Thank You, Cooperstown.

An open letter to Cooperstown Dreams Park


Dear Cooperstown Dreams Park,

Thank you for canceling the 2020 camps due to the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the community, nation, and world. I’m not happy about any of this; my son and my family have been looking forward to this for a very long time. Not being able to play baseball and experience the event is something we’re still wrapping our head around.

But, I am grateful that you made this difficult decision, for many reasons.

Thank you for making the decision early and allowing everyone planning to attend time to process the decision and change preparations.

Thank you for offering your facilities in service of relief for the ongoing pandemic. This is admirable that you are you are doing so even at great (presumably) financial sacrifice.

Thank you for deciding to cancel from all the families whose parents lost their jobs, whose small businesses are forced to close, whose side hustle to be able to pay for their Cooperstown trip dried up. By taking the decision out of their hands, they are appreciative for having that stress removed for what will be an uncertain time.

Thank you for the lesson in fairness. This is certainly not fair for the children to be randomly affected and miss out simply due to their birthday. For all the May 1, 2007 and April 30, 2008 children: this is perhaps horrible, but a great reminder that they were born into what is a prosperous time, in a country where opportunities like Cooperstown even exist. If this is the worst thing that happens to them during their childhood, then they will be well set up for life. If it’s not the worst thing to happen, then they are already building a reservoir of strength and fortitude that will serve them well in the future.

Thank you for giving me another opportunity to teach my children about gratitude and grace. We’re fortunate we are healthy and able to play baseball and can afford the resources to support the experience. When the ump says “Play Ball!” again, we’ll be ready. There are so many in our community who are not as fortunate through no fault of their own.

Thank you for expecting to return in 2021.

If that does not come to pass, thank you for almost 25 years of memories that illustrate what is possible with a field, a ball, and a Dream.

February 13 in Baseball History

February 13, 1920

“A group of eight midwestern team owners meets at the Kansas City YMCA to organize the Negro National League, which will become one of the most successful ventures of its kind. Rube Foster, the owner and manager of the American Giants, will become president of the new circuit, leading to accusations of favoritism, which appear especially true when the schedule had Chicago play a disproportionate number of games at home.”

Big day as this was the first Negro league to have sustainablity. Admittedly I didn’t realize much about the Negro Leagues history besides the fact they existed during the segregation era.  But as far as the founding and also the multiple leagues that comprised this enterprise, looking into this piece of history taught me a thing or two.  That’s never bad.

February 12 in Baseball History

February 12, 1878

“After designing the device last season to protect his team’s promising, but skittish, catcher James Tyng, Fredrick Thayer receives a patent for his innovative invention, the catcher’s mask. The Harvard captain, who will never play in a major league game, designed an oblong wire frame modeled after a fencing mask with eyes holes that supports a series of strategically-placed pads made from animal skins.”

But did it have a custom vinyl 3D-wrap tho?


February 11 in Baseball History

February 11, 1997

“General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, unveils three new Jackie Robinson cereal boxes to be sold in stores nationwide. The Dodgers’ Hall of Fame infielder will be the first athlete to be honored on all three varieties of Wheaties: Original Wheaties, Honey Frosted Wheaties, and Crispy Wheaties ‘n’ Raisins.”

The first of what I’m sure will be many appearances for Jackie Robinson in this corner of the blogosphere…

February 10 in Baseball History

February 10, 1920

“The spitball, shineball, and emeryball are outlawed by the American and National League Joint Rules Committee. Seventeen pitchers, including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to legally throw a doctored pitch, are allowed to keep throwing the banned pitches until they retired.”

And things got a little bit less exciting that day.


But wait, did somebody forget to tell this guy?

February 9 in Baseball History

February 9, 1971

“Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League star to be selected to the Hall of Fame. The right-hander, the oldest player in the majors to make his big league debut, became a legend during his professional career, which lasted from the 1920s until 1965, playing in several different Negro Leagues and with the Indians, Browns, and A’s.”

Kind of speaks for itself I think.  I’m going out on a limb I think when I say we won’t be seeing another 45-year playing career anytime soon.

February 8 in Baseball History

February 8, 1942

“At the Folsom Correctional facility in California, the annual game between big leaguers and the prison inmates is halted as the guards search for two convicts who have tried to escaped. The escapees are caught, but the game does not resume, with the visiting team ahead 24-5 at the end of seven innings.”

File this under things that would never happen in this day and age….

February 7 in Baseball History

February 7, 2009

“The Sports Illustrated website reports Alex Rodriguez is one of the 104 players who tested positive for steroids in 2003. The testing, which was intended only to determine the extent of steroid use by players at the time, revealed the Ranger shortstop was using Primobolan, an anabolic substance.”

A-Rod?!?  At this point there’s probably not too many players I’d be surprised about getting popped for PED use, but this was a shock for me.  I always think about how football basically looks at this sort of thing as a normal course of business, while baseball takes it seriously for the (always subjective) “integrity of the game.”

February 6 in Baseball History

February 6, 1921

“The New York American League franchise announces the purchase of a ten-acre plot of land for $675,000, from the estate of William Waldorf Astor, to be used as the future site of Yankee Stadium. The club’s new ballpark, located on the west side of the Bronx, will sit directly across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds, the team’s current home for the past ten years as tenants to the Giants.”

Pretty big day in the life of the Bronx Bombers!

February 5 in Baseball History

No, not THAT Hammer…

February 5, 1934

“A day before Babe Ruth’s 39th birthday, future all-time home run leader Hammerin’ Hank Aaron is born in Mobile, Alabama. The slugger, who will finish his career hitting 755 home runs playing for the Braves and Brewers, will surpass the ‘Bambino’s’ all-time record of 714 home runs in 1974, after receiving much hate mail from people who did not want to see a black man break baseball’s hallowed mark.”

Happy Birthday, Hank!