McDonough Park (Geneva, NY)
This article was written by Kurt Blumenau
Pete Rose started there. Bernice Gera, professional baseball’s first female umpire, started and finished there. Television dramatist Rod Serling relaxed there. Kenny Shepard, general manager of the local baseball team, slept there. And a young player with a chance to make the majors could be taking the field there today.
“There” is McDonough Park, a low-slung concrete structure parked on Lyceum Street in Geneva, New York, at the northern tip of Seneca Lake in central New York’s Finger Lakes region. Formerly known as Shuron Park, the cozy facility hosted affiliated Class A minor-league baseball most years between the late 1950s and early 1990s.1 College-age and high school players have kept the action going since then.2
While humble in appearance, McDonough Park has a rich history going back more than a century, rooted in one of its home region’s showcase industries.
The economy of central and western New York has owed much to the optics and imaging industry – led by companies like Eastman Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch & Lombin Rochester and Corning Inc. in Corning. A less famed entrant in the field was Standard Optical Company, called Stoco, a manufacturer of eyeglasses and optical equipment.3 During World War I, the company built a baseball field near its Geneva factory to entertain employees, including “a good-sized grandstand and bleachers.”4
Stoco Park hosted amateur and semipro teams, including a company-branded team predicted to be “fast” – that is, competitive.5 The Boston Red Sox came to the park for an exhibition in August 1921, comfortably beating Stoco’s team 13-3.6 A Black team calling itself the Brooklyn Cuban Giants played home games in Penn Yan, also in the Finger Lakes region, in 1924 and stopped by Stoco Park as well.7
Stoco merged with four other optical companies in 1925, forming a conglomerate called the Shur-on Standard Optical Company, reportedly the second-largest manufacturer of ophthalmic products in the country.8 Reflecting that change, Stoco Park became known over time as Shuron Park, without the hyphen.9 The company, however, had discontinued its baseball team and threatened to stop maintaining the field. In the fall of 1928, Geneva officials and Shur-on reached an agreement that stayed in place for 40 years. The city leased the property each year for a nominal fee in exchange for maintaining the field and stands.10 This cleared the way for eventual pro baseball use of the property, as well as continued use by amateur teams.
The park at that time had seating for 1,600 spectators, with room – presumably standing room – for 1,000 others without crowding the field.11 The games in those days may have been small-time, but they were hotly followed. Some 2,700 fans packed the park in August 1929 to watch the championship game of a Finger Lakes regional league, testing the ability of police to control them.12 Rochester softball legend Harold “Shifty” Gears and his Kodak Park team topped that, drawing an overflow crowd of 3,000 for a floodlit night game in 1937.13
Fast-forwarding through World War II, professional baseball arrived at Shuron Park in 1947 in the form of the Geneva Red Birds of the Class C Border League. The loop fielded two teams in Canada and four in New York that season. Nat Boynton, sports editor of Geneva’s newspaper, had heard that two teams in the league were financially unstable; he built enough community support to bring one of them to Geneva.14
The Red Birds, later Robins, stuck around until June 1951, when they dropped out of the league along with the Cornwall, Ontario, team – triggering events that forced the Border League to shut down.15 Geneva resident Tom Ravashiere served as the team’s business manager for several years.16 Ravashiere was also a minor-league umpire, and some three decades later, he got an unexpected call to the big leagues at age 58, umpiring seven American League games during an umpires’ strike in April and May 1979.
The city of Geneva sank $41,000 into Shuron Park to prepare it for pro baseball, including the installation of “a top-notch set of lights” featuring 10 80-foot poles with 160 bulbs each.17 A description of the park’s 1947 layout mentions a steel grandstand behind home plate, flanked by uncovered bleacher sections stretching down the first- and third-base lines.18 Photos over the decades show the park maintaining this seating configuration.19 News stories have quoted a variety of seating capacities, including 3,500 (1958), 3,000 (1979), and 2,200 (1989 and 1992).
In 1949, the Geneva team in the Border League was a Brooklyn Dodgers affiliate, though none of its players went on to play for the Dodgers. Future Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins ace Camilo Pascual pitched four games for the team in 1951 as a 17-year-old rookie. Former Negro Leaguers Pedro Miro, Maurice Peatros, and John Sanderson also played for Geneva, as did Arnold Carter, a pitcher who played in two wartime seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. An overflow crowd of 2,800 packed the league’s All-Star Game at Shuron Park in 1949,20 a season when the Robins won both the regular-season title and the postseason playoffs.
Shuron Park’s most lasting connection to pro baseball arrived in 1958, as Geneva again snapped up a struggling franchise from another city. When the New York-Penn League’s underfinanced team in Bradford, Pennsylvania, folded in May 1957, the league hastily worked with interests in Hornell, New York, to set up a replacement club to finish the season. The Hornell Redlegs moved to more stable quarters in Geneva the following year.21 With the exception of a three-year span in the mid-1970s, the New York-Penn remained in Geneva through 1993, with the Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Senators/Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago Cubs all serving as parent clubs at various points.
Repairs before the 1958 season were delayed when two city agencies, the Board of Public Works and the Parks Commission, couldn’t agree on who was responsible for them. A heavy snow also delayed the work.22 The city invested a relatively scant $5,000 into Shuron Park to prepare it for the Redlegs, who made their home debut in front of 1,500 fans on April 26, 1958. Playing in frigid temperatures in the 30s, Geneva lost to Auburn, 3-0.23 The Triple-A Rochester Red Wings played fund-raising exhibitions at Shuron Park in 1958 and 1959 to support their new minor-league neighbors.24
Rose, then a brash, baseball-obsessed 19-year-old infielder from Cincinnati, rolled into Shuron Park in 1960 and went on to become Geneva baseball’s most famous export. He didn’t set the league on fire in his only season in town, hitting .277 in 85 games for a Redlegs team that finished last with a 54-75 record. He found his stroke in Tampa the following season, hitting.331; two seasons later, he was National League Rookie of the Year.
During Rose’s subsequent triumphs and travails, news organizations periodically dispatched reporters to Geneva for we-knew-him-when stories. Although Rose was voted Geneva’s most popular player in 1960, opinions on him cooled in subsequent decades. “Quite a few people around here don’t like him,” one longtime fan said in 1985, during Rose’s pursuit of Ty Cobb’s all-time record for base hits. “Maybe he was a few years ahead of his time in being brash and cocky.”25
Other players from that era were more fondly remembered. Playing for a championship team in 1961, future Hall of Famer Tony Perez led the league with a .348 average, 160 hits and 132 RBIs. Future Minnesota Twin Cesar Tovar, who first played with Geneva in 1959, tied for the league lead with 13 triples in 1961; he also paced the New York-Penn with 88 steals that season, stealing more bases than five other teams in the league.26 On August 13, 1961, the Redlegs’ Mike Thornton pitched the first of five no-hitters thrown at Geneva during the New York-Penn era.27 Probably the most epic pitching duel in stadium history occurred July 25, 1983, when Oneonta’s Bill Fulton and Geneva’s Brian Tuller each threw eight innings of no-hit ball. Tuller yielded three singles and a run in the ninth; Fulton held on for a no-hitter and a 1-0 win.
Nine days after Thornton’s no-hitter, a newspaper reporter spotted nationally known TV producer Serling in the crowd at Shuron Park as Geneva split a doubleheader with Jamestown.28 Serling kept a summer home in Interlaken, New York, little more than a half-hour from Geneva, and was an ardent baseball fan.29 The low minor leagues might not have been entirely to his taste, though. In a TV appearance in the spring of 1972, Serling reportedly bemoaned, “Almost every summer we go back east and we are stuck in a small place and all they have around are the Geneva Senators, a Class D team.”30
News coverage from the park’s earliest days doesn’t say much about its dimensions. By the 1960s, though, Shuron Park had a reputation as a hitter-friendly park, measuring 300 feet down the right-field line, 372 feet to center field, and 325 feet to left. “Hitters Gloat, Pitchers Shudder,” was the headline on a preseason story in the Geneva newspaper in April 1962; “Shuron Park is made for homers,” the paper added in July 1963.31
A 1977 story indicated the dimensions hadn’t changed much – 315 feet to right, 370 to center, and 325 to left – but also mentioned a stiff west wind that kept right-handed hitters’ drives in the ballpark.32 That wasn’t the first time Shuron Park’s winds were called out in print. Mike Thornton’s 1961 no-hitter took place on a windy night with temperatures in the 40s – in mid-August.33 A 1966 obituary for Milt Roberts, who helped set up Geneva’s community baseball ownership structure, noted: “His trademark was a pipe, which he kept lit in the wind at Shuron Park, no mean task.”34 Even general manager Joe McDonough – a Geneva baseball backer so staunch they renamed the ballpark for him – was once quoted as saying: “Any fan will tell you that Shuron Park is the ice box of the league parks.”35
When the author of this story visited the park in 2012, its marked distances had crept slightly outward: 320 feet to right, 390 to center, and 325 to left.36The park’s tenant as of 2022, the Geneva Red Wings of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, displayed a photo on their website showing center field marked all the way to 402 feet. The pitchers who shuddered in 1962 apparently came along 60 seasons too soon.37
The 1960s brought upheaval to Shuron Park – not the social kind, but the literal, dirt-turning kind. After the 1965 season, a team of groundskeepers headed by the Washington Senators’ Joe Mooney38 determined that home plate was 15 inches lower than second base. The Senators paid for field improvements.39
The following spring, two early-season games were postponed because of excavation work to improve drainage on the basepaths.40 An abundance of small stones also bothered infielders that season.41And when problems weren’t underfoot, they were overhead: A 1965 game had to be suspended at twilight when more than 100 of the park’s light bulbs wouldn’t come on.42 (America’s broader social turmoil might have shown its face in one incident in August 1969, when Geneva Pirates players Willie “Digit” Laughridge and Peter Hughes were beaten up by a gang of youths while walking home from Shuron Park.43)
Future major-leaguers who got their start in Geneva in the ‘60s included Paul Casanova, Tom Grieve, John Wockenfuss, Jim Mason, Bruce Kison, Frank Taveras, and Kent Tekulve. Tekulve, known to big-league fans as a reliever, started seven of the nine games he pitched for Geneva in 1969. Another well-known name began his career in Shuron Park’s press box in 1968, calling Geneva Senators games with a partner on radio station WGVA 1240-AM. At the time, Lanny Frattare was a student at Ithaca College, living in temporary summer digs in a Geneva motel. The native of nearby Rochester went on to become a broadcast voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates for more than 30 years.44
The decade ended with another sign of changing times. In October 1969, Textron, by then the corporate owner of Shur-on, announced plans to close its Geneva operations and donate 32 acres of property, including Shuron Park, to the city.45 The ballpark has been city-owned ever since.
Its name stayed Shuron Park until the summer of 1977, when City Council renamed it McDonough Park. Joe McDonough, who had died a few months earlier, served the city of Geneva in two prominent roles. After retiring as chief of police in 1962, he spent a decade as general manager of the community baseball organization that owned Geneva’s team.46
The ballpark’s name was still Shuron Park and Joe McDonough was on the job in June 1972, probably the most eventful month in the park’s long history. The full story of pioneering umpire Bernice Gera, who fought through years of legal hurdles and sexism for a chance to achieve her dream, would require a book to tell. Here, it’s enough to say that Gera’s one historic appearance as a pro umpire took place in the tumultuous first game of a doubleheader at Geneva on June 24, 1972, when the Rangers took on the Auburn Phillies.
The event sold out Shuron and briefly drew national media attention to the little park near Seneca Lake. The ending was not a happy one. Frustrated by chauvinism from all quarters, as well as criticism of her performance, Gera gave McDonough her resignation immediately after the first game, left in a waiting car, and never again worked as a pro umpire.47
That same month, Shuron Park got a battlefield promotion to the next-highest level of minor-league ball. Hurricane Agnes devastated Dunn Field in Elmira, New York, putting it out of use for the better part of a month. The Elmira Pioneers of the Double-A Eastern League, desperate not to lose too much ground on their schedule, shoehorned three home games into two open dates at Shuron.48 It wasn’t a financial success – the first game drew a scant 49 fans – but it helped keep the Pioneers’ season on the rails.49
The Williamsport (Pennsylvania) Red Sox, rivals of Geneva in the New York-Penn League, also temporarily lost their home park to hurricane damage. On June 28 and 29, Williamsport played as the home team for a two-game series against Geneva at Shuron Park.50 That meant the ballpark had hosted three home teams at two professional levels in the span of a week.
The ‘70s calmed down from there, though the decade was not without notable moments. Future NL batting champion Bill Madlock and future AL Rookie of the Year and pennant-winning manager Mike Hargrove played in Geneva in 1970 and 1972, respectively. The Cubs came to town in 1977, ending a three-season gap with no Geneva team, and won divisional championships from 1978 through 1980 and a playoff title in 1978.51 The New York-Penn League’s annual Stedler Award, named for a former league president, honored the player likely to go the farthest in baseball. Three straight Geneva players won it – second baseman Mike Turgeon in 1978, shortstop Scott Fletcher in 1979, and second baseman Rusty Piggott in 1980.52Fletcher went on to the majors, Turgeon topped out at Triple-A, and Piggott peaked at Double-A.53
The 1980s and ’90s at McDonough Park included both divisional and playoff championships in 1987 and 1992, plus a division championship in 1990. Jamie Moyer made his first pro stop in Geneva in 1984 as a 21-year-old, tying for the league lead with nine wins and leading with 120 strikeouts. He would pitch professionally until age 49. Outfielder and future television sports analyst, author, and newspaper columnist Doug Glanville broke in with Geneva at age 20 in 1991, hitting .303.
Kenny Shepard, meanwhile, drew the nation’s attention to Geneva with futility. As the 1988 Cubs wrestled with a losing streak, their23-year-old general manager vowed publicly to sleep in the McDonough Park press box until they won again. The losing streak reached 18 games, and Shepard’s stint in the press box 12 nights, until a Geneva win finally freed him to sleep at home.54
The city had continued to invest in McDonough Park’s upkeep through the years. When minor-league ball returned from its three-season hiatus in 1977,55 the city plowed between $50,000 and $60,000 into the park, including lights that were reportedly five times brighter than their predecessors.56 Another $25,000 in upgrades, including a new right-field scoreboard, followed in 1987.57 A round of investment reported as $250,000 in 1991 included a new clubhouse.58
But trends were moving away from parks like McDonough. Major League Baseball raised its standards for minor-league parks, and McDonough would have required up to $400,000 in improvements just to stay in the game. The New York-Penn League was also beginning a gradual shift toward larger communities and a broader geographic footprint, beyond the cluster of smaller cities that had sustained it for decades.59
Cubs owners Paul Velte and Ed Smaldone, who had taken over the formerly community-owned franchise six years earlier, said Geneva’s 16,000 residents could no longer profitably support a pro baseball team. After the 1993 season, Velte and Smaldone moved the team to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, a city of about three times Geneva’s population.60 “It was no longer feasible to stay in Geneva,” Velte said years later. “The league was growing, and our facility was outdated.”61 (A 2006 news story from State College, Pennsylvania – one of the new communities that joined the New York-Penn in its final years – characterized McDonough Park as “a high school field that failed to age gracefully.”62)
Summer collegians and local high-schoolers have ruled McDonough Park since affiliated ball departed, keeping the small-town baseball vibe alive. Members of the Hobart College Statesmen were slated to join them as of the 2022-2023 school year. Hobart, which dropped baseball in 1995, announced plans to restore the sport as part of a major expansion of its athletic programs, with McDonough as the new team’s home.63
Like any minor-league park, McDonough Park’s history encompasses much more than on-field baseball action. There have been wrestling matches, and scouting cavalcades, and rodeos and Wild West shows, and a re-enacted attack on a Japanese pillbox bunker as part of a 1945 war rally.64Boxer Ralph “Rocky” Fratto, a Geneva native, fought before 1,200 spectators at the park in 1977 en route to winning junior welterweight boxing titles in the early 1980s.65
In the Bicentennial summer of 1976, a “Folk Festival ’76” concert featured performers like the Henry David Thoreau Memorial String Band – a homespun group made up of six siblings from a farm family in nearby Canandaigua.66 Eleven years later, Elvis Presley tribute performer Philip E. Rutter gyrated in a pregame concert, while fans wearing Elvis-themed clothing got free admission.67
Hardrock Simpson, despite his name, didn’t rock hard. Simpson, a 58-year-old mail carrier, jogged 55 laps around the ballpark during the 2-hour, 41-minute duration of a Batavia-Geneva baseball game in June 1961. A disappointing crowd of 369 witnessed his curious feat.68
Then there was the Finger Lakes Sport-O-Rama, asports and entertainment festival, which in 1965 featured a football-throwing clinic led by Buffalo Bills quarterback Jack Kemp69 and a performance by comedian Bill Dana, briefly famed for playing a stereotype Latino named José Jiménez on television’s The Steve Allen Show.70 The event was ill-starred. The female half of a knife-throwing and target-shooting partnership accidentally shot herself in the thumb with her husband’s rifle, while a parachute jumper participating in a target-jumping contest was hurt when he landed the wrong way. Thankfully, he suffered only damage to knee cartilage in the mishap.71
Of course, the story of Shuron/McDonough Park owes much to the people who have passed through its offices and its grandstands – like Walter Maxwell, team secretary and treasurer, known for taking newly arrived rookies out for their first meal in town.72 Master carpenter Maxwell also volunteered countless hours repairing the ballpark and sparring with groundskeeper Joe Salone, a crusty but friendly foil who shared his commitment to the park and the team.73 Another familiar face – and voice – belonged to Asa “Ace” Brooks, who served as Shuron Park’s public address announcer in the 1950s and ’60s before winning election to Geneva City Council by a six-vote margin.74
Fans Leroy Burch and Frank Galgano deserve special mention; both men died from heart attacks at Shuron Park while watching Border League games the late 1940s.75 Other fans celebrated happier endings, like young Theresa Sindoni, who won the Geneva Cubs’ Pony Night giveaway in July 1977 and was pictured in the local paper riding her prize off the field.76
While affiliated minor-league ball – and pony giveaways — seemed unlikely to return to Geneva as of 2022, McDonough Park continued to hold an active place in the city’s civic life, 100 years after it hosted Everett Scott, Stuffy McInnis, and the players of Stoco’s “fast” company teams. More chapters of history are still to be written there.
Acknowledgments and author’s note
This story was reviewed by Rory Costello and Andrew Sharp and fact-checked by Evan Katz.
The author thanks FultonHistory.com for making many of the cited newspapers available online, particularly the Geneva Times and Finger Lakes Times.
Sources and photo credits
In addition to the sources shown in the notes, the author consulted baseball-reference.com and retrosheet.org for background information on players, teams, and seasons.
Photos taken by author.
1 More specifically: Geneva hosted teams in the New York-Pennsylvania League from 1958 through 1973 and then again from 1977 to 1993. The New York-Penn League was a Class D circuit from 1958 through 1962, reclassified as Class A in 1963, and switched to short-season play in 1967. Geneva did not host a team from 1974 through 1976.
2 As of July 2022, Baseball-Reference’s teams list for Geneva only listed collegiate summer-league teams in Geneva from 2016 through 2022. This list is incomplete, as the author attended collegiate summer-league games at McDonough Park in 2006 and 2012.
3 “Shur-on Optical Firm Will Be Nucleus of New Concern Formed Through Merger of Five Pioneer Companies in Industry,” Rochester (New York) Democrat and Chronicle, April 16, 1925: 1.
4 “Report Way Cleared for Geneva to Take Athletic Field at Nominal Rental,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 1, 1928: 9. A summary printed in the same paper many decades later dated the original park’s construction to “about 1919.” “Baseball and Geneva,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 7, 1993: 1B.
5 “Fast Stoco 9 Led by Bobby Heck Certain,” Hornell (New York) Evening Times, March 21, 1923: 9.
6 Retrosheet list of in-season exhibition games, accessed July 18, 2022; “Red Sox Trounce Optical by 13 to 3,” Boston Globe, August 16, 1921: 8. Boston regulars who appeared in the game included Stuffy McInnis, Everett Scott, Shano Collins, Mike Menosky, and Nemo Leibold.
7 “Brooklyn Cuban Giants Make Headquarters at Penn Yan,” Elmira (New York) Star-Gazette, June 20, 1924: 11; “Cuban Giants Score Victory Over Geneva,” Geneva Times, August 1, 1924: 5. Some members of the Brooklyn Cuban Giants subsequently formed a new local team, the Penn Yan Colored Giants. “Activity in Baseball Circles,” Penn Yan (New York) Express, January 19, 1925: 1. Unfortunately, news coverage identified the players by last names only, and the author of this piece was unable to determine with certainty whether any of the Black players in the Finger Lakes during that period also played on teams now considered to be major league. Penn Yan is about 18 miles south of Geneva, on the northern end of Keuka Lake.
8 “Shur-on Optical Firm Will Be Nucleus of New Concern Formed Through Merger of Five Pioneer Companies in Industry;” “Optical Firms Merge into One Big Company,” Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Evening News, April 16, 1925: 18.
9 The name change did not take immediate effect. News stories from 1928 about the city of Geneva’s agreement to take over maintenance still referred to the facility as Stoco Park. Also, some news items as early as 1925 were already spelling the company name “Shuron,” without the hyphen.
10 “Geneva Council Considers Plan to Take Over Stoco Ball Park,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, September 21, 1928: 5; “Board Passes Law Granting Geneva Field,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 2, 1928: 10; “Report Way Cleared for Geneva to Take Athletic Field at Nominal Rental.”
11 “Manchester, Clyde Game at Geneva,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 23, 1929: 23.
12 “2700 Crowd Stoco Park for Battle,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 26, 1929: 21. This article is another example of the Stoco Park name lingering after the Shur-on takeover.
13 Kenny Van Sickle, “The Sport Tower,” Ithaca (New York) Journal,August 12, 1937. For more on Gears’ career, see Sean Lahman, “RocJocks: Harold ‘Shifty’ Gears Was Softball Legend,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Posted online December 27, 2014; accessed July 18, 2022.
14 Scott Pitoniak, “Baseball Heritage Lives in Geneva,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,May 24, 1988: 1D.
15 British United Press, “Cornwall and Geneva Lose Final Games in Border League,” Ottawa Journal, June 27, 1951: 36; Associated Press, “Watertown Quits; Border League Now Three-Team Circuit,” Elmira (New York) Advertiser, July 10, 1951: 11; Canadian Press, “Can-Am Refuses to Merge, Border Ball League Folds,” Ottawa Journal, July 16, 1951: 17; and others.
16 Dave Rosenbloom, “Ravashiere Will Seek Geneva Recreation Post,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, January 8, 1968: 2D. This article incorrectly states that Ravashiere served as the Red Birds’ business manager from 1945 to 1950; the team did not exist until 1947.
17 Michael J. Rodden, “Sports Highways,” Kingston (Ontario) Whig-Standard, March 12, 1947: 10; “Pro Baseball to Make Geneva Debut May 16,” Canandaigua (New York) Daily Messenger, May 8, 1947: 2; “Dr. Cole Urges Continuing of Pay-As-You-Go,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, December 7, 1947: 3B.
18 “Pro Baseball to Make Geneva Debut May 16.”
19 Example photos include an aerial photo of the park in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 31, 1965: 1B;a photo of Shuron Park in the snow in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, March 25, 1966: 1C; and a photo in the Democrat and Chronicle’s Upstate weekly magazine, August 12, 1979: 4-5. The park retained this layout when the author visited in 2006 and 2012 with some contemporary tweaks, such as the addition of a picnic area.
20 “Northern All-Stars Win Border Classic,” Hornell Evening Tribune, July 28, 1949: 12. Former big-leaguers Zeke Bonura and Charlie Small managed the All-Star teams; Small was Geneva’s skipper that season. “Geneva Site of Border League All Star Tilt,” Canandaigua Daily Messenger, July 27, 1949: 4.
21 Daniel Rosenbloom, “Cincinnati Signs Contract for Farm Team in Geneva,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, January 9, 1958: 33. It’s unclear whether the “Daniel Rosenbloom” credited for this article is actually Dave Rosenbloom, the Democrat and Chronicle’s Geneva correspondent in the 1950s and 1960s, whose coverage of Geneva baseball is cited extensively in these endnotes.
22 Dave Rosenbloom, “NYP League Lists 126-Game Slate,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, March 29, 1958: 19.
23 Dave Rosenbloom, “Geneva, Auburn Vie in NYP Loop Start,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,April 26, 1958: 20; “Auburn Nips Geneva in NYP Opener,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, April 27, 1958: 2B.
24“Geneva Brass Surprised when Gabe Resigned,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 30, 1960: 8C.
25 Scott Pitoniak, “Rose’s Bloom a Bit Wilted for Genevans,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 25, 1985: 9E. The speaker criticizing Rose was Bill McDonald, a former board member of the community organization that owned and operated Geneva’s New York-Penn League team. The article also mentions that Rose had never been back to Geneva, which may have colored the locals’ opinion of him.
26 2019 New York-Penn League media guide, accessed online July 17, 2022. The media guide also credits Tovar with 13 triples in 1959, when he played 87 games in Geneva. However, Baseball-Reference credits him with only four triples that season.
27 Other pitchers who threw no-hitters in Geneva during the New York-Penn League years included Miles Lambert and Ron Thomas of Batavia on August 18, 1969; Gerald Ginter of Geneva against Niagara Falls on August 24, 1971; Bill Fulton of Oneonta on July 25, 1983; and Geneva’s Gregg Twiggs against Auburn on June 24, 1993. This list prepared by matching the list of no-hitters in the 2019 New York-Penn League media guide against contemporary news coverage of each no-hitter involving the Geneva team.
28 Dave Rosenbloom, “Geneva Splits Bill with Jamestown,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 23, 1961: 27. Serling and about 900 other fans witnessed homers by Perez and Geneva player-manager Karl Kuehl, later manager of the Montreal Expos. Serling was born in Syracuse, died in Rochester, and maintained ties to central and western New York throughout his life. He is buried in Interlaken.
29 C. Trent Rosecrans, “Imagine, If You Will, a Rod Serling Show About a Russian Playing for the Reds,” The Athletic. Posted March 25, 2020; accessed July 18, 2022; Jonathan Monfiletto, “Remembering Rod Serling: Twilight Zone Creator Honored in Interlaken,” Finger Lakes Times (Geneva, New York.) Posted November 18, 2019; accessed July 18, 2022.
30 Norm Jollow and Charles Hayes, “Geneva in News,” Geneva (New York) Times, April 21, 1972: 19. The quote is attributed to a local resident who saw Serling appear on the show It’s Your Bet, so the comment is unlikely to have been reproduced word for word.(The comment about being “stuck in a small place” seems questionable, given that Serling voluntarily chose to return to Interlaken year after year.) The author searched YouTube without success during the preparation of this story in hopes of finding the clip. According to the Internet Movie Database, Serling appeared on It’s Your Bet on April 3, 1972.
31“Redlegs Get First Look at Shuron Park Today,” Geneva Times, April 25, 1962: 21; Norm Jollow, “Press Box Patter,” Geneva Times, July 2, 1963: 11.
32 Norm Jollow, “Impressed,” Geneva Times, June 20, 1977: 20. The StatsCrew.com website for McDonough Park, accessed July 19, 2022, lists unattributed dimensions of 300-370-320 from right to left in 1973 and 305-370-315 right to left in 1983.
33 Dave Rosenbloom, “Genevan’s No-Hitter Sparks 2 Victories,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 14, 1961: 28.
34 Dave Rosenbloom, “Milt Roberts Dies, Geneva Sports Leader,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 30, 1966: 3D.
35 Dave Rosenbloom, “25,259 More Fans Attend NYP 1st Half Games,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, July 9, 1965: 2D. This comment reads like it might have had an aspect of humor or sarcasm that didn’t come through in print, but decades later, there’s no way to know for sure.
36 The author verified this by checking photos he took of the park.
37 Featured photograph on Genevaredwings.com, accessed July 19, 2022.
38 The Senators replaced the Reds as Geneva’s parent team in 1963. Mooney later worked for the Boston Red Sox for many years and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame.
39“Batters Were Looking Up at Geneva’s Shuron Park,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 4, 1965: 3D.
40Associated Press, “Ball Team Gives Way to Infield Repair,” Kansas City Star, May 1, 1966: 5S.
41 Dave Rosenbloom, “Steve Reid Packs Impressive Blows as Scout Watches,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 21, 1966: 3D.
42 “Darkness Stalls Geneva NYP Test,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, July 9, 1965: 1D.
43“Attack on Ballplayers Results in 2 Arrests,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 27, 1969: 1B.
44 Mike Cutillo, “Lanny Frattare: One More Who Got His Baseball Start in Geneva,” Finger Lakes Times, July 27, 1988: 20.
45 Bill Vanderschmidt, “Geneva Plant of Shuron’s Will Close,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 18, 1969: 1C. According to this story, the city’s Board of Education operated from a building near the ballpark donated by Textron.
46 “Shuron Park Renamed,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 3, 1977: 4B.
47 For a thorough look at Bernice Gera’s life, legacy, and single day on the job, the author recommends Amanda Lane Cumming, “Bernice Gera and the Trial of Being First,” Society for American Baseball Research, Spring 2022 Baseball Research Journal, accessed online July 18, 2022.
48 Geneva is about 60 miles north of Elmira.
49 “Pirates, Pioneers Split,” Geneva Times, June 30, 1972: 19; Norm Jollow, “Sherbrooke Trims Elmira in 13,” Geneva Times, June 29, 1972: 23; Norm Jollow, “Geneva One of 3 Cities with 2 Baseball Teams,” Geneva Times, June 28, 1972: 20.
50 Charles Hayes, “Geneva Holds Off Red Sox; Pascarella, Boyd Homer,” Geneva Times, June 29, 1972: 22; Norm Jollow, “Rangers Complete Sweep, Haywood Ejected,” Geneva Times, June 30, 1972: 20.
51 2019 New York-Penn League media guide.
52 “Turgeon Sweeps Awards,” Finger Lakes Times, September 1, 1978: 18; “Shortstop Tops NY-P All-Stars,” Buffalo Courier-Express, November 30, 1979: 6; “Auburn, Batavia Miss All Stars,” Auburn (New York) Citizen, August 28, 1980: 11.
53 Geneva’s full list of Stedler Award winners also includes pitchers Bob Risenhoover, 1958; Stan Jones, 1959; Bill Hepler, 1965; andJessie Hollins, 1990. Only Hepler and Hollins reached the majors, and only Hepler made it for a full season (1966).
54 Associated Press, “G.M. Sleeps in Press Box,” Brantford (Ontario) Expositor, June 28, 1988: B7; “Sweet Dreams for General Manager as Geneva Puts Losing Streak to Rest,” Chicago Tribune,July 10, 1988: 3:6.
55 The park hosted at least two neutral-site, regular-season New York-Penn League games during Geneva’s absence from the league.
56 Charles Wilson, “Youth Serves in Geneva,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 10, 1977: 1D.
57 Kevin Oklobzija, “49th Season Opens for New York-Penn,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 18, 1987: 1D.
58 Dennis Read, “Top Prospects Hit Geneva,” Ithaca Journal,June 26, 1991: 6A.
59 By the time Major League Baseball eliminated the New York-Penn League as part of its reorganization of minor-league baseball in 2021, the league had teams in two of New York City’s five boroughs and in other places from Vermont to West Virginia, while traditional strongholds like Elmira, Jamestown, Oneonta, and Utica, New York, had left the loop. A few of the league’s relatively small mainstay towns, Auburn and Batavia, New York, hung on until the end. See also: Alan Morrell, “Geneva Team Saw the Bloom on Pete Rose,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, July 10, 2016: 12A; Guy Cipriano, “New York-Penn League a Mix of Old and New,” Centre Daily Times (State College, Pennsylvania), June 18, 2006: 7 (special section).
60 Bennett J. Loudon, “Geneva Loses Baseball,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 7, 1993: 1B; Bennett J. Loudon, “Cubs One Step Closer to Leaving Geneva,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,October 13, 1993: 3B.
61 Morrell, “Geneva Team Saw the Bloom on Pete Rose.”
62 Guy Cipriano, “After the Pomp, Rivalry Will Remain,” Centre Daily Times, June 19, 2006: C1.
63 Hobart and William Smith Colleges, “Hobart and William Smith Adding 12 Sports,” Liberty League athletics website. Posted August 5, 2021; accessed July 18, 2022.
64 “Geneva Park Becomes Miniature Okinawa at Artillery Show,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 5, 1945: 13.
65 Charles Wilson, “Geneva’s ‘Rocky’ to Bid for Boxing Fame,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 8, 1977: 1B.
66 Charles Wilson, “Rain’s No Damper to ‘Kids’ Day’ Fun,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, July 8, 1976: 1B; Laurie Hindson, “Pilgrims’ Progress,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Upstate Sunday magazine, October 5, 1975: 4.
67 “Elvis Tribute” (photo and caption), Finger Lakes Times, August 14, 1987: 1; Norm Jollow, “Held to 1 Hit, Cubs Face Extra Batting Practice,” Finger Lakes Times, August 12, 1987: 24; Rich Fyle, “Cubs’ Bats Swing Elvis Style in 9-1 Win,” Finger Lakes Times, August 14, 1987: 18.
68 Dave Rosenbloom, “Hearn Leaves Auburn for Scout Job,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,June 20, 1961: 26.
69 Dave Rosenbloom, “Ex-Geneva Homer King Likes Latin Pitching,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,December 20, 1965: 3D.
70 Laurence Jolidon, “Dana’s Warm Humor Aids Sports Show,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 30, 1965: 3B.
71“Show Goes on Despite Gun Wound,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 31, 1965: 1A; Laurence Jolidon, “Sky Diver Hurts Knee in Plunge,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 1, 1965: 1B.
72 “Director Dies at 84,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 7, 1973: 4A; Dave Rosenbloom, “Geneva Waiting to Get Roster This Saturday,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, April 12, 1962: 52.
73 Norm Jollow, “Walt Maxwell,” Geneva Times, May 8, 1973: 23.
74 Dave Rosenbloom, “Six-Vote Win for A. Brooks,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, November 19, 1971: 1B.
75 “Man Succumbs at Ball Game,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 1, 1947: 2B; “Frank Galgano,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, September 18, 1949: 17A.
76 “Pony Winner” (photo and caption), Finger Lakes Times, July 19, 1977: 18.