Sunday, June 20, 2010

Youth Baseball: Cooperstown Dreams Park Tips and Tricks (Part 6)

The Cooperstown Dream Park Tournament is a special experience for the kids, the coaches and the umpires. It is also a memorable experience for the parents. Hopefully, a good experience.

Tip for Coaches

Coaches. I think that it would be a good idea to have a meeting with the parents to set expectations. There are some special rules in the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament that the parents should know. One such rule concerns the EH (Extra Hitter).
Extra Hitter (EH) - (coach's discretion: 0, 1 or 2) - If using an extra hitter(s), you may use one or two players. The extra hitter(s) MUST hit in the TENTH and ELEVENTH POSITION and CANNOT enter the game defensively to play a position. Only one (1) player may occupy each EH position per game. You may remove your EH(s) for the duration of the game at any time, without penalty. You must notify the plate umpire prior to removal. Extra Hitters must be announced prior to the start of the game; no mid-game entry is permitted.
Our coach made it known to the team that every kid would play EH at least once during the tournament and would sit out one of the six pool play games. My son told me this prior to the first game so I knew what to expect. The unexpected fuels emotions of parents.

Tip for Parents

This is a memorable experience. If your son is batting last when he usually bats up in the order do not be alarmed. Try to contain your emotions in the stands so that you are not the one who is remembered.

The Main Point

Coaches should set expectations with the kids and the parents. Parents don't be the reason that the experience is memorable.


  1. My husband is the stat dad also so I can really relate to this blog. I don't know about you, but he is probably more strict on what he gives our son to the opposite, because of what people assume. My son was also EH our last game. I got sadded by the focus on Home runs at cooperstown. Our son had a 500 batting average, a producer of runs and hits. Never struck out his week here. He was EH during our last game. He had two hard hits, but not home runs. One of our kids had four already. The game was tied 5 to 5, last inning, my son waited his rotation, he was fired up and believed this could be his day. He is in the batters box as EH, the coach decided to sit him back down and jump ahead to the kid who hit 4 HR's already. Heartbreaking to say the least my son was crushed. He can have a 500 batting average and coach showed him no confidence. The kid in his placed only got hit by a pitch, but our team never produced a run. My son could have not done any worse than that. Anyway an error on defense they scored, game over, we lose. We lost more than a game. Coaches who get greedy at the expense of a child at 10 years old need to really re-think. Cooperstown can be a dream for the ones who get the Glory of a home run.. I just wish the other great things get looked at too. I was sorry, I reacted with tears of saddness and anger for my son. I agree we really need to keep our reactions our ourself, but it is really reallly hard. If I had to do it all over again. I cheer so hard for ever child on the team, I just wish my son never saw my tears either..because I believed in him. This could have been his day. We will never know. I just let him know everyday how much we love him. The whole experience, as a whole is not only about's about heart and character too. We all learned alot this week. Cooperstown is an awsome place:)

  2. Thanks for sharing - I saw the last batter skipped a few times during the week. I do not like that rule. If you son is anything like mine, he will remember the .500 avg and not getting skipped. He will also remember the fun in the barracks with his buddies.

  3. I just remembered too, my son struck out with the bases loaded, 2 outs and down by 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th and last inning. He went up there hoping to tie the game up and be the hero. He ended up with a strike out against a really tough pitcher. Strike one down the middle (he often takes until the first strike, Strike two - a huge swing - the ball went straight back to the backstop - he just missed it. The next pitch was at his head. He fell back on his butt and was mad. The pitcher had him right were he wanted. The next pitch was a curveball in the dirt - strike three. My son walked off upset. He has not talked about it since, but has talked about all the other cool things he experienced in Cooperstown. He remembers the event fondly despite the last AB.

  4. All,

    A new rule starting 2012. After completion of the first inning you can move your EH positions freely into defensive positions with your starters on the field. Their position in the hitting lineup stays the same but they are not stuck as EH for he entire game. This made my job as the Manager much easier. The EH does have to hit 10, 11 or 12. Make sure you know this going in, we did not. This was announced at the first Managers meeting. Also, put together your plan for players and expectations in writing and have your parents sign off on it with total understanding of rules. You will still have issues but maybe this will limit this. I discussed the EH rule with my partents twice and emailed them my game plan twice explaining the EH rule and that they have to hit 10, 11 and 12 and still had one family mad when their son was an EH and hitting at the end of the order..... No win situation for sure.. have fun!!!

  5. Question: Parents can check their kids out during downtime? We're going to limit that but wanted to make sure it's allowed. Thanks!

    1. Yes the camp allows it if the coach allows it. Our coach scheduled some family time for the kids to get away for a few hours one night.

  6. do you tip your umpires at the end of the week, and if so how much is customary?

    1. That is a question that I do not know. I was not a coach. Each team picks one umpire to represent. They of course pick the best one. So it is a recognition for how good they are. I know that the umpires are honored to do this.




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