John JachymFame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.
John James Jachym had a very distinguished career in many fields, including baseball and golf. He was born in the state of Ohio on May 9, 1918, and spent a great deal of his youth growing up on a dairy farm in South Dayton. "Living on a dairy farm is one of the best ways of maturing," said Jachym.
After graduating from South Dayton, Jachym entered the University of Missouri in 1936 and graduated in 1940 with a degree in journalism. While in Missouri, Jachym competed for the Tigers in baseball.
Jachym became a reporter for the United Press International and the Jefferson City (Missouri) Observer along with the Dunkirk Observer. Ironically, he took the Dunkirk job over the one offered by The Post-Journal.
While being a reporter in Missouri, Jachym did an interview with Branch Rickey, the general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. They kept in contact and Rickey, who later moved to the Brooklyn Dodgers, asked Jachym to join the front office, but he couldn't because of World War II.
At one point, Jachym was the youngest scout in major league baseball and worked for the Cardinals. He wrote for the Dunkirk Observer on a full-time basis until 2 p.m. and then would go to his part-time job of scouting the remainder of the day.
It was in 1945 that Jachym came in contact with owner Harry Bisgeier of the Jamestown Falcons of the PONY League. Jachym decided to buy the team for $22,000, which was the most ever paid for a class D team at the time. He had saved around $5,000, his parents gave him $2,000 and the remaining $15,000 was borrowed.
That same fall, he signed a working agreement with the Detroit Tigers and the Buffalo Bisons and for the next three years the Falcons were champions of the league in both standings and attendance. One of his first purchases for his new team was a 28-passenger converted school bus.
At the time he owned the Falcons, Jachym was president of Chautauqua Enterprises (1946-1948) and president of Jamestown Safety Guard (1947-1948).
After the 1948 season, Jachym shocked Jamestown supporters by selling the Falcons to the Detroit Tigers. He joined the Tigers as a troubleshooter with his first assignment being with the Falcons in the spring training of 1949. It was at that point he remarked for the first time to Post-Journal sports editor Frank Hyde that he regreted selling the franchise.
After failing to promote a barnstorming tour with former tennis star Bobby Riggs, 31-year-old Jachym became involved with the Washington Senators of the American League. He became a major stockholder with 40 percent, but president Clark Griffith didn't welcome this young businessman. So, after six months, it was Jachyrn selling his shares.
Later Jachym became a multimillionaire in several business ventures and remained an influential businessman for decades. Jachym embarked on an investment banking career as he served as head of corporate finance for Blunt, Ellis & Company in Chicago, Ill., (1953-1958), vice-president of A.G. Becker Company of Chicago (1958-1963) and senior partner of John J. Jachym & Company, also out of Chicago (1964-1974).
Additionally, he served with Kratos, Inc., out of San Diego, which is an international high technology instrumentation company (1974-1980). He was former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Kratos.
Jachym started playing golf at 43 and joined the Advisory Board of the PGA at age 47 as an advisor on business matters, public relations, tournament sites, television problems, and federal government concerns among other matters. He began serving on the Board in the 1960s.
An outstanding honor was given to Jachym in 1994 when he became just the fifth individual to receive an honorary lifetime membership to the Professional Golfers Association of America. Jachym was also an honorary lifetime member of Western New York PGA, the Illinois Section and the Southem California Section. He was a trustee of the National PGA Junior Golf, former president of National Golf Federation and chairman of the finance committee as well as serving on the executive committee.
Jachym served as trustee and treasurer for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and had memberships in several clubs, including Moon Brook Country Club and the Chautauqua Golf Club.
John Jachym was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He died in 2005.
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