Cooperstown Youth Baseball has finally found a home. However, it is sad it could not be in the village that is often referred to as the “home of baseball.”
The CYB lost its longtime home, Beanie Ainslie Field, because of the village’s Gateway Project. A facility planned on Brooklyn Avenue in both the village and in the town of Middlefield never came to be. At that time, the then president of the group, David Borgstrom, said “The opposition from the neighbors was quite clear. We want to be welcomed and supported in our efforts. This is not the case on the Brooklyn Avenue proposal.”
The Crier wrote an opinion piece that said we were sorry the plan was abandoned. After attending the opening day celebration on Saturday, April 27 we were glad to see the enthusiasm about the new baseball and softball complex in Hartwick. Even though there is still work to be done (with games still being held at Beaver Valley Campground), we are glad there is a permanent place the group can officially call home.
Current CYB President Michelle Dibble said “We are really grateful for the town of Hartwick (which offered the use of a 35-acre property on Wells Avenue, formerly known as School Street).
“They have really come through for us. They were very eager for us to be there. They have been the most supportive group you could ever imagine,” she added.
Delays in getting permits and problems with bad weather have slowed construction, but at least one field in Hartwick will be available for games this season. Ultimately there will be separate fields in Hartwick for softball and major league and minor league baseball as well as grassy areas for tee-ball and rookie leagues. There are also plans for a clubhouse.
“Dwaine and Juli Sharatt, the owners of Beaver Valley, have done more than their share for us,” Dibble said. “We are so thankful to them for allowing us to have games there the past few years.”
During the opening ceremony Dibble thanked many people for their support and contributions. She acknowledged that it took the help of so many to get everything done so far accomplished.
It may be a small community, but it is not the size that matters. It is amazing what kinds of things can be accomplished when people come together. That is certainly what is finally happening for CYB in Hartwick.