For the past 10 months, Connor's baseball team, the Spring/Klein Hooks, have been fundraising for the biggest opportunity in their 12 short years! We have sold briskets, magazines, held bake sales, hosted tournaments, and even stood on the side of the road "begging" for money! All that effort raised around $20,000, which allowed every boy to go to Cooperstown and stay and play for "free"...well worth all the work!
Cooperstown Dreams Park is located in Cooperstown, NY. The complex was a dream of a baseball loving family and in 1996 the park was built. On the 135 acres, there are 22 lighted, enclosed baseball stadiums. The teams stay all week together in one of the 105 barracks.
The Dreams Park has a few weeks out of the summer that is for 10-year-olds; for the other 10 weeks of summer, only 12-year-olds can play. There were 104 teams the week we were there from all over the U.S.
The week is started with Opening Ceremonies on Saturday night just like Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics...each team marches onto the fields with their team banner and is introduced. A Skills Competition finishes off the first night and then all go to bed for a week of fun and games!
The teams are all guaranteed 7 games and then quickly the teams dwindle until only the top two are left to play in the Championship game on Thursday night. The Hooks lasted until Wednesday night -- it hurt this mom to see them loose; of course I would have been crying if they won too!!
Before the Championship game, there was a ring ceremony where each player received an American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame ring. A fireworks display and then the Championship game ended one incredible week!
Now, between Chris and I, we took almost 2,000 pictures during the week...so I feel very proud of myself that I have narrowed it down to about 40 pictures to include in the post! I apologize to all who are not my parents (I would apologize to my in-laws; but, they were with us and got to live it too!)!!!
At the airport:
The Dreams Park -- honestly a Disneyland for baseball lovers!
The barracks where the boys spent their nights:
The dining tent in the background:
Here are the boys getting settled into the barracks on Friday night and then playing poker!
Getting down to business:
My favorite catcher of all!
A proud daddy!
My dirty boy! Glad the Dreams Park crew got to wash THAT uniform!!
I always wonder what they say to each other...
The team had a blast off the field as well. Pin trading is a fun activity and a great way to meet all the other teams.
They also had fun at the cottages where all the parents stayed. What a bunch of boys...
One of two pictures of our family during the whole 12-day New York trip!
I think the boys had more fun watching the Championship game: