Boys Have a Ball at Cooperstown

This summer a group of 15 boys from Scripps Ranch and Carmel Mountain Ranch—the Scripps Ranch Yard Dawgs—headed to Cooperstown All-Star Village in New York for five days of baseball. Cooperstown All-Star Village features eight baseball fields with the kind of turf and lighting you’ll find in Major League stadiums. They even have a field called the Green Monster, a scaled down version of Boston’s Fenway Park!

On Saturday morning the boys and coaches checked into their dorm that would be their home for the week. The room was filled with bunk beds and a 50” flat screen TV. The boys had access to an arcade and enjoyed a glove-shaped swimming pool. Each team was given home and away jerseys, socks, and a warm-up jacket. By 3:30 pm parents and siblings had to leave and kids were now in the trusting hands of their coaches.

A tradition at Cooperstown All-Star Village is for the kids to trade pins bearing their team logo with kids from all the other teams. Our boys had their trading pins made in advance for the trip. As soon as they were checked in they began trading pins with the other 29 teams. By the end of the first day most of the kids succeeded in trading with all the other teams.

Saturday evening kicked off with opening ceremonies. Each of the teams paraded onto the field, while excited friends and families cheered them on. The teams participated in the following relay events: fastest man, fastest double play, fastest relay—a drill of throwing the ball in from the outfield to a cut-off and then to the catcher—and finally a home run derby.

The boys started playing games Sunday morning, and each team played six pool play games over the next three days. While a majority of the games were played during the day, each team had the opportunity to play “under the lights.” The pool play game results provided rankings for the single-elimination playoff games.

Our pool play results were:

  • Sunday: vs. Dusters, NY–win 13-2; vs. GVAA Vikings, NJ–loss 14-7;
  • Monday: Richmond County Baseball, NY–loss 10-8; Oceanside Blue Sharks, NY–win 14-3; and,
  • Tuesday: Stroudsburg Thunder, PA–win 16-5; Bayonne C.R., NJ–win 3-2.

The Scripps Ranch Yard Dawgs were ranked 11th out of 30 after the pool play games. Because of our ranking, we had a bye in our first round. In the second round we were matched against the New York Dusters, who we played during pool play. We played another good game and won 13-3.

In the third round we played against a good team, Advantage Baseball, from New Jersey. This team was ranked sixth after the pool play games. We started off strong but eventually lost this game. Advantage Baseball would eventually go on to play in the championship game and lose to the Southeast Stix, a team from Florida.

When the team was not playing baseball, they made a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in downtown Cooperstown. On a couple of evenings all the families gathered for potluck and pizza dinners at a house rented by many of the families. We watched some of the Little League World Series and the boys went fishing in a lake.

The trip to Cooperstown All-Star Village left lifelong memories for the boys, coaches, and families. The boys not only kept the Cooperstown All-Star Village uniforms and pins, the families also purchased engraved wooden bats that included the team name and all the boys’ names. Each boy was also sized for and received a ring with the Cooperstown logo.

Congratulations to the Scripps Ranch Yard Dawgs (pictured above): Jackson Bolitho, Ryan DeRienzo, Charlie Fontana, Cole Harris, Christian Lewis, Trevor Magnett, CJ Martinez, Ryan Rafferty, Trevor Reh, Zach Rewolinski, Joseph Romero, Spencer Roos, Daniel Sheaman, Jackson Sheets, and Jon Sotto. Thank you to our manager and coaches: Dan Bailey, manager; and, Butch Reh, Mike Fontana, and Damian DeRienzo, coaches.

Laura and Dan Roos