Friends of Doubleday Past
Rudy: Even 25 Years Ago, Ballfield Was ‘Worn’
By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – A lifelong love for everything baseball.
That’s why a small group of men started the Friends of Doubleday in the early 1990s, according to John Rudy, a retired lawyer and now Cooperstown Baseball B&B proprietor, who was present at the creation.
The story of the Friends’ founding began in the summer of 1985 when Rudy, still practicing law in New York City, and 30 other men from all over the country enrolled in a fantasy baseball camp in Cooperstown. This was long before companies like DraftKings came to be, where you could get your fantasy baseball fix from the comfort of your own home. Fantasy baseball camp gave players that exhilarating rush of playing that magnificent old ball game.
“We got our own teams and uniforms. We stayed at The Otesaga. And we all got to play on teams with these former Major League players for three days on Doubleday Field,” he said. “It was incredible.”
Rudy didn’t go to the 1986 camp, but he enrolled in the 1987 one with 50 other guys. That summer, though, things went awry.