Trip of a lifetime: Woodbury 12-year-olds play ball in CooperstownSixty seven Woodbury residents traveled to Cooperstown, N.Y. — the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame — for a tournament from July 31 through Aug. 8.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
Sixty seven Woodbury residents traveled to Cooperstown, N.Y. — the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame — for a tournament from July 31 through Aug. 8.
Two years ago, the Woodbury Warriors baseball team began fundraising for the tournament, with silent auctions and coupon, newspaper subscription and candy bar sales. In all, the team raised nearly $12,000 to play in the tournament, so the 12 team members, four coaches, grandparents, parents and siblings from Woodbury hit the road.
The families stayed at a resort in New York, while the players and coaches stayed in dorms for the week-long tournament.
At the tournament, The Warriors played teams from across the country, including Illinios, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Massachusets.
In addition, the team visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as part of a trip that was baseball 24 hours, seven days a week. Several of the families turned this trip into a long “baseball vacation,” traveling throughout the country on their way to and from Cooperstown by visiting minor league and major league ball parks and attempting to make this a 12-year-old baseball player’s dream vacation.
“It was truly a trip of a lifetime for all of the families,” head coach Frank Vrtis said. “Since returning we have heard other teams in Woodbury may embark in a trip there. I sure hope so.”
The Woodbury Wariors went 8-2 in the tournament, batting over .400 as a team and earned second place overall. According to Vrtis, the Warriors lost in the finals in extra innings to an All-Star team from all over New York which hasn’t lost a game in three years.
“It is hard to describe in words what this meant, however we can guarantee it will be etched in the minds of the players, their parents and siblings for the rest of their lives,” Vrtis said. “Baseball taught these kids many things and they represented the city of Woodbury very well. We received compliments about our team, being called ‘class acts’ by tournament directors, umpires and the other teams coaches and parents. My final impression while leaving the event was left with the director of Cooperstown Baseball World asking for a Woodbury Warrior hat.”