Cooperstown NATC tournament
We just returned from a week long tournament in Cooperstown. Ninety-eight teams from around the country. Pool play Sunday through Wednesday morning gets you seeded in a single elimination tourney. We ended up in the sweet 16, going 8-2 overall. Not too bad for a local travel team whose team is all from the same city, but alas...we ran out of pitching. Rumor was - the two finalist (great elite, select teams btw) flew in pitching on the final day, including a player from the LL WS champion Hawaii team. Whether it is true or not
My son, who is 11, had a great opportunity to hit against a variety of 13 year old pitchers, including a couple of guys with some pretty serious mound presence that included consistent 80 mph fastballs. He ended up hitting .353 (6 for 17) with three walks, five RBI's, three K's and one HR (his first).
The kids had a great time playing ball and just being kids. We got a lot of free time to just browse and drool in all the card and memorabilia shops in Cooperstown, as well as an entire afternoon at the Hall of Fame. Upstate NY is absolutely beautiful. With the exception of lodging, everything was very affordable.
Anyway, I was very proud of my son. He more than held his own against the older kids and was probably the best outfielder we had during the tournament. He (and we) experienced some "firsts" and other assorted memories that will never be forgotten.
I have picked up some great information in this forum that I have tried to pass along to Steven - which is the reason for posting here. Sorry if this is the wrong forum.
First AB - line drive to RF for base hit
Forgot what he did here
Home run (fences are mini green monsters - 8 feet high)
Rounding third (this look pretty much summed up our trip)
Now THIS is what it's all about!!!
Thanks for sharing!
"He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
- John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
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Yeah, we were in Cooperstown for week 4, and it was the time of our lives. What a really great week, and a minimum of 8 games in 4 days, can't beat it. We have a pretty good team, but I have never seen some of the boys play ball at that age as I did when we were there. The team that won it from New York was sick. All their kids threw atleast 70 and had one kid who dialed it up to 82 with precision location. And hit the ball a ton, wow. There were some shots that went atleast 300 ft, and one kid from New York on I think it was Diamond 7 behind the photo shop put one in the middle of the other field. Just remarkable baseball players there. Just a total blast. My son had the time of his life.
The pin trading was pretty sweet too. It was fun to see which pins were the ones to have, and how the kids learned how to negotiate certain pins and so forth. Just an amazing week.
To bad every 12 yr old can't experience this week if baseball.
Speaking of trading pins, one of the elite teams showed up and posted a sign on their dorm room door telling the other kids to stay away, they were here to play baseball, NOT trade pins. This is the same team where none of the kids knew the others on his team. On one of our trips to the town of Cooperstown, I asked Steven how it was going in the dorms and he told me, "Dad, most of the guys on (this elite team) all have moustaches!" This is from the 5 foot, 75 pound 11 year old still waiting for hair one in his arm pit.
I firmly believe 11/12/13 is not too young to teach these kids how to play the game correctly...never showing up another team, always having respect for coaches and other players, that hustle and attitude require NO ability, what hard work will accomplish, etc. But, these kids have to be kids. Between the lines, its time to get serious and play ball...away from the field - let them be the kids God intended them to be!
lmao, yeah Dave, I was wondering if he had kin fold somewhere in the woodworks pitching as well.
I tell you what, there was nothing like when we came down the road and you looked to the left and it said "Cooperstown Dreams Park". Then looking out over all the beautifully manicured fields. Totally amazing. Even made me feel like a kid again, and I was happy my son had the opportunity to experience it.
Last edited by Bryton; 08-30-2008 at 06:37 PM.
Don't be shy, keep posting more pics. Is your son's primary position catcher?
Yeah, his primary position is catcher. Thats his passion, and he's pretty good at it. But he also plays alot at third. But he is very verstatile and played every position this year including 1st base.
all the LL boys had to come back home and go to school.
there's going to be a parade in their honor this labor day weekend.
Don't think any of them played in that tournament. Looks like it was a team from Georgia and the other was from Alabama.
All of our boys missed the first week of school. During our layovers at JFK, Steven had a lot of time to do the homework (pissing and moaning the entire time) my wife picked up for him before we left.
Originally Posted by phantom
Georgia and Alabama may have been where their coaches or sponsors were from, but I don't believe the entire teams were from there. Matter of fact, one of the kids from the championship team flew back to So Cal with us - carrying one humongous trophy! Every time they announced a team during the tournament, they would say where the team was from. Whenever they announced both of these teams (and a few others) they would make a point of saying that team was "based" out of this area.
Originally Posted by phantom
Players/parents from opposing teams would often mingle and talk before/after games with us. After talking to the team we played from Mississippi, their accent left no doubt where they were from. The kids from the select teams did not have accents normally associated with Georgia or Alabama. The only thing the select kids had in common with each of their teammates is height - all were at or over six feet in height, and a couple over 200 pounds.
Where ever they were from, these kids could play some serious ball.
Dreamspark is wonderful but the ridiculous 200 ft fences have to go! A 205' pop fly ends up a homerun when it should be no more than a weak fly ball out. These fields are great for 10 year old kids but not today's 12 year olds. I guess it gives the smallish/strength challenged 12 year olds (and their father's) one last chance at glory before he ends up switching to soccer or drama club next season if he can't make it on a 90' diamond...
whoa. i was in cooperstown this weekend visiting friends and saw some 13yo's on the big field in town on saturday. was that a semi-final or the finals????
i talked to one of the team's 1st base coach and was amazed when he told me that all the kids were 13 and younger. those kids were big - i thought they were 13-15. crazy....
BigRed, I agree, the fences are way to short. Maybe when this even started 15 yrs ago or whenever it started, the fences then might have been ok. I think the fences should be alteast 230-250. The only problem with that is, would there be enough room to do that with there already being 22 diamonds there. Plus Im sure it would cost them a chunck of change to do it, but they are making a fortune there anyway. Definitly something they seriously need to consider doing soon.
Gwynn, If they were considered 13yr olds on the big field somewhere in town, then it wasn't the dreams park you seen. But yes, some of the boys we played against were very big for 12 and even a young 13. My son isn't small for 12 at 5'3 and 125, but there were alot of kids when we were there who dwarfed him. Just amazing. But, they will all even out in a couple years in high school, and the playing field will be much more level then.
i know it wasn't the dreams park complex, i know where that is. the game i was watching on saturday was at doubleday field. i was wondering if the finals of that tournament for 13 yo's was played at doubleday field as some sort of reward for making it that far...
Originally Posted by Bryton
Which 13 yr old tourny you talking about? The Cooperstown Dreams Park tourny is 12 yr olds. And there Championship game is on the Stadium field at the Dreams Park.
It could have been anyone playing at Doubleday - I read somewhere in town they have games there everyday. And even though the tournament @ Dreamspark is for 12 year olds, a lot have already turned 13 by the time they play in the Tournament of Champions.
13 yr old tourney
If it was a 13 yr old tournament it may have been at Cooperstown Baseball World which is south of Cooperstown Dreams park near Oneonta, NY. Baseball World is much smaller than Dreamspark.
There is also Cooperstown All Star Village which at one time, I believe, they only had 13u and up. It looks they now host 10 and 12u tournaments only. Its also near Oneonta, NY.
WHEW...for a minute there I thought the integrity of the game was being compromised by DreamsPark and their 200 ft fences until I read your insightful post - which put it all in proper perspective.
Originally Posted by bigredmachine#1
Sorry, but you are an idiot.
Last edited by bigredmachine#1; 09-03-2008 at 04:26 PM.
Actually, HE enjoyed it immensely, but seeing as he is only 11, he gets to come back next year and enjoy it again. See, he had been playing travel ball since 10 year old all stars and every field he has played on has 250-300 foot fences. It was nice to see him bat against some of the best 13 year old pitchers in the country and hit a home run.
Originally Posted by bigredmachine#1
Actually, we did stay in Oneonta. It was a last minute thing as an older kid was injured and Steven was called up to replace him and it was the only thing available. Soccer? He probably could as he is that good of an athlete. But, thanks anyway, he will stick to baseball and continue to show up "Bigger/Older/Stronger" kids as I am sure your stud of a kid is.
Originally Posted by bigredmachine#1
Last edited by AltaLomaStorm; 09-04-2008 at 08:07 AM.
Last edited by bigredmachine#1; 09-03-2008 at 05:56 PM.
Sadly, we did not get it on video. BUT, we did get the ball. Although we did have to search for it...considering it traveled WELL over the 200' fence.
Last edited by AltaLomaStorm; 09-04-2008 at 08:08 AM.