News of Otsego County

‘Doc’ Knapp

Beloved ‘Doc’ Knapp Dies, Oneonta Little League’s Hero

Beloved ‘Doc’ Knapp Dies,

Oneonta Little League’s Hero

The legendary “Doc” Knapp waves to wellwishers lining Oneonta’s River Street during the 2013 Opening Day Parade. He was riding in Graig Eichler’s red convertible, with Eichler’s daughter Ava in the back seat. ( file photos)

Editor’s Note:  It is with sadness we learned that “Doc” Knapp, 90, one of a kind, a civic leader and hero of generations of Oneonta Little Leaguers, passed away today at Fox Hospital.  His official obituary is being prepared by the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home – and, when ready, will be printed here – but this profile from 2010 captures Doc, the man, and his enduring legacy to the community.

By JIM KEVLIN • Reprinted from Hometown Oneonta, May 7, 2010

This photo was taken on Opening Day, 2010, at “Doc” Knapp Field, when this article was written. Doc was 83 at the time.

ONEONTA – The history of Oneonta Little League resides in one man, Oren “Doc” Knapp, (who’s also a pretty good golfer.)

So he knew of what he spoke when, after opening ceremonies Saturday, May 1, at, yes, Doc Knapp Field, at the end of Park Avenue, he said: “Oneonta has been very supportive of Little League. I’m very grateful to Oneonta for that.”

Yes, he ought to know.

When New York Telephone transferred him here from Stamford in 1952, he brought two young sons, Gary and John, with him, and was immediately absorbed into the fledgling Little League organization.

Bob Dwyer had been local League president since it was founding in 1948 at a meeting in the old Oneonta Hotel (Dick Fowler and Ken Chase were among those attending) and he was tired.

Doc, a baseball enthusiast since his boyhood on a Franklin farm, had looked forward to managing a team, but soon found himself drafted as Dwyer’s successor instead.

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