An unfortunate incident has turned into a small victory for two area children thanks to the kindness of the Jamestown Jammers and a city of Jamestown employee.
Noah Thayer, 1, and Joyhanna Moore, 2, residents of Jamestown, are the recipients of a Jammers baseball that has been autographed by the entire team.
According to Gary Thayer, Noah's grandfather, the children and their parents had attended the Jammers' July 3 home game against the Williamsport Crosscutters, during which the children had acquired a baseball of their own. Thayer said that he was coming to pick up the children after the game, when Joyhanna - who was holding the ball - dropped it on her way to the car.
Noah Thayer and Joyhanna Moore, of Jamestown, are pictured in front of their house on Thayer Street. Joyhanna holds a baseball signed by the entire 2014 Jamestown Jammers club, which was obtained through Tony Constantino, Jamestown’s street and sewers supervisor with the Department of Public Works, after the children had dropped a baseball into a storm drain on Falconer Street following the Jammers’ July 3 home game.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
"I was parked right next to a storm drain on Falconer Street, and she dropped the ball and it headed straight into the storm drain," Thayer said. "(The kids) were kind of upset about it, so I called the Department of Public Works to see if they could get the ball out because I could have sworn my son had told me a couple of players had signed it."
Thayer came in contact with Department of Public Works employee Joanne D'Angelo, who passed the message on to Tony Constantino, the DPW's street and sewers supervisor.
"I gave the message to Tony because sometimes people do drop something significant down storm drains," she said. "He eventually came and told me that he did get down into the sewer line and found the ball, but it had no signatures on it whatsoever."
Because he was recovering the ball for children, D'Angelo said Constantino took it upon himself to take the ball to the Jammers' office and ask about the possibility of having a few players sign the ball.
"He was told they would give him a replacement ball with signatures, and I believe the entire team and coaching staff signed it," D'Angelo said. "(Tony) told me, 'As long as (the ball) is going to be for a kid, I just had to do it.' He's just that kind of guy."
Constantino retrieved the new ball and brought it back to the DPW, where Thayer was able to pick it up and present it to Noah and Joyhanna.
"I know they're probably too young to understand or appreciate this, but hopefully in a couple years it will mean something to them," Thayer said, adding that Constantino's efforts should not go unsung.
"I live in Florida now, and I don't think anybody down there would have done something like this," he said. "I think this says something about the area we live in, and the people here, that (Tony) would go out of his way to do something like this."