Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Youth Baseball: Cooperstown Dreams Park Tips and Tricks (Part 10 Series Recap)

I have written 10 posts over the last couple of weeks with tips and tricks to make the most of the Cooperstown Dreams Park experience. I have created some quick links below to help you find the info you need. I would also appreciate any comments or additional tips that you have to help the readers of this blog. Thanks

Here is the list to help you find the information you are looking for:

1) Tips for the drive to Cooperstown
2) Tips for lodging, restaurants and golf
3) Tips for registration night and trading pins
4) Tips for the Opening Ceremonies
5) Tips for fans for game days
6) Tips for coaches on how to manage parents during the tournament week
7) Tips for coaches and parents on what to bring to Cooperstown Dreams Park
8) Tips other places to eat
9) Tips to get DreamsParkTV up and running so people who couldn't make the trip can watch the action.
10) Tips from a player to other players on what to bring

Additional tips
11) More Tips for coaches -  from a coach
12) Tips for coaches - special competition rule you need to know

The Main Point

It is a great experience. These tips will help you enjoy it even more. Enjoy your trip and good luck.


  1. Just wanted to say thanks for writing all about your Cooperstown experience. Our team checks in this Friday and your blog has been passed around to our families for preparation. We have all found it very helpful from an insider's point of view... THANK YOU....

  2. Thanks for a great blog regarding Cooperstown. Our team leaves this Friday 8-13-10 and the tips from you and your son have been great. Everyone I have talked to who has experienced Cooperstown, said it was a great time for their sons and for them.

  3. Wow!! Thank you SO much!! I'm so thankful that I stumbled across your blog!

  4. Hugely helpful blog. Thanks so much! One thing that we found very helpful was to use a free group text messaging app at Dreams Park to help all the parents stay in touch really easily. We used TigerText (www.tigertext.com) and it was great when we wanted to post scores, communicate where we were going to dinner, or figure out any carpool needs.
    Once again, great blog!

    1. I just tried to register with tigertext and they say it has to be a business ;-(

  5. Your Cooperstown expertise helped our entire team a lot. Thank you so much! You asked for further tips from this year's parents, so I will add mine:
    If you have a night game that goes late, have one parent go out and pre-order some burgers from the closest concession stand in the last inning. Otherwise, there will be a long line and slim pickings by the time your coach is done talking to the boys.

    Ask for group discounts wherever you go! Putt-putt, go karts, basically every place is used to it and most will accommodate you.

    Jive Cafe -- Looks like just a coffee place, but has great lunches. Right by the ballpark.

    Lakeview Restaurant & Bar -- kids can run around in the park next door and by the waterfront while adults eat inside. Great spot to take coaches to watch sports on TV (if they are going through withdrawal as there are no TVs in Baseball Village, of course).

    A "sound machine" can be helpful in the barracks -- set it to ocean waves or similar white noise for a more restful sleep.

    Several teams brought give-away items representing their state, in addition to the pin trading. They threw these items during the opening day parade, and handed them out around the village. These were popular teams! Items included seashell necklaces, regional maple candies, leis, frisbees, etc. You might check with a local business before you go to see if they want to donate anything -- especially a tourist-type of business.

    We should've brought a rolling cooler -- one per team is allowed, and then you can take ice & bottled waters to the ballpark. We wound up with warm bottled waters during some games.

    The rental houses out on the lake are wonderful and beautiful -- but far away and most discourage group parties. Not worth the cost of the rental, in my opinion.

    Cell phones while driving are ILLEGAL in New York State! The ticket costs $500. There was a road block outside the park on our first day there, checking for "seatbelts" -- but also checking for cell phones being used by the drivers. Several people got tickets that day.

    Go with the attitude that this is summer camp -- and experiencing a new place and making new friends is the whole point! I met some wonderful moms from other states.

    Have fun!

  6. Thanks for the posts. Watch for a memoir entitled Third Base for Life coming out in March that details one team's humorous and unlikely journey to CDP.

  7. Hey Stats Dad, if any of your followers on planing a trip to Cooperstown NY and that have questions they can always give me a call, I will do my best to help answer them. I can be reached at 607-286-7116.

    Nick Mangano

  8. Smart move Nick - you can send me a commission check or a pizza from that pizza place you mentioned on the other post.

  9. Thanks so much, StatsDad! We are headed out tomorrow, 7-20-12 and feel well prepared thanks to all your helpful info! Truthfully, I do tend to get a little sick of baseball about half way through all star season and the way it runs our lives during the summers, but I am so excited to see the enjoyment and the creation of the lasting memories I know my son will experience! Thanks again, great blog!

  10. See our teams sad story below. The owner was not happy and only did something reluctantly after much pressure to make amends. Beware and make sure your teams correct scores in the skills compitition are recorded !!!!

    Dear Lou-

    Let's face it, baseball is at its essence a historic record of every possible statistic for things like hits,runs, outs,steals etc.etc. This data is then superimposed on further data like the size of the field,age or ethnic background of player,type of equipment used,etc etc ( in fact every tiny detail that can be track is ). Then this data is further quantified by day,week,year or collective years and this immense record of statistics is preserved since as far back as the 1800,s !

    This may explain why a major part of the Dream Parks mission statement is "our goal is to have young players experience the purity of baseball as it was meant to be" but unfortunately this has NOT happened for our team.

    Our boys practiced all year for the Around the Horn competition so we could continue the tradition started by the prior years team of making it to the final of this competition. In fact (as I am sure is done in every local) our township keeps track of how our teams do each year in Cooperstown and proudly displays this record in hopes it can be bettered in each successive year by the next team.

    When the boys performed flawlessly in the initial round of Around the Horn with a time of 23.18 they were thrilled !! When they went to the big stadium and the final 6 teams were announced they were shocked and devastated that this fantastic time did NOT place them in the top 6 teams ( confidence was shaken...how could other teams be so much better ! )

    As we now know their time was incorrectly recorded as 33.18 and they were robbed of the glory of a 3rd place finish out of 104 teams and a chance to compete in the final round ! But most importantly the error in the Dream Park record will go down in the eternal history of baseball as a mediocre performance rather than a stellar one for all future teams to see. This is WRONG and is not the " experience of the purity of baseball " that the Dream Park promises these boys.

    For this reason we ask that you immediately rectify this error and correct the permanent record on behalf of the team. It is always easy to talk the talk of values and tradition but the real test comes when you have to walk the walk and give our players back "a sense of pride,dignity and accomplishment" based on the TRUE record of their performance.

    1. I understand your frustration with the skills event and it is truly unfortunate but did your coaches not ask the question on the field to the staff? They announce the times of the qualifing teams and there is staff members everywhere. Again, I feel your pain and this is unfortunate for the boys but the coaches could have stepped in and asked a few questions. If they did and the staff did not help out then that is wrong and a big mistake on their part. I hope your team played well and had a great time during the actual games.. I know ours did.. Thanks for all of the great info to prepare us for the week!

  11. thanks very helpful

  12. nice tips are shared above,thanks for great article

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  16. Stats Dad - I am hoping you still get messages from this post - just wondering if you really recommend 100 (or so) pins per player to trade with every team?!? That seems like a lot -

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