Over a thousand 12u baseball teams will make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown, NY this summer to take part in the Dreams Park Experience. According to those who’ve gone in summers past, Dreams Park is the pinnacle of a kid’s youth baseball career. Its 200-foot outfield fences are a young batter’s dream. And your kid will have the time of his/her life spending a week with ballplayers from all over the country, playing wiffle ball, trading pins and enjoying the fun times that go with staying in the barracks with your best friends and teammates.
While you can count on everyone having a blast, there’s A LOT you’ll need to know about this week-long tourney. You’ll need to know what to pack… for your player, yourself and any other family members who come along, what uniform items they provide and what you’re expected to bring. What the rules of play are (they’re a little different from your typical USSSA event) what to expect as far as accommodations and itinerary go.
Getting a little overwhelmed? Not to worry, parents and coaches! We’ve got you covered!
Travel Ball Parents has teamed up with Training Legends, LLC to bring you the e-guide, Taking Your Team to Cooperstown. Available for download via Amazon Kindle, it includes everything you’ll ever need to know about playing and staying at Cooperstown Dreams Park, including dozens of personal tips from parents, coaches and players who’ve already done the Dreams Park thing.
Here’s a small sampling of all the helpful hints you’ll find in our ebook.
- Make sure your player eats a big late lunch/dinner on the Friday before check-in. Dreams Park doesn’t provide dinner that first night. But there will be snacks available for purchase.
- There’s no need to bring your ball field chair from home to watch ballgames. Dreams Park has plenty of sideline chairs set up for spectators.
- Theft can sometimes be a problem in the barracks. Your kid will need combination locks for his footlocker. Make sure he keeps his belongings and trading pins secure at all times. And LABEL EVERYTHING!!!
- Coaches, you can remove one or all of your extra hitters without penalty during the game. For example, you start the game with a lineup of 12. If you suddenly decide to bat only nine so you can get to the top of your order faster, that’s perfectly acceptable. It’s a good way to move the game along faster and an advantage to your team’s better hitters.
- Dreams Park offers daily laundry services for players’ and coaches’ uniforms. Yay! But, the detergent they use is pretty strong and can sometimes be harsh on the skin. So, if your player has eczema or skin sensitivity, you might want to take care of his laundry yourself.
- Some players and parents couldn’t care less about the Baseball Hall of Fame and others understand the true meaning of what they are seeing. My one suggestion is to have the players do this with their parents and not as a group of boys. I heard several stories where some boys wanted to “take their time” and they were influenced by the group to get done quickly, so they left. They may never see this place again. In my opinion, this is a place for a boy and his dad. It’s kind of like seeing the movie Field of Dreams. It just means more when your dad or son is sitting next to you.—Marc Herrick-Atlanta, GA
For complete packing lists and tons more information on staying at Dreams Park and enjoying the Cooperstown area, click here to download Taking your Team to Cooperstown.