• Au Revoir Oneonta

    Posted by on January 28th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    I share this since Oneonta used to be a Yankees farm team – before they moved to Staten Island. Via the Daily Star with a H/T to BBTF

    Sellers’ remorse?

    You can’t blame Sam Nader and Sid Levine for having a lot of that now.

    When they sold the Oneonta Tigers to a group of investors led by New York City attorney E. Miles Prentice III in December of 2008, the contract stipulated that the team would remain in Oneonta through at least the 2010 season.

    Never mind.

    Nader and Levine said they received calls from Prentice on Wednesday, notifying them that the minor-league franchise they started in 1966 and ran through 2008 was leaving to play at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn., this summer.

    “I have great memories and they can’t take those away from me,” said Nader, who along with Levine and eight other investors pooled $10,000 together to form the Oneonta Athletic Corp. in 1966 to bring minor league baseball to Damaschke Field.

    Asked if he knew then what he knows now about Prentice and his ownership group, if he’d have had second thoughts about selling the team, Nader said, “Absolutely.”

    In 2009, the O-Tigers drew 23,521 fans, an average of 692 for a ballpark that seats around 4,000. They were last in the 14-team New York-Penn League in attendance.

    “I can understand the move,” Nader said. “The support hasn’t been that great and it hasn’t been that great for a long time. (The new owners’) goals and objectives are far different than me and Sid. For me and my family, it’s a sad day. I think professional baseball is done in the city of Oneonta … and that’s it.”

    An average of 692 fans per game is just terrible. No one should be shocked to see this move.

    Click here to see the last Yankees farm team to play in Oneonta. Juan Rivera turned out to be the pick of that litter.

    Comments on Au Revoir Oneonta

    1. MJ
      January 28th, 2010 | 11:16 am

      Click here to see the last Yankees farm team to play in Oneonta. Juan Rivera turned out to be the pick of that litter.
      I went to college with Russ (son of Chris) Chambliss. He was one hell of a nice guy and there was a girl that he and I chased at the same time. Happy to say, I got that one and he didn’t…

      …of course, I’d be happy to have lost the girl for the chance at a pro baseball career…

    2. Corey
      January 28th, 2010 | 11:17 am

      They should move a Yankees affiliate (AAA?) onto long island (perhaps buy out the ducks and their field?). I’d want that, selfishly.

    3. January 28th, 2010 | 10:06 pm

      I worked at the paper there for a few years, until mid-August. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t relate to the rural culture up in Oneonta.
      That being said, I’ve never seen an area seemingly resent having a baseball team more than that area.
      The old owners spoiled them — at least a dozen free sponsored nights, $175 season seats, $7 or so regular admission — and no one went outside of the free nights. The new folks come in, raise the season tickets but lower the single-game admission when they do away with free nights, and nobody comes.
      Lots of the old folks were still bitter about the O-Yanks not being there, as if the rookie ball Yanks were so obviously better entertainment than the rookie ball Tigers.
      On the other hand…
      There was no beer. OK, that’s no fun. But there are literally 12 cheap-to-decent bars within a block for that. Also, it’s a tiny population (listed generously at 13,000 or so for the city limits) and the college kids basically are gone during the whole season.
      So it was a tough situation regardless. But I can bet many of the sad folks hadn’t gone in years, and many more are irrationally happy to see the Tigers go. It’s almost as some folks there want a ghost town.

    4. Raf
      January 29th, 2010 | 8:13 am

      And so it continues… Norwich isn’t much better, I’m afraid.

    5. baseballbob
      January 29th, 2010 | 10:48 am

      I’ll miss that Oneonta franchise. They had a nice little ballpark, and a friendly atmosphere there when it was a Yankees farm team. I was there in 1978 and 1978, staying at a music camp nearby that was connected with Hartwick College, and was around for one of Don Mattingly’s first games there. That 1978 and 1979 team was solid, with several players making it to the big leagues. I was disappointed when the Tigers picked it up.

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