Jamestown Loves its Baseball Team with Unusual Name
The ownership group of a baseball club in Jamestown, New York, could have named their team anything. They selected the Tarp Skunks.
It's a very distinctive name and here's why. The word tarp was chosen because Howard Ehmke, a Chautauqua County native, is known as the Father of the Infield Tarp.
"It was his manufacturing company that created the first infield tarp,” says Jacob Kindberg, Tarp Skunks Director of Business and Sales.
Skunks are the second part of the name because the sometimes-smelly animals have been known to be found inside the team's home field, Diethrick Park. Some skunks like to huddle inside the rolled-up tarp during the winter.
"There's always been stories from our grounds crew about dealings with skunks and it's kind of turned into this urban legend surrounding the stadium,” says Kindberg.
The baseball team plays in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, a summer league comprised of current college players who want to be seen by major league scouts. This is the inaugural year for the Tarp Skunks and the team definitely does not stink. It leads its division. When it comes to merchandise sales, the situation is absolutely rosy.
"We're getting people from all over the country, mostly logo collectors, baseball historians, people who just like seeing a unique logo and a lot of collectors,” says Kindberg.
So what's it like to go out on the field wearing a uniform with a skunk tail on the back? What's it like being a tarp skunk?
"I love it,” said Chase Carlson, Tarp Skunks Shortstop. “It's not a usual mascot in summer ball so you might as well have some fun with it. The fans love being fans of the Tarp Skunks and it's just a different atmosphere."
Matthew Henson, the Closing Pitcher for the Tarp Skunks, says both home and away fans enjoy cheering for the team.
"They start chanting, 'Let's get stinky! Let's get smelly!’ It's awesome,” he said.
The Tarp Skunks play their final homes games Friday, Monday and Wednesday. All games start at 7p.m. The league playoffs begin on July 30.