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Scotch James, who holds the microphone, leads the Jamestown Tarp Skunks on “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Saturday night in Diethrick Park. PJ photo by Scott Kindberg

Randy Anderson was behind the wheel of his truck for the Jamestown Remembrance Day parade last month. In the pickup bed was Whiffy, the mascot of Jamestown Tarp Skunks. Behind the vehicle walked the players entering the city’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

Scotty James shot the gun.

As for the reaction of the parade route, there was no doubt who was the most popular.

“Whiffy received a lot of applause, the players received a lot of polite applause, but no one, NOBODY, received more recognition than Scotty James,” said Anderson, president of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame and a board member of Jamestown Community Baseball LLC. It was like driving with Queen Elizabeth. Scotty raised his hand through the window (waving to the people in the streets) and someone would call him by name and he would say, “What’s up?”

We reached the end of the parade and the players (asked): “Does everyone in this town know Scotty?”

The answer to that is?

Probably.

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Tarp Skunks lost 6-5 to Elmira on Saturday night, but as players quietly walked through the hall to the clubhouse after the game, head coach Barry Powell couldn’t help but smile.

The topic?

Scotty, who serves as an employee of the team’s club.

Powell, who has been in baseball for more than four decades, recalled the same parade that Anderson mentioned above.

“Every 20 feet was Scotty, Scotty” Powell said, his smile widening by the second. He may be there with the Pope and someone say, “Hey, I know it’s Scotty, but who’s the other person?”

Anderson said the reason Scotty is so loved comes down to a very simple personality trait.

“He has such a good heart and everyone knows he has a good heart.” said Anderson, a retired primary school teacher in the Jamestown public school system. “He never does anything because it’s good for Scotty.” He cares about other people all the time. (He always asks), “‘How can I help? How can I make this team better? What can I do? This is Scotty. This is a credit to him and the upbringing he received. “

To further illustrate his point, Anderson pointed to the Inca Mascot Race on Saturday night, which included Wifi (who was dressed as a skunk, of course) and Scotty and the ball girl Elmira (who were dressed as hot dogs). The trio took off from the left fence of the field and ran, in unsettled territory, to an area parallel to the far end of the dugout at the third base.

The order of completion was:

Elmira man.

Mentally.

Scotty.

Tarp Skunks players could be less interested in their favorite “strawberry” still finished third. As Scotty approached the dugout, they poured into the field to “wave” him at home.

“We care about him.” said hunter Johnny Camps, who is in his second season with Tarp Skunks. “We have as much fun as he does when he does things like that. We support him and he supports us and he protects us every day.

He does much more for us than we can pay him.

Jamestown manager Jordan Basil has known Scotty for more than 20 years, dating back to when he first played for Jamestown Travelers, a 13-year-old team coaching the late George Barone.

“I can’t say enough about him” Said Basil. “He is the first person in the club to take care of the locker room every day, taking out water. And then there are days when Coach Powell and I are not in our game and Scotty will relax us and motivate the boys when they are not so motivated. Scotty does everything a little. I can’t thank him enough for what he does. “

And then there are times when Scotty does something, well, “just because.”

Anderson saw it first hand on Saturday after the mascot race was over.

“Scotty went to the grocery store, bought a miniature tarpaulin skunk, and came back and gave it to the Elmira child.” said Anderson. “I watched it happen. Scotty is a good sport on top (everything else). ”

He also loves to do a “Joyful noise”, from time to time with a little help from his friends from Tarp Skunks.

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In the middle of the seventh inning on Saturday night, Scotty grabbed the microphone, stood not far from the Tarp Skunks dugout, and with the help of several players sang “Take me to the ball game.”

“Scotty Won’t Win America Has Talent” Anderson said “But no one sings with more pleasure.”

No one who knows Scotty is surprised.

“You need to have fun in baseball” Scotty said between his various jobs after Saturday night’s game. “I love Coach Powell and Coach Basil.”

The feeling is obviously mutual.

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