WATCH LISTEN

News

Cooperstown Embraces PGCBL

NOTE: In early November, 2010, Perfect Game USA announced it would become more involved with summer collegiate baseball by partnering in the formation of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

The PGCBL will open its inaugural season with eight clubs located in upstate New York that were former members of the New York Collegiate League. The PGCBL will have teams in Albany, Amsterdam, Cooperstown, Elmira, Glen Falls, Mohawk Valley, Newark and Watertown, and Perfect Game will also use venues in those communities to stage regional showcase events and tournaments.

The league will be open to players already at a four-year college or a junior college as well as recent high school graduates. Its schedule will run from early June through early August.

A series of articles featuring the eight communities that will host PGCBL organizations will be posted at www.perfectgame.org in the coming weeks.

The first article in the series features the Cooperstown Hawkeyes:

For much of the 20th century, legend had it that one day in 1839 Abner Doubleday sat down in a cow pasture within the Village of Cooperstown, N.Y., and wrote out the modern rules for the game of baseball.

It made for fantastic local lore, naming a man who went on to become a decorated Civil War veteran as the inventor of “America’s Pastime.” It’s just unfortunate the facts weren’t there to support the tale.

In reality, Doubleday was a cadet at West Point in 1839 and he never claimed to have invented or to have even played baseball in any of his writings. That didn’t keep the Village of Cooperstown from becoming synonymous with the sport, or from eventually becoming the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a historic ball yard called Doubleday Field.

The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League will call Doubleday Field one of its homes this summer when the league opens play in eight upstate New York communities, including Cooperstown.

Major League Baseball played a Hall of Fame Day exhibition game at Doubleday for many years until recently, and youth tournaments and other amateur games have always been played there during the summer months, but summer collegiate baseball is new to the historic field.

The Cooperstown Hawkeyes are entering their second year of existence, having spent their first year as a member of the New York Collegiate League. The club decided to pull out of the NYCL with seven other clubs at the conclusion of the 2010 season and join the newly established PGCBL.

Cooperstown hadn’t had a local team in many years before owner and president Tom Hickey brought the Hawkeyes to town last summer.

“It’s the perfect place,” Hawkeyes General Manager RC Reuteman said. “I mean, Cooperstown should have a club of some sort.”

It does make sense. The village is still referred to as the “Birthplace of Baseball” and the presence of the Hall of Fame makes it a natural destination for baseball fans from around the globe.

“When you think of baseball you think of Cooperstown,” Reuteman said. “We play at historic Doubleday Field and we’re two blocks away from the Hall of Fame. If there’s any disadvantage it’s that Cooperstown is a very small town. There are only 1,500 year-round residents, but then in the summertime it swells.”

Reuteman said the advantage the Hawkeyes can boast is affordability. The Hawkeyes’ high-end ticket will sell for $5.

“The challenge is marketing and I think if you look around the country at a lot of the tourist destinations, baseball hasn’t always really drawn that well,” Reuteman said. “The advantage that we have is all the tourists that come here, come because of baseball. It’s a built-in market for us.”

Another advantage is playing in Doubleday Field, where a few scenes from the movie “A League of Their Own” were filmed. Baseball has been played on the site since 1919 and a rudimentary grandstand was built in 1924. The current grandstand and bleachers, with seating for more than 9,000, were built in 1939.

In a post on the website visitingcooperstown.com, writer Eric J. Hurwitz had this to say about Doubleday Field:

“The charming 19th century-like entrance, the covered grandstand behind home plate, and bleachers encompassing the rest of the field resonate with baseball pride. The stands have interesting nooks and crannies, with the field being surrounded by beautifully mature trees, well maintained homes (sometimes the victim of home runs breaking windows) and a lovely church steeple.”

Reuteman and the rest of the Hawkeyes organization are thrilled to be a member of the PGCBL and look forward to presenting some of the best collegiate-level  talent to the patrons who turn out at Doubleday Field.

Everyone involved envisions the PGCBL growing into the top collegiate summer league in the nation.

“The high profile that Perfect Game has, not only nationally but internationally, and the instant credibility (it provides), it’s a logical extension … for (Perfect Game),” Reuteman said. “The great advantage is they have the relationships with the players and with the college coaches (and) what was really the key to the whole thing was that there was a common philosophy of wanting this new league to be absolutely the very best in the whole country in a very short period of time.”



Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
0

Browse by Month »

January 2020
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
March 2019
January 2019
October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
November 2010