Jim Lacki, MUNY-Buffalo MSBL:  State Trooper, League Manager, and World Series and Fall Classic Champion

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Logo of The MUNY Buffalo MSBL, based in Buffalo

Jim Lacki is a 50-year-old catcher who has been behind the plate for 43 of those years.  He has been involved in the MUNY-Buffalo MSBL since 2006 and is a frequent participant at the MSBL World Series in Arizona and Fall Classic in Florida, and he has the rings to prove it.

“I have been playing with Ralph Proulx and Team New Era in Arizona and the EC Cardinals in Florida,” said Lacki.  “We have had quite a bit of success with both teams and I really enjoy it.  2014 was my first year with the Cardinals at the Fall Classic, though I was able to play more regularly in 2018, and 2008 was my first trip to Arizona with Ralph.” (Proulx, league president in Buffalo)

Let me interject here that Jim is being very modest about his involvement with these teams and his success.  While playing in the top division of both of these tournament powerhouses, Jim has two rings with Ralph Proulx’s Team New Era (2009, 2010) and four with David Hash and the Cardinals (2018, 2020, 2021, 2022), generally in the tough 45+ National division. 

“We have also won at the Sunshine Classic and done well at David’s (Hash) Labor Day Classic tournament in Charlottesville, where we won in 2021 and 2022.  The Cardinals are a great bunch of guys and are pretty good, too.”

Regarding Jim the person, you can see from the pictures that this State Trooper is exactly the guy you want coming to your rescue if you need pulling from an accident or a potential car fire.

“I have been a State Trooper for 22 years and hope to be for a while longer, and am married with three beautiful children.  They all make sacrifices so that I can go on living my dream.”

Back in Buffalo, Jim will be a part of both a 35-over and a 45-over team this year in the league.  He plays for Erie-Buffalo in the 35s and also plays and manages the Buffalo Nine in the 45+ division.  I asked Jim about the name ‘Buffalo Nine.’

“We used to be the Chiefs until 2016 and were looking for a new identity.  We chose ‘Buffalo Nine’ because we could never get nine guys to show up!”

I asked Jim if he holds down any official title or position with the league, since he has been involved for so long and because he knows Ralph so well.

“I don’t hold an official title in the league.  I’ll advise Ralph if he asks.  Ralph does pretty much everything on his own.  He does Zoom meetings with all the managers in the off months and is extremely prepared and organized both before and during the season.  I’ll help with something if asked but Ralph runs the show.” 

What was the big draw in catching on with the EC Cardinals and their amazing pool of players?

“They are an extremely talented team and have tremendous players.  Ralph got me involved, as he helps David Hash run the team.  They are an elite baseball team.  They have ex-AAA and many ex-pros on their team and I get to catch some quality throwers.  Catching former major leaguers Rusty Meacham and Jeff Fassero is a thrill and pretty awesome.  Their control is amazing and their wisdom is priceless.”

Regarding Arizona, the Team New Era guys are putting the band back together and making another run in 2023, managed by Ralph once again.

“I’m really looking forward to getting together again and seeing what happens.”

Any final words about your baseball life and your association with MSBL?

“Everything is run great in the national tournaments.  I have also played in Las Vegas, some regionals in Columbus and Albany, and we have been champs in 10 out of 21 appearances.  10 titles with three different teams.  Where else can a 50-year-old guy play ball and have so much fun?

And let’s not forget that he is still the guy you want nearby if you need extracting from a banged-up vehicle!