Ol' Lefty Will Be Out There Saturday And So Will the Wolves - To Howl

The Post-Journal
By Frank Hyde
June 2, 1950

The P.A. man used to say, "Parkhurst pitching for Jamestown." And the wolves would boo. Saturday the P.A. voice will go through the same ritual. Only this time it'll be, "Parkhurst pitching for Olean."

The boos ought to be a little louder and more emphatic this time because Lefty is coming back to the scene of his earlier triumphs trying to triumph – as the enemy.

They always booed Lefty. No one seems to know why. He was a good chucker. One of the best "wrong-arms" to ever wear the Falcon livery.

"That don't bother Ol' Lefty," the dark visaged little guy with the sharp eyes would say. "I was brought up among those people. They don't really mean it. Jamestown has the best baseball fans in the world. They're just having fun. Hope they come out Saturday and give me a good old-fashioned Bronx welcome." It's an odds on bet they will.

He Got The Moose

There's a touch of the Dizzy Dean in Parkhurst. He's got more intestinal fortitude than a garbage wagon and just enough contempt for the man with the willow to make him effective.

Back in 1945 when Batavia boasted one of the most destructive hitters in the club's history – Steve Kromko – the Clips came to town. This writer sauntered through the gate an hour before game time. There sat Lefty. "Say, watch me get that Kromko out of there tonight," he greeted me.

Just then the "Moose" came snorting out of the Batavia dressing room. "Like h... you will. I hope they keep the water hot. Those cold showers so early are dangerous for the health."

The Clips were pretty belligerent that night and they touched up Ol' Lefty along the way. In one of the late innings things looked bad – two on, two out, The Falcons ahead by a run and up comes Kromko.

They glared at each other for a minute like a couple of bulls then Ol' Lefty reared back, his lip curled scornfully and he just started foggin'. Five pitches later the Moose went out like a light, swinging at a curve that broke over his hands.

See what I mean. Some guys have got it when the chips are down. Others haven't. No one ever accused Ol' Lefty of not having a heart as big as a rain barrel. He'll do the Oilers a lot of good. But will any of it be Saturday

A lot of balls and strikes have passed over the plate since the talkative Lefty, a product of Jamestown, first toed the rubber in Municipal Stadium back in 1942.

It was on the road, in fact, when Lefty broke in with the Falks. His debut was in relief at Olean on May 4, 1942. Stan Rogala had started but yapping Jake Pitler's Oilers were a hungry gang in those days. They made a feast off Stan, who was replaced by Frank Guillod. The latter didn't last long either, and Parkhurst was in there for his first fling at organized baseball.

Went to Bisons

The product of Jamestown's sandlot leagues has had a far flung and varied career since that humble start eight years ago. Now he's back in the PONY League laboring for the opposition.

Parky went to Buffalo in 1943 after winning 13 and losing 7 for the Flock and worked as a relief artist for the Bisons throughout the campaign.

In 1944 he was back with Jamestown to become one of the Falcons' few 20-game winners in PONY history – 20 wins 10 losses. Buffalo picked him up in 1945 but returned him to Jamestown in mid-season. He won 11 straight for Manager Jim Levey's Falcons and closed the campaign with an 11-3 record.

Into Brooklyn Chain

Brooklyn bought up his contract in the draft of 1946 and Lefty was sent to Ashville, N.C. of the Class B Tri-State League. He won 11 and lost a like number with the Tourists. The next season with the same club he copped 14 and lost 10.

The Dodgers moved him up into Class A ball in 1948 with Pueblo, Colo. of the Western League. Again, he had an even season, 10 and 10. Last year he reported to Rock Hill, S.C. back in the Tri-State where the man now well-known to Jamestown fans, John Moss, was serving as general manager. Lefty had a 10-11 year with Rock Hill but this spring could not come to terms with the Dodgers. He asked for the right to buy his own contract and after weeks of dickering the deal was completed by Olean's Mark Hammond, fast becoming one of the shrewdest young baseball executives.

 


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