News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


1994 founding

This Original ‘Friend Of Doubleday’ Might See Dream Come True

Friends of Doubleday Past

This Original ‘Friend

Of Doubleday’ Might

See Dream Come True

Rudy: Even 25 Years Ago, Ballfield Was ‘Worn’

This artist’s rendering shows what the third-base bleachers will look like when complete. The $5.8 million project will also renovate the historic grandstand and improve the Main Street entrance to the Doubleday Lot.

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Cooperstown Baseball B&B proprietor was one of the first Friends of Doubleday when the organization formed in 1994. ( photo)

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.

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