Jerry Pendergast, whose Miami-based catering company serviced airlines and other top clients, began sponsoring a men’s slo-pitch team in the mid-1970’s. Ernie Yaroshuk was the player-manager and the team was made up primarily of Florida-based players although Al White was recruited from Tennessee. In 1974, Yaroshuk, White and Jerry’s lifer James Washington led the team to a 2nd place finish in the ASA Championship in York, Pa., falling to Howard’s in the Finals.
From then on, with the exception of 1978 when Jerry’s did not field a team, they were a perennial power, finishing near the top of every major regular season and championship tournament. In 1980, Jerry’s was featured in Sports Illustrated and was favored to win it all but came up short in the national championship tournaments. The following year, Greg Fuhrman, who had played with Jerry’s in 1976 and 1977, returned to the team but again, they came up short. In 1982, Yaroshuk returned as manager, the team added Bruce Meade, Mike Parrott and Denny Jones and Jerry’s won their first national titles, the ASA Super and the USSSA Major. They repeated as USSSA Champions in 1983 and played one more season in 1984 before disbanding. Among the many stars who played for Jerry’s in addition to Meade, Parrott, Jones and Washington were Joe Young, Craig Elliott, James Boyett, Curtis Williams, Mike Nye, and Bert Smith.
Jerry was instrumental in the restoration of the Men’s Basketball Program at his alma mater, University of Miami, in the mid-1980’s and he is still honored by the school each year for his commitment.