September 1, 2018 Onondaga, NY: The Onondaga Flames of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) announced today that Herkimer Generals sophomore catcher Matt Parkinson will join the Flames for the 2019 summer collegiate baseball season. Parkinson was on the Flames roster last year but did not play due to a preseason injury that sidelined him for the summer.
An excellent defensive catcher, Parkinson played in 33 games during his freshman season for the Generals, making just 4 errors out of 217 chances for a .982 fielding percentage. The Whitesboro, NY native slashed .430/.512/.701 with 14 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs.
Parkinson’s performance has already garnered attention from several major league clubs, with the Cincinnati Reds showing the most interest.
Parkinson comes from a long line of terrific athletes including cousin, once removed Olympic speed skater Val Bialas and Grandfather Dick Miller, a professional baseball player with the Pirates organization (also a star college basketball player). The City of Utica’s Sports Center, featuring a skating ring and ski slopes, is named after Bialas. Miller was an extraordinary athlete and real gentlemen. Utica College named an award after him – the Richard “Dick” Miller Most Inspirational Student-Athletes Award. It is awarded annually to deserving male and female senior student-athletes who have exhibited excellence, determination, hard work and outstanding athletic achievement over the course of their time spent at Utica College. The City of Utica’s highly successful youth basketball league also bears his name – the Dick Miller Basketball League.
“I vividly remember watching Dick play in the YMCA men’s basketball league when I was a kid. He was perpetual motion like John Havlicek. A real gentlemen who always had time for us wide-eyed kids.” reminisced Flames president Wayne Walker.
Since taking over as Head Baseball Coach in 2005, Jason Rathrun has led Herkimer to the top of NJCAA baseball. The program has been nationally ranked 13 years in a row and it always found at the top of the team batting statistics. Here is a list of the Generals accomplishments under Rathbun.
- 3 players drafted by MLB
- 1 player drafted by Japanese Professional League
- 13 regional playoff appearances
- 10 regional Final Four appearances
- 7 regional Championship games
- 5 World Series appearances
- 4 third place finishes in the World Series
- 2 NJCAA All-Academic team honors
- 10 conference championships
- 56 All-Conference selections
- 54 All-Region selections
- 18 All-Americans
- 5 NJCAA Academic Student Athlete Awards
- 2 SUNY Chancellor’s Award winner
- American Red Cross Youth Leadership Award
- Nationally ranked 12 years in a row
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League was founded in the fall of 2010 in conjunction with Perfect Game USA, baseball’s largest scouting service. The PGCBL is upstate New York’s premier summer wood bat league. Every year since its inaugural season in 2011, the PGCBL has sent players to the pros and has had several alumni selected in the MLB Draft with each year.
The Onondaga Flames are a wooden bat summer league team comprised of top college players from coast-to-coast as well as the best local players..The Flames are operated in a fashion similar to Minor League Baseball (MiLB), providing safe affordable family entertainment with high caliber baseball. The team has a mascot (Blaze), on-field entertainment, raffles and affordable concessions.
The Flames play at the beautiful Onondaga Community College baseball complex, located on Onondaga Hill, home of the Onondaga Nation, an original member of the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, one of the oldest forms of democracy in the history of the world.
As the “Fire Keepers”, the Onondagas continue to be responsible for the gathering of the leaders of all of the Six Nations in Grand Council. They open and close the councils and sanction the decisions arrived by the Council of Chiefs. The Onondaga Flames are named after the great Onondaga Nation and proudly wear their flame logo..
In 2017, its first year, the Flames played in the PGCBL and made the playoffs. The team moved to the NYCBL and won the league championship, sweeping the playoffs, winning 15 of their last 16 games and leading the league in pitching, hitting and fielding. The Flames have announced their return to the PGCBL for the 2019 season and thereafter.