The Mighty Casey himself (former Baseball Hall of Fame researcher Tim Wiles, now Guilderland Public Library director) came out to visit with Joyce Westerman, Jeneane Lesko, Gloria Rogers McCloskey, Dolly Ozburn and Mary Moore, all members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, as their annual got underway today at the Baseball Hall of Fame. At right, Sue Zipay, right, who played for the Rockford Peaches, peruses the scrapbooks of clippings, photos and journals donated by Sarah Ferguson and other AAGPBL players. Several players will give a talk ahead of the Hall’s screening of “A League of Their Own,” the opening film in the annual Baseball Film Festival, tonight at 6:30 p.m. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – The team of Bob Schlather, Jeff Wait, Denny Mirabito and Earle Hayford combined for a first-place win at the Pathfinder Village-Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the Leatherstocking Golf Course.
The charity event raised an estimated $50,000 in support of scholarships at Pathfinder, the Edmeston community for people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Another $12,000 will go toward the Hall of Fame ongoing educational programs.
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – The Route 20 Road Challenge marked its 20th anniversary Saturday, and 50 runners in small communities along the route took part in a relay covering the entire distance of the Route 20 Scenic Byway between Duanesburg to Lafayette..
“We first heard of this at a planning meeting for the (Road Challenge) banquet, said Kevin Hoehn from Rome, the Road Challenge’s unofficial ambassador. Bill Kosina of Richfield Springs, co-chairman, “comes up with some great ideas and really carries them through. It’s amazing.”
It was the Angry Birds that bested all of the contestants on this evening’s episode of Ninja Warrior, including Oneonta’s own Anthony Eardley. The obstacle, seen above, is the second to last on the course, and is styled to promote the upcoming movie Angry Birds 2. Leaping to a platform that rotated while also unable to see the handholds on it proved too challenging for Eardley and all of his fellow contestants despite a strong and confident run on the course. Eardley finished in 16th place, just missing out of the top 13 who advance to the next round in Las Vegas. But, Oneonta’s ninja is far from out. He has his sights on competing in the Florida Ninja League on August 24 and Ultimate Backyard Warrior on Labor Day Weekend. Following the show at Foothills, Eardley took time to talk with fans and pose for pictures, like this one with Camden Hill, 5, Cooperstown, who is already training to be a ninja himself. To watch the episode click here (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
The 2019 inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame – from left, Harold Baines, Lee Smith, Edgar Martinez, Michael Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Brandy Halladay, accepting the plaque posthumously on behalf of her husband Roy Halladay – pose for a group photo on the stage following their Induction ceremony earlier today in the field next to the Clark Sports Center. If your eyes were good, you may have even spotted Laurentino Cortizo, right, the President of Panama, who was in the crowd with fellow Panamanians to witness and celebrate their countryman Rivera’s induction. The Hall announced this evening that 55,000 fans attended the ceremony, making it the second-largest, after the Cal Ripken Jr./Tony Gwynn weekend in 2007. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Outgoing Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, left; Jayson Stark, recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, and Idelson’s successor, Tim Mead, wave from the stage at the conclusion of the ninth annual Hall Of Fame Awards presentation at Doubleday Field this afternoon. Between Stark and Mead is Mariano Rivera, the Yankee star pitcher, one of six players being inducted tomorrow. Idelson, who is seen embracing Jane Forbes Clark, at right, was honored for his 25 years of service at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the past 11 as president. Stark, who was inducted alongside Al Helfer, who posthumously received the Ford C. Frick Award, was all smiles as he addressed the crowd. “I always wanted to be a baseball writer. How many people get to be what they dreamed of being? To be elected by you is as cool as it gets. All I ever wanted since I was a kid was to be one of you.” (Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)
Outgoing National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, above, a speaker at this evening’s recognition at “Mr. Baseball” and “Mr. Oneonta” Sam Nader’s 100th birthday celebration at Damaschke Field, snaps a photo of Sam with fan PJ Harmer. Former mayor Nader, who turned 100 on July 8, brought the Yankees minor league franchise to the City of the Hills 50 years ago, and both milestones were recognized in an on-field ceremony that also featured state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Mayor Gary Herzig. Oneonta Outlaws owner Gary Laing and Outlaws Manager Joe Hughes, who retired in June as OHS athletic director, shared emcee responsibilities. Nader was presented with a flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol for a week, a gift from U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19; Sam’s name will now be included in a permanent record in Washington, D.C., of those so honored. Also present were many members of the 1969 team, which won the NY-Penn championship, including, inset, OHS graduate Randy Georgia. Behind Nader is his son, John, himself a former mayor and now president of SUNY Farmingdale. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
ONEONTA – Jim Konstanty, the Major League player from Oneonta who returned home to serve as Hartwick College’s director of athletic in 1967-72, will be inducted into the college’s athletic Hall of Fame Friday, Sept. 20.
Other honorees will be men’s soccer player Art Napolitano ’78, water polo goalkeeper Jess Dorman ’11, men’s basketball forward Jared Suderley ’14, and women’s basketball guard Maria Foglia ’14.
The ceremony in Shineman Chapel House will begin 6 p.m. Dinner is $50 for adults; $10 for children.
Konstanty, who also operated Konstanty’s sporting goods store for decades in Oneonta’s downtown, will be inducted posthumously.
COOPERSTOWN – If you’ve ever dreamed of setting foot on historic Doubleday Field, Jeff Katz and the Friends of Doubleday can make that happen.
“People always want to get on the field,” he said. “There’s lots of signage telling people the story of Doubleday, but it doesn’t get them out there.”
The Friends of Doubleday – Katz is president – have begun offering tours 8-9 a.m. every Wednesday and Thursday to take fans through the grandstand, into the dugout and onto the historic field, where they can take pictures or take a run around the bases.
COOPERSTOWN – With nine league championships, five sectional championships, two regional crowns, a state title and a state runner-up, there was a lot to celebrate last night at the Cooperstown Sports Booster Club banquet.
Jack Lambert, named Player of the Year by the NYS Sportswriters Association, received the John Terry McGovern Sportsmanship Award, while Kate Trosset won the Ann I. Pink Sportsmanship trophy. The Booster Club awarded four Lester “Red” Bursey Outstanding Athlete Awards to Jesse Furnari, Delaney Holohan, Noah Lifgren, and Lauren Vibbard. The Robert James Welsh Award went to Emilie Perez and Kyle Santello. Delilah Griger and Sam Bonderoff received the Director’s Award.
A new tribute, the Robert D. Snyder Community Service Award was bestowed upon three seniors, Hayley Seamon, Baileigh Behan and Erik Deysenroth. Snyder, a member of the class of ’77 recently stepped down after serving as the president of the Booster Club for 30 years.
Dan Heinrich and his son Will spent their Father’s Day volunteering by making sure the stage was kept clean and cleared for the competitors 3rd annual Cherry Valley Outdoor Games lumberjack competition this afternoon at Alden Field in Cherry Valley. While most of the event finished early, national competitors like Mike Sullivan, right, still gave onlookers a reason to cheer as they sawed their way to the finish of the final heat, which was televised nation wide. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Above, Chris Ubner, pitches for the Cooperstown Hawkeyes against a member of the Ticonderoga Sentinels this afternoon during the NYSPHSAA Baseball State Championships held at at Binghamton University earlier this evening. Ryan Lansing managed to make it home in the first inning, but the team didn’t score another run until the sixth inning, when Lansing brought in his second home run and Spencer Lewis grabbed a third. Although the points seemed to bolster the packed Cooperstown cheering section, it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit which led to the Hawkeyes losing 7-3. But they were still honored as hometown heroes, and at right, crowds cheer and applaud as they welcome the Hawkeyes back to Cooperstown atop the fire department’s ladder truck. (Ian Austin, Thom Rhodes/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Following 5-2 win against the Pierson Whalers this evening, the Cooperstown Hawkeyes baseball team are headed to the state championship tomorrow afternoon, where they will take on Ticonderoga Sentinels at 4 p.m. at Binghamton University.
Pierson started with a 2-0 lead until the top of the second, when Cooperstown’s bats and aggressive base running propelled the Hawkeyes to a 3-2 lead. With Erik Dysenroth brought in as middle relief pitcher, Pierson didn’t score another run for the remainder of the game. Catcher Sam Bonderoff hit a sacrifice fly and later an infield single – both times bringing Chris Ubner home to seize the win.
For Coach Matt Hazzard, the Cooperstown Hawkeyes hard-won 8-7 victory over the Tioga
Tigers was “surreal.”
“You can’t make that stuff up,” he said. “It was just incredible.”
The win – it came after a 4-7 deficit into the seventh inning – puts Cooperstown in the Class C Final Four for the second time in three years.
At 5 p.m. Friday, June 14, the Hawkeyes play at Maine-Endwell in the Final Four. The state championship game will be at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at SUNY Binghamton.
“Our strategy is that we always feel confident,” said Hazzard, Head Coach Frank Miosek’s assistant. “We know the only team who can beat us is ourselves.”
That confidence is also bolstered by five team members who were also on the Cooperstown Hawkeyes basketball team that took home its own state championship in March.
“They carry a lot of the team’s leadership,” said Hazzard. “But you can’t beat this team’s camaraderie.”
The key play actually came in the second inning, when the Tigers had a chance to cement their lead.
With the bases loaded, Hawkeye Eric Deysenroth made a critical catch – the critical out that kept Cooperstown in the game.
In the seventh inning with a three-run deficit, Cooperstown was at the top of the order. The bases started to fill up, then sophomore Alex Hascup’s single brought in two runs. And senior Jesse Furnari’s single down the left field line brought in two runners to give the Hawkeyes the 8-7 lead.
“For a senior to be able to come through like that is really special,” said Hazzard. “These kids have a unique willingness to not be defeated.”
The formidable obstacle throughout was Pierce Hendershot, Tioga’s pitcher who is headed to St. Bonaventure, a baseball powerhouse, this fall. He also hit a home run.
But the Hawkeyes continued to grind away at him – by game’s end, he had been forced to throw over 100 pitches.
“We knew what was coming,” said Hazzard. “Our research told us that 75 percent of his pitches were strikes. We’re a very offensive team, and with all his pitches in the strike zone, we were able to capitalize on this and pick the pitches that we wanted.”
For Cooperstown pitching, Chris Ubner started and ended the game, with Kendall Haney, who also slammed three doubles, and Deysenroth pitching in relief.
“Haney’s third double was in the seventh inning, tying a school record for 13 doubles in a season.” said Hazzard. “That record was set by Frank Petrosky in 2007, and that team only reached the regionals!”
Early on, Tioga was ahead 3-1. The Cooperstown boys tied it at 3-3. Tioga moved ahead 4-3. Cooperstown tied it at 4-4. Then Tioga gained the lead which it lost at the end.
“We knew we could beat them,” said Hazzard. “We talked to other coaches who had beaten them, and studied what they did.”
The last time the baseball team went to the Final Four was 2017, when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
“We are the only team in the world who could bring home a championship to the home of baseball,” said Hazzard.