle of the season. The people in the State Capital have just changed the election rules to allow the Republicans to replace candidate Gov. DeFrancesco, who Schundler was overtaking. In the local race Jed is backing his similarly outspoken Ward Councilman Arnold Bettinger for reelection, and is also splitting his ticket all over the place to go for good guys Mariano Vega and Jerry Healy for Councilmen at Large.

The rest of the Jersey City election has some interesting connections. John Spinello's daughter is running for Councilwoman against the wife Dave Donnelly's cousin. Pete Brennan is running for Council in his ward, and John Dinardo's daughter is managing the campaign of mayoral candidate Glen Cunningham. Mayoral Candidate Bob Cavanaugh is the son of the Judge who divorced Jed and Dietra (the Jed ex who has good character). It is expected that at least the Mayoral vote will result in a run off, perhaps to be held at the same time as the delayed Gubernatorial Primary.


PPD'S GREAT FLORIDA ADVENTURE

Carmine DiMatteo, Charles Ilvento, Jr., Jed and PPD enjoy dinner and entertainment in a Ft Lauderdale restaurant. Jed's cousin Charles had a major part in coordinating the event which saw 10 members from each side of the family in Florida at the same time, so that they were able to welcome Daddy on his first trip to the Sunshine State in more than 50 years.

In the aftermath of tough winter where he broke a hip and had to endure an operation and the other inevitable complications, Pooh Pooh Daddy (91) suffered what appeared to be two minor strokes. His son, Dr. Peter Dimatteo advised that being cooped up in his lonely room in the house that his daughter has infested with a heard of smelly stray cats could only lead to a case of melancholia and PPD's eventual demise.

PPD's brother Carmine had wanted him to come to Florida to see his wonderful new house that he shares with his daughter Marie Williams near West Palm Beach, and Daddy also has a Lady Friend in Vero Beach who had been trying to get to see him since she moved from New Jersey, so as soon as PPD got out of his latest hospitalization, Jed threw him in a wheel chair and packed him onto a flight to the promised land. Things happened so quickly that John the Elder didn't remember the flight and just as well because John the Younger wanted to forget it.

Florida seemed to do Daddy a world of good, and Pooh Pooh's memory, spirit and color returned, as he made trips to visit his friend, Doroty Turbiak; a drive thru Safari; a Japanese garden museum and a Spring Training game. Best of all was the time spent with his family in their beautiful new house, and the piece de resistance had to be a dinner get-together in a Ft Lauderdale restaurant with 20 members of his extended family, including Brother in laws, Pete and Charlie Ilvento. Although he has now returned to Jersey City, it's reported by Dorothy Turbiak, that Daddy is already scheming to come back and visit with her.


REUNIONS - DONOVANS DATE SET

Mini reunion season is underway as Johnny Farawell, Matty Doyle and friends convened at Harrigan's in Sea Girt last week. In Brielle, the Cashes are setting up to do their annual party in July. But these should be just a harbinger of the great things to come as everyone is arranging their schedules to be in Sea Bright on Saturday September 22, for the biggest party in Donovan's history. - You won't want to miss it with the great cast of characters who will be on hand, and no excuses will be accepted this time. Write the date down - SATURDAY - SEPTEMBER 22ND.

LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF JUNE '54 - APPROX. 100 STUDENTS + 1 TEACHER LOCATED

LYNN SCHWARZ COOPER was located during this last period, and then she turned right around and located one of our former teachers

There has been remarkable progress in finding our former classmates during this last period, and Lynn House Burke now reports a tally of approx 100 accounted for out of our quest to find a total of 174. In a second order effect after Lynn Schwarz Cooper was located, she in turn found one of our ex-math teachers Phillip Scheideberg for us. Mr. Scheideberg is the subject of this month's where are they now feature further down this page. Current efforts are being expended to select a site for our first get-together in 40 years.

The attached list linked at the bottom of this article includes an update on who is still missing from our accounting. We are asking help from our readers to pass this along, and help fill out this list. Although most of the males can be tracked via internet search engines, the females who give up their maiden names are difficult to find this way. Information on class members should be sent to Bill Gill or Lynn (House) Burke at the email addresses included on the attached links below. Save these addresses and bookmark the URL for the list to be able to get news on the latest updates.


(click here to send e-mail to Bill Gill)

(click here to send e-mail to Lynn House Burke)

That Big Joe Crine's in the Sky has a new customer.- Dan Flat. - by Pat Schark

DAN FLATT, son-in-law of JEDSEY JOURNAL Hall-of Famer Danny ("Crazy Satch") DiCorcia, died Wednesday, Feb. 28,

"Death lies upon [him] like an untimely frost." Romeo and Juliet IV, iii,28

That Big Joe Crine's in the sky has a new customer. Dan Flatt, son-in-law of Hall-of FamerDanny ("Crazy Satch") DiCorcia, died Wednesday, Feb. 28, at his home inSpotswood at the age of 39.

Although not a New Jersey native (he and wife Susan met while they were bothstudents at the University of Oklahoma), he became a local celebrity becauseof his broadcasting career. He was operations manager of WCTC in NewBrunswick and host of a popular radio show, "Afternoons with Dan Flatt." Before that he hosted a live Saturday morning call-in show about homerepairs, "Around the House," from the Lowes Home Center in Piscataway. Manypeople knew him as broadcast engineer for the Rutgers University footballand basketball teams.

In addition, he taught communications at Middlesex County College. At the luncheon following the funeral, I spoke with one of hisformer students. He told me how Dan went the extra mile to help youngpeople like himself find jobs in the broadcasting industry. They were allvery grateful to him and saddened at his untimely death.

He was active in his church, St. Thomas the Apostle in Old Bridge, servingas president of the parish council, lector, sponsor of the Rite of Christian Initiation, advisor for the Catholic Spirit (the Metuchen Diocese newspaper), and third-degree member and treasurer of the local Knights of Columbus. The priest who eulogized him at his funeral remarked that Dan always critiqued his Sunday sermons and let him know when he did a good job- and presumably when he didn't. As if all this were not enough, he was anactive member of Middlesex County's Habitat for Humanity and past chairmanof its board of directors. No wonder his funeral procession stretched for miles!

WCTC presented a two-hour tribute to Dan on Friday, March 2, giving his manyfriends and admirers an opportunity to express their thanks and grief at hispassing.

A CHAIN LETTER THAT MAKES MORE SENSE THAN LAST YEARS GAS OUT

THE FOLLOWING WAS SENT TO ME BY AN ECONOMIST WITHIN THE FUEL INDUSTRY. ANOTHERECONOMICS PROFESSOR AT CAL REITERATED THE SAME LAST WEEK. I THINK IT IS WORTH TRYING. - - - I got this from a reliable source the website listed is legit. We heard today from a man who is very savvy about the economy, namely, Clark Howard, (visit his website @ www.ClarkHoward.com for lots of goodinformation), and he says that the gas prices are going to start going up again and will be high this summer-$2 and up. We need to do whatever we can, and do it NOW!!!! - - - This makes more sense than the don't buy gas on a certain day routine that was going around last year! By now, you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.49 is cheap. Me too, as it is now $1.78 for regular unleaded! - - -Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at less than $1.50, we need to try an aggressive response. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take ACTION! The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we don't buy it. But, (as the gas companies know full well, and are counting on), that's not really a practical option since we all have come to rely on our cars. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together. Here's the idea:For the rest of this year, don't purchase gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), namely EXXON and MOBIL. You see, if they are not selling, they should be inclined, (i.e., "forced"), toreduce their prices. And, because of their size, and hence market share, if they reduce their prices the other companies will too. (They would HAVE no choice!). Isn't that a "juicy" prospect? But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of users. But it's doable! I am sending this note to all if you readers. If each of you each cut/paste andsend it to at least 10 more ...and those 10 send it to at least 10 more and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth iteration, we will have reached over one million consumers. Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on, or one you compose, to at least 10 more E-mail addresses. - - -PLEASE HOLD OUT UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO BELOW $1.28 - $1.29 AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK!If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

ALL AROUND THE TOWN

THOMAS FORTIS and Robbie await their turn in Ski School, as Julian Thurvil shows off his newly acquired skiing skills. Later in the day Robbie had advanced to the point where he could ski down the big hill with Jed. After skiing, Robbie's birthday party returned to Jed's nearby cabin in Vernon for food and cake before the final night session of sleigh riding, capped off by hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows.

The Grand Kooke threw a "Going Away" party at Casa Dante and invited Jed but by the time the invitation was retold, Jed thought he was to go there to cover the event for the JEDSEY JOURNAL and arrived late with his camera. - Loretta Cosgrove attended the affair and reported that now that her kids have left the fold her house is even more crowded with grandchildren - Jugger Donnelly has been elected to the Board of Directors of his country club and has just signed a deal to provide for the future as his own company has changed management. - Jugger and Melanie's son Andy's photo is being used on his school's recruiting brochure. Andy leaves the week after graduation to vacation in Egypt. -- Slinks McLaughlin, Ed Bowler and Ed's son attended the Final Four games in Minnesota and scored nice seats with the help of Ed's old LaSalle teammate Bill Raftery who was a commentator for the games --- Captain Bill is back working at Monmouth Park for the summer - - CB along with Maark Clarkin and PPD's brother Carmine have all needed stress tests for their hearts recently, but CB's docs report that somehow the Captain's system has created a natural bypass and he will need no surgery. --- Dietra Wright (the Jed ex with good character) and boyfriend Greg are heading to England and France at the end of May and will visit with Jed and friends as they pass through Philadelphia Airport --- Robbie's ski and sledding party was so enjoyed by his classmates that they each are following up with something special - he has gone to a half dozen birthdays following his own party. The most notable was going to the Circus and then to Mars 2112 for lunch and Video games with Julian and Gage Thurvil ---- Pat Schark's daughter Karen visited NJ and picked up her mom's MVP award, which had not been available on time due to Jed's PC problems. --- Nothing is safe now in Idaho as Franny Yeck has retired from Hewlitt Packard and now will have more time to putter around with other hobbies. -- In Jersey City, Limpy was doing some work in sister Janet LaForge's basement on Fairview Ave., when he uncovered a speakeasy that had been in operation over 70 years ago --- Casey Driscoll was selected to be on a crack AAU basketball team, and her brother bill graduates Harvard this month and is now selecting a university to study for his doctorate. --- Mark Hanlon and Jimmy and Pat Dettlinger were also recent visitors to Florida. -- Yesterday's held its second annual beach party, but Mark was nowhere in sight. He must have forgotten to turn his clock ahead that night. - - Ben Schlossberg wrote a song called "Asbury Park" and recently sold the rights and performed the song with orchestral back up at a political function. One of the politicians is using it as the theme for his plan to renew the area. Ben had been going to the Convention Hall to see the Gulls pro basketball team play and he had made friends with the team owner who connected him with the politico.


VINTAGE ISSUES - - Dec, 1960
This column will make nostalgic visits to the past by reprinting actual copies of the original JEDSY Journals. This will serve to introduce our cast of characters to our newer readers. All of the original JJ library was purged by Pooh-Pooh Daddy in an attempt to eliminate anything that might be considered evidence, if it fell into the hands of law enforcement personnel. Most of our incomplete vintage file was copied from a collection of issues that Jimmy Nacion carried with him as he traveled half way around the world.

This shortened pre holiday Journal gave schedules for our heroes as to when they would arrive back in Jersey City from college or points unknown. The headline story told how John White had gotten FXTY fired from his Florida job, so they both could return home for the Holiday. Jolly Uncle Joe was also coming up from Miami to visit with Jed. Bob Rey was at sea as he crewed through the Caribbean, and Jed was home finishing his senior year at NCE where he took second place in the contest for the ugliest guy in school. Meanwhile the JERSEY JOURNAL reported that Jed's old honey Babs Yabs, was to wed a former NCE schoolmate of his. The JERSEY JOURNAL was also reporting on how our locals were doing around the country in the college basketball season. Ed Bowler and Bill Raftery were leading La Salle to wins and at Providence, Vinny Ernst was making his mark. Jack Nies and Jugger Donnelly were even being written up from far away St Mary's of the Plains in Dodge City. This may have been good service from the local sports page, but when the roof fell in on some of these players at the end of that fateful season, a young sports writer by the name of Fred Cranwell showed what kind of character he had when he wrote a fine sports editorial entitled, "Ed Bowler is My Friend", which explained the economic pressures that were on many of these ball players. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Caribbean, Bobby Rey had just had his 20th birthday (and unbeknownst to him, conceived his first child). This was probably the first JEDSY JOURNAL to ever use photos, when it reproduced photos from JERSEY JOURNAL articles on this page.


WHERE ARE THEY NOW - MR. SHEIDEBERG

PHIL SCHEIDEBERG, (standing center) is alive and well and living in Bricktown. By an odd coincidence Fxty and Jed ran into another former teacher Grace Hill (seated front), when she was touring in California. The boys took her out for a drink that evening (well actually Jed had a drink with her while Fxty was busy rifling through the coat check room).

Ever wonder what happen to your old teachers? Well here's a find that comes from Lynn Schwarz Cooper as mentioned above - Mr.Scheideberg (math) is living in Brick,NJ,and would very much enjoy hearing from former students.E-mail address:beaphil@aol.com. - - Phil Scheideberg was part of the wonderful group that staffed the Lincoln High School Math Dept.. He personally instructed many of our readers math and also coached some tennis. In later years could be found cavorting on outdoor tennis courts all around Hudson County, and staying fit appears to have paid off as he has outlived many of his former students.

THE WAY WE WERE - (Feature) - 40 YEARS AGO - THAT FATEFUL 1961 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SEASON

The Hudson County version of the movie "61" would be about Basketball instead of Baseball. A year that had held so much promise and excitement wound down to a tragic ending for many of our friends. NBA bad boy Jack Molinas had shown up at places like Audubon Park and Ilvento's where he met with our local ball players and quietly sold them on his plan for everyone to get rich. Later in the year Ilvento's bartender Artie Mott could be seen receiving mysterious phone calls and then hurrying down to the end of the bar to whisper something to Ace McLoughlin who in turn would jump up and make his own call from the pay phone. Ace's younger brother Robert after earlier being touted at LSU as the greatest thing since Bob Pettit, was transferring schools at mid semester to find a new school where he could again be a starter, because the LSU coach had benched him for his increasingly poor play. Finally the Seton Hall team that had such high hopes for the season had its final few games taken off the board by the local bookies, and it all started to become clear to the local wise guys.

The very popular NIT could have been the perfect place for a disappointing basketball season to turn it all around. Roy Lennig's Holy Cross team led by George Blaney, pulled a stunning first round upset over Dave DeBuschere and Detroit. But when the Seton Hall team, that some thought might win the NIT, lost in the first round, the story hit the paper that DA Frank Hogan had detained the Hall's two star players, Gunther and Hicks, in a New York City hotel room and that they had confessed to shaving points. Hogan continued his investigation as teams came into his jurisdiction to play in the NIT and sources leaked that this would be a bigger basketball scandal than the one that Hogan had broken up in 1951. The investigation continued while the NIT went on, and strangely in the middle of everything, the lead detective was found shot with his own gun outside of Hogan's home. He had an envelope with him containing key evidence in the Basketball Fixing case and his death was ruled a suicide.

Back in the NIT, Jersey City's Vinnie Ernst was at the top of his game and both scored and dished off for John Thompson to score enough points for Providence to win the NIT and for Vinny to be the MVP of the tournament. Jersey City rolled out the red carpet for the former Mr Biddy Basketball and the Hogan investigation was forgotten. Then about a month later we woke up to find that many of our friends in colleges around the country had been involved in the scandal. Hogan was grandstanding - ten years before he was furious when Cardinal Spellman had made him destroy all evidence that a Catholic University player, Zeek Zowalick of St Johns had been involved with the other NY City players in fixing games - but this time he was not backing off. Richie Kaminski who was not involved in the fixes recalls the detestable way in which he was treated by Hogan who made him wait isolated before playing a surveillance tape that he knew cleared Richie.

Amazingly from that dark day, and led by Dr Lou Brown, just about all of the "fixers" have turned their life around and risen way above those times, while in contrast Vinny Ernst never could find himself after those glory days, and he muddled around for years finally returning to the city of Providence where he meet with a tragic end. Vinny's heart had been broken when the Celtics drafted him and brought him to camp telling him that he was in their plans. They were actually using his popularity to increase ticket sales for the practice games, and they cut him just before the regular season began without giving him any notice. It was a hurt that he never would recover from.

Jack Molinas, who in 1961 had put out a contract on Lou Brown's life, was at his pool in LA when he himself was cut down by an assassin with a high powered rifle. It seems that Jack had collected insurance on his old business partner who had been rubbed out in Colorado, but this partner must have had some other "insurance" that Molinas didn't know about.

MY BROTHER IN LAW KRZYSZTOF..... KRYS GOES TO THE LIBRARY
I met Kris Bibrowski after he had come from Warsaw to the US, and was immediatly impressed by his work ethic. Later I came to think that he worked too hard, and was uptight and suspicious because he didn't know how to relax. Readers can form their own opinion.

As soon a Krys got settled in this country he took out a library card and decided to practice his English skills by bringing home the biggest novel he could find on the shelf. He was dissappointed, so he brought it back to complain. He walked up to the front desk of the library and said, "I borrowed a book last week, and it was the most boring thing I have ever read. There was no story whatsoever, and there were far too many characters!" The librarian replied, "Oh, you must be the person who took our phone book."

JCNJ REDUX - -THE HISTORY OF PRO BASEBALL IN JERSEY CITY - PART I (first in a series by KEVIN CRANE)

JERSEY CITY NATIVE KEVIN CRANE had never seen the JC Giants play, yet he is thier biggest fan and can be seen walking around town wearing official team jackets and hats of various vintage. He is presently building a 5x6 foot scale model of Roosevelt Stadium in his Saddle Brook apartment. Who better to write an article on the History of Baseball in Jersey City? Kevin has previously reported on several assignments for the JJ, and with this series of articles, he comes in to his own.

INTRODUCTION:Aware of my interest in Jersey City's old minor league clubs, Jed asked me to write a story about Jersey City baseball for his newsletter. I was happy to comply but didn't know what I didn't know. I confined my research and this story to the amateur clubs of the nineteenth century and, particularly, the professional teams that followed them. Most of the story is illustrated through the city's ballparks.

THE EARLY YEARS:Introduced in Hoboken by Alexander Cartwright and a group of his Manhattan friends in 1845, "base ball" slowly gained popularity in the metropolitan area. Two base ball clubs formed in Jersey City during the mid 1850s - Pioneer and Hamilton, Pioneer in June 1854 after New Jersey's first club formed in Newark a month earlier. Hamilton played perhaps the first important base ball match in Jersey City when Empire of New York visited them at the Centennial Grounds on September 22, 1860. Pitching for Empire was William Arthur who would be credited with developing the curve ball. He must have tossed some high-hanging ones that day as Hamilton tagged him for 14 runs.

Until 1856 base ball was a "gentleman's game" played almost exclusively by merchants, lawyers, doctors and the like but when Porter's Spirit of the Times published the "Knickerbocker Rules of Base Ball" it opened the game up to everyone. By the end of the decade, Jersey City counted 42 senior and "muffin" or junior level clubs, tops in the state.

In 1860, Brooklyn's Resolutes traveled to New Jersey to face Jersey City's Mechanics club. A few days after the Mechanics' upset victory the Resolutes president dispatched a letter to the Jersey City Daily Courier and Advertiser complaining that Jersey City's players had cheated by "interfering" with his players and that the fans were rowdy and were gambling openly on the contest. Go figure.


1860 SCORECARD for Hamilton vs Eureka of Newark. Note there were six catagories for outs: a) Put out on base, b) Caught flying, c) Caught on the bound, d) Caught on tip, e) Struck out, f) Touched by. Hits were not accounted for, only how players were put out and how many runs they scored.

Three other top clubs formed during the 1860s - Star, National and Champion. The Champion club was nearly the recipient of state sponsorship. In 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings (Redlegs/Reds) was base ball's first all-professional team and toured much of the nation going 59-0-1. These chaps were the best team in the land and included a Jersey City marble cutter, Doug Allison, the club's catcher. Having attended some of their exhibitions, Hudson County officials were moved to push legislation through Trenton to incorporate "The Champion Base Ball Club of Jersey City" and have them tour in like fashion. Governor Randolph vetoed the bill over his concern that base ball had become another means for gambling. Despite the veto, Champion became quite an attraction. They played their games at the Champion Grounds between Erie Street and Jersey Avenue, and traveled to other fields by stagecoach.

During the 1870s and 1880s other Jersey City clubs included Liberty, Atlantic, Pavonia, Palisade, Live Oak, Court House and many more. The matches were generally played for pools of prize money. Each year the Evening Journal would publish the clubs' rosters once they had organized.

Grand Street Grounds:

Jersey City Gladiators

When the first baseball league, the National Association, formed in 1871 several minor leagues followed suit. Jersey City's first legitimate league team was in the Eastern League in 1885 where they did poorly in their first season. Under manager Thomas Cummings the Gladiators improved to 49-39 in 1886, finishing in third place. The games were played at the Grand Street Grounds at Grand and Pryor Streets. Cow barns stood beyond the outfield.

In baseball terms Jersey City is best known as the place where baseball's color barrier was broken in 1946 but, sixty years earlier, Jersey City's roster included New Jersey's first black professional baseball player, southpaw George Stovey. Though his 1886 win-loss record is disputed, it is known that the players he faced that season batted a mere .167 against him. He won 35 games for Newark in 1887.

In addition to their league rivals, the Gladiators played exhibitions against National League, college, and amateur teams at the Grand Street Grounds. The fans began referring to the Jersey City "league club" as the "Jerseys", a name formally or informally applied to each pro Jersey City team to follow. In 1887 the club moved to the International League where they finished in sixth place.

Oakland Park: Opened 1888

Jersey City Giants

In 1888 Jersey City changed its league, ballpark, and nickname. The Atlantic Association club would play at Oakland Park, bounded by Oakland Avenue, Hoboken Avenue, Concord Street and Fleet Street. The baseball grounds had been used by amateur clubs but before the 1888 season the field was improved and wooden stands were erected to accommodate a few thousand people. The "Giants" nickname suggests an affiliation with the New York Giants.

The following account of a game between Jersey City and Wilkes-Barre at Oakland Park appeared in the Evening Journal on May 1, 1888.

"The day was a perfect one for ball playing and the game was of far more interest than anticipated. Faultless playing did not contribute to this result in any marked degree, although a few brilliant field plays were made and the heavy batting by the Jersey City nine was admired. The most thrilling features of the contest were the accidents that occurred. Pyle was wild and uncertain in his delivery, and Reipschlager [the catcher] was unable to hold him. Dowse was little better and Fitzgerald still worse. Near the close of the game Fitzgerald received a ball straight off the bat on the inside of the left knee, disabling him. He was succeeded in the box by Roach, who did fairly. Friel ran in from left field to take a high fly but could not get under the ball, which struck the ground and ricocheted on his nose, splitting it and sending him in for repairs. "Chick" Hofford came to the rescue. As he waddled out into the field he was the recipient of continued applause which was resumed when he batted a daisy grounder a little later, and again when he captured a skyscraper."

The club had a terrific season, going 83-25 but lost a best-of-five playoff, and the pennant, to Newark. The Jerseys played half a season in 1889 and in mid-season 1890 transferred to Harrisburg. Pro baseball would not return to Jersey City for twelve years.

New York Giants

Oakland Park was the site where Jersey City would be "home" to a major league team for the first time. In 1886 certain New York Aldermen decided to retaliate for the New York Giants refusal to provide them with free passes to the Giants games. They presented the city with a plan for running a street - 111th Street - through where the original Polo Grounds stood and, following the 1888 season, obtained a court order to tear the place down. The Giants made arrangements to play at Oakland Park while a new Polo Grounds was built at Coogan's Bluff further uptown.

On April 24, 1889 the Giants opened their season there, losing to the Boston Beaneaters (Braves) 8-7 before 3,042 fans. Two future Hall of Fame pitchers faced one another that day - the Giants' Mickey Welch and Boston's John Clarkson. Following their second home game, pressured by New York, National League officials ruled that the Giants had to play their regular season games "within the borders of the state in which the franchise is granted". The Giants moved to St. George's Grounds in Staten Island. The right fielders had to maneuver around a stage that extended into the outfield, erected for the theatrical production of Nero. The Giants moved to a field adjacent to where the new Polo Grounds was rising.

West Side Park/Jersey City Baseball Grounds: closed 1905

Jersey City Jerseys


JERSEY CITY BASEBALL GROUNDS at West Side park were demolished a little after the turn of the Century when the entire West Side park and surronding area was expanded and developed to make Jersey City's equivalent of Central Park.

In 1902 Jersey City rejoined the Eastern League going 72-65, finishing in third. They called West Side Park home. Also known as the Jersey City Baseball Grounds, the ballpark stood on the west side of West Side Avenue, about where the Lincoln Park fountain is today. The Jerseys' Bill Halligan led the Eastern League that season with a .351 batting average. On August 8 Rochester's first baseman performed an unassisted triple play at the park, the first unassisted triple play recorded in organized baseball history.

Manager Billy Murray and the Jerseys would bring Jersey City it's first pennant in 1903, finishing 11 � games ahead of Buffalo. The team went 92-33 and boasted three twenty-game winners including George Phanmiller who won 28. "Moose" McCormick, a Jersey City native, batted .362. The pennant winners captivated the city. 1904 was another winning year for the Jerseys although their 76-57 record left them in third place.

Some controversy arose over where the Jerseys would play their 1905 season. A sprawling park was planned for the city's west side, intended to reach from Hudson Boulevard to West Side Avenue to the Hackensack River. The base ball park sat within it's borders and was not something the Park Commissioners believed would be consistent with the park's idyllic theme. The Evening Journal was concerned the club might be forced to move to another city and launched a campaign to convince the Park Commission to allow the Jerseys to remain on the grounds for another season while a new ballpark could be built in the city. As the paper put it - "This city should be permitted to enjoy the pleasure of the national game for a time longer on the old grounds, at West Side Park, which is one of the most beautifully situated of any base ball park in the country."

The Jerseys got to play another season there and opened 1905 with their only pre-season game versus the New York Highlanders (Yankees) at the park before 3,000 fans. Billy Murray would again manage the Jerseys through a fine season, 81-49 and second place, two games back of Providence. Hurler Vic Lindaman posted a 24-7 record for the club.

Next Edition: The Skeeters

MARATHON REPORT

DR. PETER DIMATTEO - shown here at the final turn in this year's Boston Marathon

Dr. Peter ended up running this year's race with two buddies who were first time marathoners and he finished at 4:42. His team Leukemia raised another half million to fund cancer research. He thanks you for all the support and will get the official notes and photos out to you soon. If you haven't sent along your check yet, you still have until the May 30 cut off date. Send tax-deductible contributions made out to LEUKEMIA AND LYMPHOMA SOCIETY OF AMERICA, c/o Dr Peter Dimatteo, PO Box 1854- Duxbury MA 02331

NJO - HUDSON NEIGHBORS FORUM -- Forum Tribute to Joey Ramone

Come in and join the conversations and postings of Hudson County as we remember it, on the NJO Hudson Neighbors forum. Many of the people written about in the JEDSEY JOURNAL are daily posters. The link to the Hudson Neighbors forum is given in the JEDSEY.COM section of internet links listed below. Lock in on this address, and look in daily to see what is being dicussed. The post below is a sample of recent topics of discussion. On line the day Rocker Joey Ramone died these particular posts were put by forum regulars who he had contact with over the years.

SAMPLE POSTS FROM HUDSON NEIGHBORS FORUM

CORIE GODISH contibuted the sketch above showing Joey and the Ramones when they broke in on the Uncle Floyd Show. Corie claims to have studied art in the bedroom studio of the Uncle Floyd Show's art director, David Byrd.

He was a fine, decent person, who left us too soon.
Re:  We need a HNF tribute to Joey from RJ, Pierre and CG (jed)
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 13:18:41 GMT 
From: RJ <unknown> 

From my very brief time that I knew Joey (I knew him as Jeff), I can tell you that he was a class act all the way. In fact, there is another part of my story about him.

After we brought him back to Robert Wood Johnson and got him settled in his hospital bed, we kept talking about life in general. He told us about how he injured his foot in a concert (I believe it was at Rugers) and ended up in the hospital. He spoke a little about life on the road, how he loved the fans, but wanted a more stable life.

And he asked us to "drop in any time" at the hospital if we were in the area during the next few days, as he expected to be there for a bit longer.

Well, as I walked out of the Emergency Dept. entrance of the hospital that day, it hit me. I had been so engrossed in conversation with Jeff that I forgot to get his autograph.

Well, it just so happened that I was at Robert Wood Johnson the next day, and I thought I'd take Jeff up on his offer to drop by. I'd heard about how big stars can be a bit fickle, so I knew he might just tell me to get lost. Wrong! Jeff greeted me like I was a long lost friend, told me to sit right down. I explained that I was bothering him for an autograph "for my sister". Well, he gave me one for her and one for me, "just in case". We sat for a while longer and talked some more about anything that came to mind. Then the nurse came in and shooed me away.

That was my last encounter with Jeff Hyman, a.k.a. Joey Ramone. I'll say it again, he was a class act, a "normal person" and a very decent one at that, trapped in a pop star's body.


You may keep my hairbrush in eternity, Joe!
Re:  We need a HNF tribute to Joey from RJ, Pierre and CG (jed)
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 14:25:00 GMT 
From: Pierre Armani <pierre@armani.org>

Hey Jed, who's talking. I wasn't coniving more than you were. I'll always remember when Joe & his band shot their video in my house. Because he never returned the hairbrush he borrowed.

His producer called me as they were late on shooting schedule. And had no time to travel upstate to shoot in a big house. I was the only nut who lived in a marble-walled mansion: 22 room 10 bathroom, 2 kitchen, 6 floors, private elevator, near Central Park... alone. so his 50 people crew invaded the house for 2 hours. Smoking up the place with burned coffee beans & what-not. They blew-up a giant wood crate in the middle of my living-room. And here they were inside the crate, filled with smoke. Playing air-guitar... there was this silly stupid dog and a dignified old lady in that scene. They ran that video on MTV.

Before leaving, they fully un-smoked the house, and replace each furniture in the very exact place they found it. I'll tell you, these guys are no punks!

If you remember me in eternity Joe, make sure my name is on VIP list!

give my regards to G-extropian, -Pierre

@JEDSEY.COM - this issue JEDSEY JOURNAL - the secret recipe for deli potato salad

The newest additions and changes for our online network of readers are included here. Add these address changes to your e-mail listings, and send a note to an old friend today. We will direct link to your websites as they come on line, and there are also websites of local interest included here. Save any or all of these sites in your favorite places. Click below to access new and previously published links and addresses. Remember that wonderful deli potato salad that was the feature item in all the Jersey City delis of our youth? This month we are featuring a website that has variations on the basic recipe, inluding the following:


COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS



REVENGE OF THE BENNIES - the photo finally surfaced showing the plane hired by the Jersey City crew when Asbury Park Press refused to give the same attention to their aquittal that it had given to their arrest.


VINNY PANTOZZI whose family owned the Hilltop Restaurant - - then and now (talk about "Nostalgia with a capital N"!)

  re DICK LESLIE: 


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MAY/JUN - WHERE ARE THEY NOW? - THE WAY WE WERE - VINTAGE ISSUE - JCNJ REDUX (JERSEY CITY BASEBALL-THE SKEETERS)

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