LYNN, Mass. — The Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s North Shore Navigators are excited to announce local baseball icon Derek January as the leader of the team’s new ownership group. The transition from Patrick A. Salvi to the Swampscott native January was made official on Thursday.
January’s brother, Jeff, and father, Don, will also be managing partners. All three were born, raised, and still live on the North Shore and bring extensive, varied baseball experience into leading the Navigators.
“My dad, Jeff and I are thrilled that this opportunity has presented itself to us,” said Derek January. “We look forward to bringing some new ideas that will work great with the foundation of fans and sponsors that (former General Manager) Bill Terlecky and Pat developed over their time here. We are excited to have the chance to work with so many great people in this community. The North Shore has a rich baseball history and we look forward to continuing that tradition at historic Fraser Field.”
Derek will run the Navs’ day-to-day operations after aiding the team in a player procurement role during the 2019 season. He was responsible for bringing in many players that contributed to North Shore’s 30-win campaign, culminating in a playoff appearance for the first time since 2016.
January is the co-owner of Expos Baseball, which is in its ninth year as one of New England’s most successful travel programs. Expos Baseball has helped guide more than 100 players to college and at least eight to the professional level. Nine Expos alumni played for last year’s Navs, including FCBL All-Star Most Outstanding Pitcher and current UMass Lowell freshman Cam Seguin. January expects the pipeline with the Navs to continue for years to come.
“Playing for the Navs is a great segue for our kids to continue to get better,” January said. “It’s an honor for me to have some of ‘our (Expos) guys’ — some who played in the program for six or seven years — wanting to play for the Navs. They’re all good players that can play at this level and make an impact on and off the field, and a lot of them are local. Having high-level local players on the Navs is a ‘home run’ for the fans and the community.”
During his own career, January played at Miami-Dade Junior College in Florida and was drafted by both the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers. His two sons also remain active in the game, as Ryan is a catcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization and Dylan will play at Franklin Pierce University after graduating from Swampscott High School this coming spring.
All three Januarys are members of the Boston Park League Hall of Fame, making them the only father-son(s) combination out of more than 250 all-time inductees to receive that honor. They have all umpired at the Division 1 level as well, including work in the prestigious Cape Cod League and New England Collegiate League.
Jeff, who has spent over 20 years in law enforcement, will be the team’s Director of Operations. He is a former catcher at the University of South Florida and UMass Amherst. He is also a member of the North Shore Baseball League Hall of Fame.
Don, who was born in Lynn, played five years of professional baseball, reaching as high as the Triple-A level after signing with the Cleveland Indians in 1963. He has umpired three College World Series in Omaha, Neb., and worked Major League Baseball games as a replacement during two different umpire strikes.
Salvi and Terlecky, who retired in August, had led the Navs with great success since 2012. During that time, the Navs were a two-time FCBL Organization of the Year while attendance at Fraser Field increased each summer.
“Today is bittersweet for me,” said Salvi of the sale. “When I decided it was the right time to move on, it was our desire to find a local owner who would carry on the great Navigators tradition for our wonderful fans, and we have done that with the Januarys. They have spent their whole lives involved with baseball on the North Shore and are extremely excited to continue the legacy that we have worked so hard to build. We would especially like to thank Bill Terlecky for his years of service to the Navigators and to the City of Lynn.”
“We are very excited to welcome the January Family into the Futures League,” said FCBL Commissioner Joe Paolucci. “The Januarys have been synonymous with baseball on the North Shore for decades and there is no doubt they are going to continue on with the great tradition that the Salvi Group and Bill Terlecky have built at Fraser Field.”
Stay tuned throughout the coming weeks and months as the Navs will announce their roster and schedule before the 2020 season commences in late May.