Former JackHammers GM Launches Summer Collegiate Club

Jamie Toole, former general manager of the now-defunct Joliet (IL) JackHammers, has launched the Will County CrackerJacks, a new franchise in the Midwest Collegiate League, formerly the Great Plains League.  The team will play at Wayne King, Jr. Field on the campus of Joliet Junior College.  Prior to his stint with the JackHammers, Toole was co-founder and CEO of the defunct South Coast LeagueRead more here.


Filed under League & Franchise, Market & Location

19 responses to “Former JackHammers GM Launches Summer Collegiate Club

  1. Hawk, I would be happy to answer any question that you have for me if you will simply answer one for me? What is your real name? When you offer that up and stop being a gutless wonder emboldened by anonymity, you will have earned enough respect to deserve answers. Until then, you can continue to live in your own reality and continue copying articles to blogs about situations and business dealings that you clearly know nothing about.

  2. Hawk — Vendors Unpaid — Hotels unpaid — Employees Unpaid — On To The Next One — Never accepts any blame for outstanding debts. — More unpaid vendors and threats to wash their hands by declaring bankrupt…pattern? — Seven different lawsuits, and…the so shockingly cool and forward billboard, UNPAID for. — The Chicken Getting Stiffed — SIB’s Fall League Unpaid Employee

    So…it’s obvious Toole and the baseball monies that have owned the Joliet franchise in the past are in bed together. They funded his SCL brainchild, which was an unmitigated disaster and then took him back to run the Jackhammers. Dogs lay with dogs. The first thing these guys secure with any incoming money is their salaries, plain and simple.

    I don’t understand why those brave real name users are so adamant to absolve Toole of any party to the continued bankruptcies he is general manager of.

  3. Hawk

    I never stated all collegiate operators are opportunistic criminals. I’m also quiet aware, as we all are, to the cash cow that is the NCAA. I correctly pointed out that the landscape in the collegiate circuit has turned on its head in the past five years, for better or worse.

    I do find it hard to believe a GM would be blindsided by delinquency on large amounts of debt. Instead of playing the name game w/ his critics, why doesn’t Mr Toole explain why he shouldn’t be considered party to the financial fraud? If the owners left him out to dry, let’s hear it.

    Maybe I’m just all fired up by the “fantasy leaguers” ginning up their SWSL and now NABA. But Mr Toole has an unsuccessful track record and an outlandish SIB brainchild. Sue me for being cynical! And call me a coward for not using a “real name” that can’t possibly be verified anyways.

    Basically, the last thing I want to see happen is more unpaid vendors and shirked rent payments, and someone making a dime “owning” such an operation. Mr Toole isn’t quite an Ehrenreich yet…let’s hope it stays that way.

  4. you should know better

    The last time I checked owners are responsible for paying the bills, not the GM who just works there. This mess is on the owners and we all know who they are. These guys cut health insurance benefits for the staff in July while one member of the staff was undergoing post cancer treatment.Mr. Toole was charged with running an operation that was not funded by those responsible-the ownership group.He is not the fall guy here,more the victim. Lousy owners are giving Indy Ball a bad name-not unsuspecting employees who trust these guys. My guess is Mr Toole is battling to keep his family afloat while the owners who have protected themselves and stiffed everybody continue to enjoy their lifesyle with no changes.

  5. Hawk

    Cape Cod, Great Lakes, Alaskan Leagues are some of the originals that drew funding from MLB because they were run as non-profit. In the past few years the number of leagues has doubled. More baseball is good for all. My poorly implied point was that the college ball format is now attractive to potential (frauulent)operators because overhead is smaller w/ no player salaries. Thus, we’re further using amateur athletes for others potential gain. My overall point being….people w/ histories of not meeting financial responsibilities, direct or indirectly, should have a red flag go up regarding their entering collegiate ball.

    • Don Popravak

      There you go again with your Hyperbole. What don’t you back up your comments with facts. You are inferring that those of us who are invested into Summer Collegiate Wood Bat Baseball have larceny in our intentions. Where are the indictments and convictions you infer in your comments. Again why are you not addressing your accusations to Pete Ferro, Jr. former owner and Al Oremus current owner of the Joliet franchise.

      One other point. Are you saying that its acceptable for Division 1 athletes to be used as profit centers for their academic institutions of higher learning that they attend? Care to comment on CBS’ 10.8 Billion dollar contract for the NCAA Basketball Tournament which goes to the schools and not the players. Who is making money here, its not the players.

  6. indy baller

    All I remember is players who payed this guy for a fall league and said they were screwed over and didn’t get what they were promised? And also they said the coaches didn’t get payed in that fall league other. Feel bad for players when they get scammed. But this is indyball alota fradulent people out there. So what ever happened with superindybaseball?

  7. Hawk, I certainly believe that everyone deserves the platform to share their opinion and be skeptical if they choose, however, it disgust me when people take personal swipes under a screen name. I don’t expect anyone to be take comments seriously when the individual cannot put their name on their comments and opinions.

  8. Jake


    I agree with you. Summer collegiate franchises are good and in many cases out there, they take over stadiums vacant by affiliated and independent baseball. There are many examples out there where affiliated baseball and independent baseball have failed. For example, take Madison, Wisconsin. Look at how many indy and pro franchises failed there and look at them now? The attendance numbers kicks TONS of franchises butts.

    :) Go summer collegiate!


  9. Hawk

    It doesn’t matter. Explaining it away to us, here, isn’t going to get vendors or the city their cashola. We’re all baseball fans here and don’t wish ill on any operators. However, it hurts all of indy baseballs reputation when Joliet and Schaumburg are given AAA quality ballparks and don’t make payments. There are franchises making due w/ much less and paying their bills. I’m no dummy; I understand the expense of a franchise. But fraud is fraud. Will you divulge what the salaries for upper management were? I wouldn’t expect or wish you to, but I assume paychecks were cashed while invoices went ignored.

    So nowadays, as the Northwoods and Prospect due well with their for-profit models (which compromises the summer collegiate founding intention), those looking for profits are now peddling college kids. Its fine to try making a buck while giving kids a chance to learn the wood bat. But don’t moan when I believe I have ample grounds for skepticism.

    • ballparkbiz


      You should clarify your last paragraph, which appears to take a swipe at for-profit summer collegiate operations for “peddling college kids” (negative connotation) and compromising the “summer collegiate founding intention” (who says?), but then states that it’s “fine” to try and make money doing it. Is this disapproval with a dose of begrudging acceptance? Let’s be clear…somebody has to pay the bills here, and aspiring to-be-pro athletes, smaller communities, and left-for-dead old ballparks are damn fortunate that there are summer collegiate entrepreneurs out there willing to risk the bucks to make these popular, successful operations happen.


  10. Gomer Pyle

    No, really….. this is gomer!

  11. Randy Smith

    The Joliet billboard was awesome! It’s called a “sense of humor”, check with walmart, they probably sell those too.

  12. Hawk, again it is hard to engage in constructive conversation or debate with individuals who don’t have the guts to put their real name by their comments. I don’t mind objectors, I just don’t tolerate cowards.

  13. Hawk

    When you stop bankrupting franchises…you won’t have objectors. You get no sympathy when Joliet doesn’t pay their vendors. tacky billboard summed up your whole organization, all pony – no show.

    • Don Popravak

      First of all you should be directing your negative comments toward Pete Ferro, Jr. former owner of the Joliet Jackhammers. You keep stating that Jamie Toole is responsible for the Jackhammers failure but you fail to remember that he was an employee of the corporation. Owners bankrupt companies not employees and if an employee would do that then the Owner would be seeking civil damages and nothing like that sort has ever occurred. Ultimately it’s the club owner who approves or disapproves payments of debts owed. Why are you not calling Pete Ferro, Jr., out to answer for how he ran the Jackhammers into the situation that he did in Joliet. And for that matter why don’t you call on Al Oremus the current owner to ask why he didn’t offer to pay the vendors owed as he was a minority owner in the Jackhammers all along. The Jackhammers were ultimately sold for their assets, which is a shame considering it was one of the strongest in the old Northern League.

      One last thing, if you are not Hawk Harrelson, a Native American or the main character in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel The Last of the Monichas then you should be using your real name when posting. To hide behind an alias makes your comments meaningless. Thousands of Americans have gave their last full measure of life to provide folks like you with the freedom of speech do not disrespect them by hiding behind some anonymous screen name.

  14. Well what do you know, another anonymous posting on a website. Pro Scout, when you put your real name next to what you say, people will start taking you seriously.

  15. Pro Scout

    No Way! It’s amazing how these type of guys continue to pop up. Toole is the guy that drove the SCL-South Coast League into the ground and owed thousands of dollars to vendors (one being me). Then he pooped up as a GM in Indy ball then he was backing a Fantasy Indy League (can’t remember the name) that never got off the ground. Now he has his hand in a Summer Collegiate League. Bad News! Stay away!

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