Taking the game of baseball to an historic level was not only a great treat for two sixth grade Tri-Valley Central School students but the entire Tri-Valley Central School Bears varsity baseball team faithfully carried on in the tradition of America's favorite pastime at the "Birthplace of Baseball" in Cooperstown this past Monday morning.
This non-league game against the Ellenville Central School varsity Blue Devils sort of took second place as the grand game of baseball and Doubleday Field certainly resonated with the players from both teams as they expressed the thrill and great opportunity presented to them in their playing on the baseball field named after Abner Doubleday, who has been called the originator of baseball.
The thrill and honor of being the official left-field electric scoreboard operators was given to Tri-Valley sixth grade 11-year-old students Drew Harman and Joe Quick. They mentioned that they helped as managers for the school football team and were asked to perform this important job by Tri-Valley Coach John Rusin.
Doubleday Field was the home to the annual Hall of Fame game every summer in which two major league teams played and to this day an annual Major League Old Timers game takes place in this park over Father's Day weekend.
Each year from 1940 to 2008 Doubleday Field hosted the Hall of Fame game which was an exhibition game between two major league squads and traditionally the game was held during the annual induction weekend at the nearby Baseball Hall of Fame.
Major League Baseball put a stop to the game after the 2008 season citing "scheduling difficulties and the fact that there was now inter-league play which was formerly featured at the Hall of Fame game.
Doubleday field employees said the attempt to get a minor league team to play in Doubleday Field fell through in 1996 and the fact that the park does not have lights brings the reality that this probably will never happen.
In 2010 the Cooperstown Hawkeyes, a collegiate league team, made Doubleday Field their home park and plays a full schedule there each summer.
The Tri-Valley and Ellenville fans who make the trek up to Cooperstown stood and admired the famous entrance to Doubleday Field and the covered grandstand behind home plate which looks the same as it did 50 years ago and contains no individual seats and just wooden benches with backs.
Doubleday Field opened in 1939 and now contains metal bleacher seats down both foul lines and the outfield also contains bleachers about 10 row deep from right field to center field. Doubleday Field seats 9,800 fans.
Those attending or playing in this game Monday morning could somehow feel the integrity, passion and spirit that this historic baseball field gives.
Tri-Valley stated the game off quickly in the first inning scoring two runs but the Blue Devils came back strong in their half of the first inning scoring 6 runs as Bears starting pitcher Rodney T. Jester suffered control problems which resulted in a number of passed balls.
Jester was replaced by Justin Swarthout who pitched 6.2 innings of relief allowing just two hits while recording seven strikeouts.
Each team added runs to their totals through the next couple of innings and with the scored tied at 8-8 in the bottom of the fourth Jester scored putting the Bears on top to stay 9-8. They added another run in their half of the seventh innings to win 10-8.
For Tri-Valley Jester went 3 for 4 with three RBI's, Mike Foster went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI's and Andrew Exner added three RBI's for the Bears.
A. J. Rodriguez blasted an RBI double for Ellenville.
The win boosted Tri-Valley's overall record to 11-8. Following the game Bears coach Rusin was overheard commenting to a Tri-Valley parent that he feels the team is ready for the playoffs.
Both teams then toured the famous Baseball Hall of Fame.
Additional photo coverage of this day's event can be found at http://bght.blogspot.com
IDENTIFICATION OF PHOTOS
Groundskeeper and Doubleday Field Manager Quinton Hasak gives Tri-Valley and Ellenville players the guidelines for playing baseball on this field prior to the start of their game Monday morning.
Eleven year-old Tri-Valley Central school sixth grade students Drew Harman, left, and Joe Quick man the official Doubleday Field electric scoreboard located in left field.
The covered grandstand behind home plate at Doubleday Field looks the same as it did 50 some years ago.
Tri-Valley sophomore pitcher Justin Swarthout pitched 6.2 innings of relief striking out seven and allowing two hits in the Bears 10-8 win Monday at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.
Tri-Valley Central School Bears varsity baseball team posed for this picture under the historic Doubleday Field field entrance Monday morning at Cooperstown. Members of the varsity in no specific order are, Cody Exner, Jared Nash, Jessie Porter, Aric Boyes, Mike Foster, Rodney T. Jester, Justin Swarthout, Donavan Flores, Josh Borozny, Andrew Exner, Alex Brown, Brad Van Aken and John Anzano. Standing to the left of the team top row is Coach Joan Rusin and to the right of the team coach/scorekeeper Brian Swarthout.