By LIBBY CUDMORE & JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – As many as 90,000 fans were anticipated in Cooperstown for this year’s July 26 Induction of Yankees’ superstar Derek Jeter.
But instead of a potential record-breaking crowd, USA Today revealed this week, the Clark Sports Center field may be empty.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the country – with 292,000 cases in New York – there is little choice but to push it back a year and combine the two Hall of Fame classes,” baseball columnist Bob Nightengale posted Tuesday, April 28, on usatoday.com.
“If that is the case, postponing is probably the best-case scenario,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch. “I had a hard time envisioning that there would be any mass gathering prior to antibody testing or a vaccine.”
Though Jon Shestakofsky, Hall vice president/communications & education, said Nightengale’s piece is “not entirely accurate,” he did say the Hall of Fame board of directors will be meeting this week, and “at some point this week we should have a decision to share.”
County board Chairman, Dave Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, said despite challenges to the column’s accuracy, “we’re curious to see what they actually come out with. Obviously, it would be a disappointment for everyone if it doesn’t happen, but it’s not surprising given the current circumstances.”
“I’m not surprised,” said Vinnie Russo, owner of Mickey’s Place and dean of the Main Street merchants. “At a minimum I thought it would be delayed until the fall.”
With 600 hotel rooms in Greater Cooperstown and another 1,000 rooms in Oneonta getting a four-day premium of perhaps $1,000 each, he estimated that lost revenue alone as heading toward $2 million.
Mickey’s Place, which sells premium baseball caps, is open year ’round, but “if your business opens your door on Memorial Day and closes Labor Day, it’s substantially greater than that.”
County Rep. Andrew Marietta, Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, the senior Democrat on the county board, said he wasn’t surprised either and, with the COVID-19 budget crunch, the county board was otherwise occupied.
“From the county’s perspective,” he added, “I didn’t hear any talk about there not being an Induction. I don’t even think it’s been on the table. The county is focused on preparing for (reductions) in funding.”
According to Nightengale, the Hall dismissed the idea of a “virtual” ceremony early on.
“Half of the feeling of Induction is just being there,” said Tillapaugh. Still, perhaps merchants could use the summer without baseball to “re-imagine” their businesses.
“Many businesses have an online component that may tide them over,” she said. “We can use this as a regrouping year, and have a safe induction
COOPERSTOWN – Just because Derek Jeter’s induction has been postponed for a year doesn’t mean that we’ve missed out on the big one.
“His induction will still be the one,” said Tim Mead, president, Baseball Hall of Fame. “Instead of focusing on it for five years, we’ll have to focus for six. But it will still be a celebratory event, and we’ll all be glad to have it back.”
Despite a strong early showing by Hawkeyes newcomer Kaishaun Jefferson, center, the Hawkeyes were cut down 61-52 by the Weedsport Warriors this afternoon at OCC in the Section III championships. Weedsport got an early lead on the 2019 state champs, who quickly caught up, and by halftime, dominated the court 29-19. The third quarter saw Weedsport pull up and match the Hawkeyes basket for basket, tightening their lead through the start of the fourth quarter, where a series of fouls gave Weedsport an opportunity to collect free-throws. At right, Dillon Burns and Ryan Lansing lament on the bench at the end of the game. But there was something to celebrate; Lansing and Jefferson were both named Section III MVPs. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
The CCS Lady Hawkeyes hoist the Section III banner after winning the Class C title a few minutes ago at Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, defeating the Weedsport Warriors 58-37. The Lady Hawkeyes scored early and never let up; though the Warriors tightened the score in the third quarter, they were hindered by a series of fouls, allowing Hawkeyes like Piper Seamon, left, to add points from the free throw line, and by the fourth quarter the Hawkeyes had a comfortable lead. Seamon, along with teammate Kate Donnelly, were named as Section III MVPs. The girls, who also took the Class C championship in 2016, go on to the state tournament next weekend in Binghamton and could pick up their second state title. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Standout grappler Avery Leonard of Milford, along with members of the Cooperstown-Milford Team that wrestled in the NYSHSAA State Wrestling Championships over the weekend at the Times Union Center in Albany, wave to a crowd along Main Street, Cooperstown, from atop the village’s ladder truck on their return at noon today. From right are Tyler Wilfeard, Lowell Wilsey, Logan Doucas, Logan Kantor, Leonard and TJ O’Connor. Wrestling in the 120-pound category, Leonard pinned his first three opponents, bowing in the finals to Honeoye Falls-Lima’s Anthony Noto, who also won that category last year. Inset, cheering fans included, from left, CCS Swim Teach Coach Cheryl Rock, CCS school board member Marcy Birch and her husband Bob, the local lawyer, and CCS Athletic Director Dave Bertram. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
The CCS Hawkeyes boys and girls varsity basketball teams head back to Onondaga Community College next Saturday for the Class C championship games after beating, respectively, West Canada Valley, 78-70, and Onondaga Central, 51-48, in action-packed sectional semi-finals at OCC this afternoon. In top photo, CCS center John Kennedy shows his offensive prowess (16 points), but also locked up the key on defense. #11 Keishaun Jefferson chalked up 15 points, hammering home foul shot after foul shot. Spencer Lewis (18) and Ryan Lansing (12) also made double-digit contributions. Most impressive was how the team pulled together in the second half to turn a 32-29 half-time deficit into the 78-70 victory. Inset right, Lady Hawkeye Piper Seamon goes head-to-head with Onondaga’s Avi Baker, as both guards drove their teams through a game that seesawed back and forth to Coop’s 3-point victory. Despite Kate Donnelly’s 13 points, Dani Seamon’s 10 and Gabby Woeppel’s 9, the Nedrow Tigers pulled within two points with seconds left. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Wendy Kiuber, right, (mom of Lady Hawkeye Ashley) and Colleen Donnelly, center, (mom of Kate) cheer their daughters’ team bus (inset) as it passes by the Trosset Law Offices shortly after 10 a.m. today en route to the Section III, Class C semifinals at Onondaga Community College. Attorney Mike Trosset, left, whose CCS team made it to the state semifinals in the 1990s, organized the impromptu pep rally (along with coffee and Schneider’s doughnuts) in front of his Oaksville office. The girls’ game starts at 1:45 in OCC’s Allyn Gym. The boys’ game starts at 2:45 in the SRC Arena at OCC. Winners go on next Saturday to the Class C finals, which are also the quarter finals of the state tournament. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Led by Ryan Lansing’s 22 points, the Cooperstown Hawkeye Varsity boys basketball team held on to win a tense 63-56 battle against Herkimer in a packed Bursey Gym this evening in the first round of the Section III, Class C playoffs.
John Kennedy had 15 points and 19 rebounds. Kaishaun Jefferson has 18 points. Joseph Senchyshyn had a career high 14 rebounds.
The Cooperstown girls’ varsity team used stellar defense to fight off a scrappy Little Falls team, 55-52.