Every summer, the town of Cooperstown hosts a different tournament each week for 12 weeks, featuring traveling baseball teams from around the country.
During the final week of June, three local, traveling baseball teams — the Delta Islanders, Delta Dawgs, and L4 Razors — participated in a tournament in the village of Cooperstown, New York.
The Delta Dawgs and L4 Razors both went 2-5 for the week. The Islanders went 5-2-1 on their way to finishing 18th out of the 62 participating teams that participated.
“It took a lot of fundraising and hard work to get us there,” Islanders manager Vin Rover said. “The trip was good. It was eight games in five days, so we got to play a lot of baseball. We got to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
Rover added that having the other two local teams in Cooperstown created a great sense of camaraderie. He also noted that they’d go to each other’s games to cheer on the fellow local teams.
In addition to their fellow locals, the players also got to meet players from different states, as well as some from other countries. One way that socialization is encouraged is to have each team bring a pin specific to their team. When there, the players swap pins with one another and even the umpires, who also come in from different places.
“Each one of our kids had about 45 pins,” Rover said. “It’s a real good social icebreaker socialization thing that they do. That’s really fun and was a really neat thing for the kids to do.”
One of the unique features of the tournament —– at least for the local teams —– was that the fields have short fences. Rover noted that some of the kids are big enough that they can clear the fences pretty easily and that “a routine fly ball can turn into a home run.”
Given that the trip is across the country, it’s obviously not an easy one for everyone to make. However, that made the fact that every player did attend even more special for the teams and their families alike.
“It was really great to see the families come together for a little vacation,” Rover said. “I want to give a big thank you to the parents for making it all possible.”