|My son pitching!|
For the very first time, my son pitched an entire game--all six innings! We were proud. :) Also, one of his teammates tied for third place in the King of Swat (home run) competition! Only one kid from each team could compete and there were 104 teams!
As mentioned in a previous post, we opted to tent camp to save money. With most of our team's parents staying in cabins at the campground, it was a wise decision!
Positives of camping:
- A two-mile drive to the baseball diamonds.
- Plenty of room for the boys to hang out when not practicing or playing.
- Outdoor pool, laundry room, and small store.
- Bonfires, cookouts, and relaxation with our baseball family.
Negatives of camping:
- We were overly optimistic about the weather. It rained four days. Every night the temps dropped to the fifties, and we were very cold at night.
- Every bird in North America sang a serenade over our tent each morning at sunrise. I did not sleep much that week.
- Did I mention the weather?
- Packing up a tent in a downpour is not fun.
Verdict on camping:
If you're headed to the Dreamspark for a baseball tournament in June, definitely camp, but get a cabin! It's too cold for tenting. We recommend camping because you're not stuck in a teeny hotel room, and it's so close to the baseball diamonds. It was simple to bring the boys back whenever they had downtime. They were able to play wiffle ball, run around, and have a few cookouts with us, and it was fun!
|Large area for boys to run around and have fun at the campground!|
On to the actual baseball tournament...
|Opening ceremony--every team comes in with their banner!|
The Dreamspark is AMAZING! We had a wonderful time! It's an incredible experience for any twelve-year-old baseball player. Now that we've been there, I have some recommendations.
Parents: What to Expect
- Free parking and everything is very organized. The staff is helpful.
- Inexpensive concessions--a plus! Definitely buy the souvenir cup as refills are only $1.50.
- Small seating areas to watch games, but they're partially covered.
- The short fields make the game quite different from what you're used to at home. It doesn't matter how good your defense is, if you're not hitting at least one home run per game, you probably won't win. Home runs win these games. Also, many of the teams are put together specifically for Cooperstown. Don't be surprised if you're playing against BIG players who are closer to thirteen. There are plenty of community teams too, but your pool play might not reflect that.
- Not much time for sightseeing. The week is packed with baseball, so expect to spend a lot of time at the park.
- Souvenirs are pricey, but some are unique and worth it. The souvenir bat is very cool. All of the boys on our team purchased a bat with their name and the team roster engraved on it. Also, if your son hits a home run, you can have the game ball engraved. Cool! The photos are very overpriced. Cheapest is $8.00 for one 4x6. I recommend taking plenty of your own pictures and skipping theirs.
- If you want a bat, order it early in the week. It takes up to 48 hours to process.
- If you opt to buy pictures, select and pick them up before the last day. The lines were obnoxious the final day of the tournament.
- Some of the fields are quite a hike from the parking lot. If your team is playing on one of the back fields, leave an extra fifteen minutes for parking/walking.
- If your team opts to tour the Baseball Hall of Fame, they might get there on an empty stomach. No food is sold on site. There are several diners in town, but you have to leave the Hall of Fame to get to them. Also, the train ride is very slow and not worth it.
- Parking downtown Cooperstown can be tricky. Digital parking meters are interspersed, but it's easy not to realize you have to pay for parking. Officials were handing out tickets constantly. If you don't want to deal with the two-hour limit and high fees, park in one of the city lots and take the trolley into town ($2/person all day ride). Or park near Doubleday Field and pay roughly $10 for the day.
- Cooperstown boasts a few breweries, but our favorite was Ommegang. You can tour the brewery, eat gourmet food for lunch, and stroll around the pretty grounds.
|Birthplace of baseball! A must see!|
We'll always remember the great time we had, and we left Cooperstown with a renewed team spirit, unique souvenirs to display in our son's room, and hundreds of snapshots.
Have you camped in a tent when it was raining or cold? Any questions about Cooperstown?
Have a fun weekend!