Binghamton Baseball Booster Club Hits a Home Run with its Ice Cream Social at Wolfie’s Ice Cream Shop

On Saturday afternoon, 8/21, the Binghamton Baseball Booster Club held its first annual ice cream social, not only as a fundraiser, but also as an opportunity to spread some good cheer among the patrons of Wolfie’s Ice Cream Shop in Endwell. The social was held from two to five, with Rowdy, the boxing carousel horse who specializes in spreading bonhomie in Rumbletown and beyond, on hand to ensure the day was filled with hugs and smiles. So many members of the BBBC attended the event that it resembled a general membership meeting!

Rowdy greeted everyone with outstretched arms and handshakes and all the little ones got hugs as well.  The noetic Dave Kellam, who proposed the idea of holding the ice cream social as a fundraiser, served as a doorman for the event, providing a warm welcome to all!  Throughout the afternoon he welcomed almost a hundred people, with baseball banter providing a backdrop. Some people reported that the Rumble Ponies, in the middle of a doubleheader against Portland, were faring well in the first game as Cole Gordon was putting up goose eggs against the SeaDogs; others commiserated about the sorry state of the Mets while a Yankee fan or two was seen smiling over the way the Yankees have turned around their season.

Rowdy displays the baseball-themed basket that was raffled off at the end of the event.

Shelagh Goodrich, who came for some ice cream with her husband, Al, later came back in the evening with her grandson for some ice cream! Denis Wickham offered that the afternoon provided him with more ice cream than he had the entire month. Bob Kutz was happy to see Rowdy, as recent knee replacement surgery had him confined to home; this was only the second time he had been outside since his surgery. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon one of the highlights of the day occurred when Joe and Joyce Lamphere drove up in their corvette, complete with its SURLOVE license plate. The car drew plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from those sitting outside Wolfie’s.

Rowdy’s welcoming hug for all!

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Binghamton Baseball Booster Club Fundraiser on 8/21/2021

Support the Binghamton Baseball Booster Club and Nourish Your Sweet Tooth on August 21, from 2PM-5PM

Wolfie’s Ice Cream Shop is donating a portion of all sales at its shop from 2 PM to 5 PM on August 21st to the Binghamton Baseball Booster Club. So please stop by Wolfie’s, grab some delectable treats, and support your BBBC! Rowdy will be there from 2:30—3:30!!!!

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“We’re Gonna Play Hard Tonight and Try to Win a Ballgame”

With the words, “We’re gonna play hard tonight and try to win a ballgame, you have any questions now, fire away,” Jake Mangum finished his introductory words to the approximately 25 attendees at the first in-person meeting of the Binghamton Baseball Booster Club in over 17 months. The meeting took place on MIRABITO STADIUM’s party deck from 4:30 to 5:30 on Tuesday, 8/10.  Mangum had just finished his two-minute soliloquy about his start in professional baseball with his syrupy Southern accent and had a big smile on his face as he faced the attendees with a gray T-shirt and blue shorts, both adorned with the Rumble Ponies logo.

Jake Mangum stretches for another hit. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Newman.)

Mangum is a ball of energy on the diamond, and plays as if his hair is on fire. He’s clearly the fastest player on the Rumble Ponies, and just might be the fastest player in the Mets’ minor league system. He starred at Mississippi State, where he starred for four years, compiling batting averages of .408, .324, .351, and .358. He also put in two outstanding summers in the esteemed Cape Cod league, where he hit .300 and .319 in 2016 and 2017, after his freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively. Mangum’s speed and high batting averages attracted the attention of major league scouts, but his lack of power prevented him from being a high draft pick, as he was drafted in the 32nd and 30th rounds of the draft after his sophomore and junior seasons. With his low-round draft status, Mangum eagerly returned for his senior season at Mississippi State, where he .358 and stole 19 bases. The Mets then came calling once again, as they had drafted him back in 2017, but this time they drafted him a lot higher, in the fourth round and Mangum was a quick signee. He began his career at Brooklyn in 2019, where he hit .247 in 182 at-bats.

Not playing last season due to the pandemic was a trying season for Mangum, as it was for all of us. He used the time off from playing a regimented schedule to further develop the mental side of his game, as well as work on his speed even more with his workout routines.

Mangum has been a real sparkplug with the Ponies this season, hitting .275 as of this writing with 19 stolen bases and 31 RBIs. Surprisingly, he has also displayed a knack for the long ball, as he has hit a career high five home runs, which surpasses any single-season total he’s had in college or the pro ranks.  When asked what his biggest adjustment to AA baseball has been, Mangum mentioned that he loved to swing at the first pitch at college and at Brooklyn, where he started his career in 2019. “In Double-A, I’m learning to be more patient, I still like to be aggressive and jump on the first pitch, but you can’t always count on a fastball here in Double-A on that first pitch.”

As impressive as Mangum has been with the bat this season, however, his work with the glove has been unparalleled—his tremendous speed enables him to repeatedly kill prospective extra base hits and he also gets an outstanding jump on the ball. When you watch him every day, you begin to realize just how exciting a player he is, as he plays as if his hair is on fire. Whenever a ball heads toward center, chances are he’s gonna catch it and when he puts a ball on the outfield grass, he’s a constant threat to turn it into an extra base hit.   

Mangum loves playing in front of fans and if you sit near the first base side of MIRABITO STADIUM, you can constantly hear him thank fans for coming out to the game as he signs autographs. During the meeting he was quick to point out how well the Ponies are now playing. “This team started the year 1-14 but we’ve really stepped it up and are playing good ball now. We love to play for you fans and do well.”  Mangum added that his first impression of Binghamton has been a positive one, as it reminds of his days at Mississippi State, with plenty of rolling hills and fields of grass—a large departure from the terrain of Brooklyn!

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