After 30+ years in the New York Collegiate Baseball League, in 2011, the Mohawks joined the newly formed Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League which combined some of the better summer baseball franchises in the nation and partnered them with Perfect Game USA, the world's utmost leader in scouting and reporting services. The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is a ten team summer league played throughout upstate New York. In addition to Amsterdam, the PGCBL consists of teams located in Little Falls, Glens Falls, Albany, Newark, Jamestown, Geneva, Oneonta, Boonville, Utica, Syracuse, Saugerties, Victor, and Elmira. The PGCBL is one of the elite wood bat summer leagues in America. To be eligible to play in the PGCBL, a player must have completed at least one year of college and must still have at least one year of playing eligibility remaining. Each team is allowed two exceptions to that rule where graduating seniors are eligible to play. The players must first be approved by Perfect Game USA. They must also be enrolled full-time at a college or university. Beginning in early June, each team in the league will play a 50 game schedule, which will wind down in early August.
The Mohawks, who were located in Schenectady prior to 2003, have won NYCBL championships in 1988 under then head coach, and also former team owner/president Bob Bellizzi, again in 2003 under Bill Consiglio, in 2004 under Nicholas Enriquez, and in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 under Keith Griffin. In 2002, Dave Fields, led the team to a regular season title but lost the deciding game of the championship series to the Hornell Dodgers. Again in 2005, John Thomson guided the Mohawks to a regular season crown but was eliminated in the playoffs, and in 2011 Griffin led the team to a deciding Game 3 in the Championship series but lost a heartbreaker to the Newark Pilots. In 2015, the Mohawks also won the PGCBL Eastern Division title and broke the wins record in the league amassing a 40-10 regular season record.
In addition, there have been well over 150 former Mohawks who have signed professional baseball contracts, currently including over including San Francisco Giants phenom Hunter Pence (Texas-Arlington) who played for the Mohawks in 2002, Luke Maile (Kentucky) of the Tampa Bay Rays, Cord Phelps (Stanford) of the Baltimore Orioles, Brendan Harris (William and Mary) of the Dodgers, and Logan Darnell (Kentucky) of the Twins. Glen Barker (Saint Rose) of the Houston Astros, Valentino Pascucci (U. Of Oklahoma) of the Mets, and Tim Christman (Siena) who played major league ball with the Rockies were also former Mohawks who played in the big leagues. In 2010's Major League Draft, the Mohawks had nine players selected including four picks in the top 200. They followed that up with another 9 former players being selected in the 2011 draft, 8 in 2012, and another 9 in the 2013 draft. In 2015’s draft, the Mohawks set a then franchise high of 11 players being selected in the draft and then followed that up in 2016 with 15 players with Mohawks ties signing pro contracts. Currently, as mentioned, the Mohawks have well over 40 former players playing professional baseball. The Mohawks have grown into one of the top places to play summer baseball in America. The players will note that the game atmosphere at Shuttleworth Park is one of the best in the country and with large enthusiastic crowds and getting the kids involved, after seeing a game, you would see their point.
The league will continue to have current college stars and future professional players in it. Make sure you come out to the ballpark to catch some of the exciting brand of baseball that they have to offer. See you at the game!!!
Mohawk Baseball Club results since joining the NYCBL
Mohawk Baseball Club Total Career Coaching Wins
|YEARS WITH MOHAWKS
Mohawk Baseball Past Owner Bob Bellizzi
| Bob Bellizzi, who passed away May 7, 2006, had been involved with college baseball for over twenty-five years and believed that Amsterdam was a perfect match for the Mohawks and the NYCBL. Before his passing he was thrilled with the success that the Mohawks had in their seasons in Amsterdam. "The combination of a sports minded city and an operator (Brian Spagnola) who was born and raised in Amsterdam, makes this a great place to play summer baseball...it was our intention to bring a quality level of collegiate baseball to Shuttleworth Park and provide entertainment and excitement throughout the season and that is what we did...the sense of cooperation and support exhibited by the community only confirmed our belief that Amsterdam was the ideal home for the Mohawk Baseball Club..."
Bellizzi, the head coach at The College of Saint Rose from 1978 until his passing, had over the past quarter century, developed the Golden Knights into a national powerhouse at the NCAA Division II level. Saint Rose had made the NCAA Northeast Division II Regionals in 1994, 1995, 1997, and 2000. His 2000 team reached their ultimate goal by advancing to the NCAA Division II World Series in Montgomery, Alabama. Prior to that, at the NAIA level, Saint Rose made regional appearances in 1990 and 1991 and went to the 1990 NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.
Bellizzi boasted a staggering career record of 720-367-2 at Saint Rose and has enjoyed success at the club, NAIA, and NCAA levels. He had dozens of Saint Rose players continue their baseball careers at the professional level, including 1993 grad Glen Barker, who played for the Houston Astros at the major league level from 1999-2001. From 1988-1990, Bellizzi also guided the Schenectady Mohawks to a remarkable 87-37 record and won the league championship in 1988 with a 34-8 record.
Mohawk Baseball Club Founder Hank Caputo
|Hank Caputo was born in Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, but lived in the Capital Distict for many years. He worked for the Genearl Electric and the NY State Highway Department. He was a bus driver at Mohonasen High School and was also a custodian at Niskayuna High School before retiring in1990. Caputo was also a Navy Veteran of World War II.
Caputo played hockey while residing in Canada and is a former professional referee and former scout for RPI’s hockey team. He was most remembered as the Commisiioner of the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League (now the NYCBL) from 1988 until retiring in 1992. He served as a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, and Montreal Expos. Caputo founded and was president of the Schenectady Baseball Club and was also a past president of Schenectady Connie Mack Baseball.
Caputo was inducted into the Schenectady Baseball Hall of Fame and was honored by the City of Schenectady for his involvement in local amatuer baseball. He received the Steve Lembo Award from the New York Professional Hot Stove League and was the recipient of a gold pass from the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.