Friends of Doubleday Field will accept a five-figure donation Thursday, Sept. 26, in a dedication at the stadium in Cooperstown, in honor of Richard “The Rev” Faust.
Faust, a Baltimore Orioles fan, died unexpectedly, Wednesday, Feb. 27, at age 70. He has been an organizer, player and coach at the annual Baltimore Orioles Doubleday Tournament, which brings teams of O’s fans to play at Doubleday Field for a fall tournament.
“Richard always loved Doubleday Field,” said his friend and co-organizer, Steve Murfin. “He always loved Cooperstown. It was like a second home for him.”
Not long after Faust’s death, Murfin and other players from the tournament decided to honor him with something at Doubleday, and they contacted former Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz for help.
After leaving office, Katz revitalized the Friends of Doubleday Field non-profit organization to help the village of Cooperstown with its $5.8 million renovation of the village-owned baseball stadium. The Doubleday renovation is scheduled to be completed in 2020 in time for the field’s 100th anniversary and the big crowds expected next summer for Derek Jeter’s anticipated induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Originally, Murfin asked about a brick paver or a plaque, but Katz suggested a bench, which would end up in a planned green space outside of the stadium. The group originally set a fundraising goal of $5,000, but as of Tuesday, Sept. 10, had raised $10,625, according to Murfin.
Faust, Murfin and most of the tournament players are alums of the Orioles Fantasy Camp, where the team’s legends meet with and give baseball tips to die-hard fans. The camp has recently been re-named Orioles Dream Week, and takes place every winter in Sarasota, Florida, at the team’s spring training facilities.
“All of us alumni guys, we lost not just a friend,” Murfin said. “He preached to us about how to have fun in life.
“Just to show you what we thought about him, we raised $10,000 in his name,” Murfin continued. “People gave from $20 to $1,000. Some people gave twice.”
Katz said he has become acquainted with the Orioles group over the years and was happy to find a way to accommodate the desire for a memorial.
“They’ve been regulars for a really long time,” he said.
“When I talk to Steve, he still gets really emotional about it,” Katz continued. “It is a sad thing, but I told him we can work with them to make something very special in Richard’s honor.”
Katz said the connection Faust and his friends have with Doubleday Field is one reason he has spent time in his post-political life helping the village with the renovations.
“Doubleday means a lot to people, especially those who come here to play on the field,” he said.
The Orioles Tournament started Wednesday, Sept. 25, and will run through Saturday, Sept. 28. Four teams and about 50 players will play with a champion to be decided, Saturday.
The dedication will take place at 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26, at the field.
Go to www.friendsofdoubleday.org for more information.