2017 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Jim Bianco, West-Put (NY) MSBL
By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Jim Bianco is the 65 year old League President of the Westchester-Putnam (West-Put) MSBL located in and around Yonkers, New York. Jim has been involved with MSBL since 1989 and started West-Put in 1990 and they’ve been running strong ever since. Jim is also a member of the 2004 class of the MSBL Hall of Fame and is now being inducted into the 2017 MSBL Honor Roll fraternity by MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler.
Jim is an MSBL World Series and Fall Classic veteran and has been playing in tournaments in the New York area for decades. He instituted the West-Put MABL division in 2008. He has also been fortunate to play at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown and has gone ‘yard’ in that historic surroundings. “That remains one of my biggest baseball thrills,” said Bianco. “I also won a game on the mound in Cooperstown against a very powerful team. Many people can claim that honor but the real irony is that I’m not a pitcher!’
Over the years Jim has been the force behind many charitable events. He has run the ’12 Hours of Baseball’, a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis, as well as events benefiting St. Jude’s Hospital and the Prostate Cancer Fund.
Jim retired from active playing in 2006 and now concentrates on the everyday duties of being a league president. In his playing days he was playing and managing teams like the Westchester Copperheads, who won the Albany Labor Day tournament in 1997, and many years at the helm of the Ardsley Astros. “I saw the original MSBL article in Sports Illustrated in 1998 and was hooked,” explained Jim.
Jim grew up in the Bronx and is an underwriter by trade. He is married to Donna and they have two children. “I played some ball in high school and college and it naturally led to my association with MSBL.”
As a long-standing league president, what are you most proud of when you look back over all of the years at West-Put? “The longevity of the league says something about it being well run and I am thankful to have been a part of that,” said Bianco. “I also enjoy the friendships made over the years and the camaraderie among the players.”
It is no surprise that Jim and his New York roots are partial to a certain ball player as being one of his all-time favorites, who just happens to wear pinstripes. “Derek Jeter is my favorite player not just because of his accomplishments but because he is a solid citizen and is a good person.”
Final thoughts? “I have always enjoyed my relationship with MSBL,” Bianco further explained. “The services they provide make it easier to run a league. I have attended and played in Arizona, Florida and Puerto Rico. I have also played in many regional tournaments. I’m thankful that they provide the opportunity to keep the dream alive.”