Ted Wyberanec was an outstanding individual, not only on the pro level, but also on the local level.
A Jamestown resident, Wyberanec devoted a great deal of his spare time to the Jamestown area youth, teaching them the fundamentals of baseball and basketball, two sports he excelled in on a professional level. For several years during the summer, he held baseball clinics at Chautauqua Institution for youngsters from 8-16 and then managed the Institution's semi-pro team called the Lakers. Some of the outstanding players on those teams were Tom Sharp, later Frewsburg football coach, well-known local figures Jack Fulford, George Parsons, and Bob Winterburn, along with Jim Hannon and Denny Swan. The first three seasons, his club recorded a superb 20-4 record.
Wyberanec was born in the Bronx and suffered an early tragedy when his mother passed away when he was 5. He became an outstanding baseball and basketball performer while attending Theodore Roosevelt High School. After leaving the Bronx, he attended Long Island University, where his basketball coach was the well-known Clair Bee. Later, he moved on with another basketball scholarship at John Marshall College in Jersey City, New Jersey, and then had another scholarship from Baltimore University.
At that point, it appeared that basketball might be his game, but a friend of the Jamestown Falcons owner Harry Bisegeier told him about Wyberanec's baseball potential, so he was brought to Jamestown in 1942. He played shortstop and third base in both Jamestown and Lockport. Then he spent the next three years in the U.S. Navy and in 1943 married Virginia Bemis of Jamestown.
After his Navy stint, Wyberanec returned to the Jamestown Falcons in 1946 and was converted by Manager Marv Olson into a pitcher at mid-season. He wound up with a 6-5 record, but what was more impressive was that he was fifth in the league in earned run average. His first pitching assignment was a 7-2 win at Olean as he defeated his former manager, Greg Mulleavy.
In 1947, he put together a stellar campaign with a 15-5 record with a 2.60 earned run average. Additionally, he batted an eye-popping .329 and had what was probably a record for a Jamestown pitcher with five hits, including two doubles, in a 20-4 crushing against Olean.
Wyberanec started with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League in 1948, then, later that year, pitched at Williamsport in the Eastern League and Temple of the Big State League. It was at the latter site where he lost five straight one-run decisions. He pitched a couple of seasons at Temple with a season of 13-12 being his best and followed that up with a couple more seasons at Lamesa of the West Texas League.
During his last season at Temple, Wyberanec suffered a knee injury that required off-season knee surgery.
He returned to Jamestown after his pro career was concluded and managed and played for Marlin-Rockwell and the Steel Partitions Bombers. During that period he pitched for the touring House of David team for one season.
Among the teams that the House of David met was the baseball squad called the Harlem Globetrotters, who had the great Satchel Paige appearing in each game for a few innings. Wyberanec was ahead in a game at Ottawa and had it won until Paige came on for a 3-2 victory. Lyle Parkhurst, a 1982 Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame inductee, also pitched for the House of David when it took a doubleheader against the Harlem Globetrotters at Buffalo.
Basketball-wise, Wyberanec was the team captain for Utica in the New York State League (1941-1942) and was in action against the great New York Renaissance club twice. Utica lost as the New York team was enroute to Chicago to eventually win the world toumament, but on the way back, Utica got revenge 66-60.
That Utica Team also saw action against the Harlem Globetrotters, the Rochester Royals and the Chicago Gears, led by No. 99, the great George Mikan.
Besides Wyberanec's devotion to the Jamestown youth, he also was an official in the Jamestown Babe Ruth League, coached in the Church Basketball League, the Jamestown Little League and the Chautauqua County American Legion Baseball League. Wyberanec was involved in sports for 38 years in various capacities. He spent 18 years as a basketball official and was a baseball umpire. Golf also was one of his favorite hobbies and he played in many tournaments.
One record that Wyberanec probably will always hold with another pitcher, is winning three games in the NY-P League playoffs.
Ted Wyberanec was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. He died in 1991.
courtesy Jamestown Post-Journal
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