Cooperstown, New York is where baseball present meets the traditional values of baseball past. It’s where visitors pay homage to the heroes of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and can experience baseball at a whole new level.
Cooperstown Dreams Park is home to what is considered the greatest tournament in America.
Since it’s for players twelve years or younger, the Central Coast Waves from Paso Robles will experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the field of dreams as they compete in the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament at Cooperstown Dreams Park.
"It’s a huge opportunity to get to do this. A lot of people want to, but never get the chance. We’re the lucky few who get to do it," Kade Mitchell said, Central Coast Waves first baseman.
Over 1,000 teams from the country attend the tournament each year over the summer. During each weekly session, teams have the opportunity to meet 104 teams. Head Coach Micah Utter explains the importance of being exposed to other teams. "The thing that is most exciting for them I think is to see the other teams that they’re going to play the competition level that they’re going to see there," he said.
"There’s a lot of teams there. We may not be the best but I want to have fun and get to know my team," said Caleb Powell, Central Coast Waves right fielder.
Stepping up to the plate means more than just baseball for the team.
"Our motto and our mantra that we try to live by is, we’re teaching these boys a lot about life and a little bit about baseball. We’re trying to raise good, respectful, conscientious members of society," Utter said.
While learning about life and the game, the Central Coast Waves are living the dream.
"I’ve always been a really big baseball kid but I never knew what Cooperstown really was until I came to the Waves, which was about three years ago. It’s always been my dream and I’m pretty sure this just made my dream come true," said Nicholas Bender, Central Coast Waves pitcher.