Syrian army responsible for Douma chemical weapons attack, watchdog confirms     Ukraine live briefing: Power outages hit Ukraine after strikes; U.S. to send newer Abrams tanks     After deadly Israeli raid in Jenin, fears of major escalation in West Bank      Syrian army responsible for Douma chemical weapons attack, watchdog confirms     Ukraine live briefing: Power outages hit Ukraine after strikes; U.S. to send newer Abrams tanks     After deadly Israeli raid in Jenin, fears of major escalation in West Bank      Business empire of Asia’s richest man hit by sell-off after fraud report     China, speeding through phases of covid, gets on with living with virus     Marshall Islands, feeling neglected by the U.S., enjoys new leverage     Syrian army responsible for Douma chemical weapons attack, watchdog confirms     Ukraine live briefing: Power outages hit Ukraine after strikes; U.S. to send newer Abrams tanks     After deadly Israeli raid in Jenin, fears of major escalation in West Bank      Syrian army responsible for Douma chemical weapons attack, watchdog confirms     Ukraine live briefing: Power outages hit Ukraine after strikes; U.S. to send newer Abrams tanks     After deadly Israeli raid in Jenin, fears of major escalation in West Bank      Business empire of Asia’s richest man hit by sell-off after fraud report     China, speeding through phases of covid, gets on with living with virus     Marshall Islands, feeling neglected by the U.S., enjoys new leverage     

News of Otsego County


Retiring Number 24 — Mets Honor Willie Mays

Retiring Number 24:
Mets Honor Willie Mays

By Richard Sternberg, M.D.

I am a NY Mets fan. I’ve been so since their beginning in 1962 when I was 9 years of age. I don’t know how that came to be, but I grew up in Queens and the new team in town fascinated me. My father was not a baseball fan but my mother showed an interest, maybe just because of me and my brother, or maybe she was a fan on her own. Anyway, through my mother’s serendipitous meeting with the wife of the president of the Mets and her development of a friendship with one of the club executives, we spent many happy days at the Polo Grounds, mostly in 1963. We sat frequently in the unused box of the president. To make some of you jealous, I saw Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, and Marvelous Marv Throneberry play. Eat your hearts out! My mom somehow also became friends with Choo-Choo Coleman. It was probably my best summer ever.

A Futile Love? by Rachel Frick Cardell

A Futile Love?

By Rachel Frick Cardell

When I was in second grade, my parents decided to get rid of our television. Since at the time television was the only source for watching sports, I grew up never really watching them or developing a love for a particular team. So, on our wedding day, in the throes of young love, I vowed to root for my husband’s sports teams. Unbeknownst to me, loving my husband’s teams would prove to be futile over the decades. Every spring he gives his heart to his beloved Baltimore Orioles and every fall he dusts off the bruised, battered remains of his heart and hands it over to the Miami Dolphins.

For those who do not follow baseball or American football, let me assure you of the futility of this love. Since the last time the Orioles won the World Series in 1983 (39 years ago, and five years before I met my husband) they have made the playoffs just five times, and lost in the second round four times and the first round the fifth time. So over four decades we have won four post season games in baseball. Period. In 2021, one headline read, “The Orioles Have Been Legendarily, Historically Awful.”

‘The Kid Who Only Hit Homers’ screening at Hall of Fame

‘The Kid Who Only Hit Homers’
screening at Hall of Fame

The Baseball Hall of Fame is hosting a movie night featuring ‘The Kid Who Only Hit Homers’ starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, in the Grandstand Theater. The movie is free, but registration is required.

The film is based on the 1972 beloved children’s book of the same name by Matt Christopher. The novel is about a child, Codmeyer, who was on the verge of quitting Baseball until he was visited by the Ghost of Babe Ruth whose advice turns him into a ‘slugging hero.’

After the film there will be a Question and Answer session with the sons of the author Dale and Duane Christopher. Stop in at 1 p.m. on the same day for an author presentation where they discuss their fathers work and the making of the film. Visit for more information and to register.

POTRIKUS: The unifying power of baseball

Column by Ted Potrikus

The unifying power of baseball

My wife and I stopped by the Stax Museum of American Soul Music as we passed through Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday — we’re on a long-planned, twice-delayed drive from Cooperstown to Charleston to Tucson to visit our kids. “Where ya from?” the clerk asked. “Upstate New York,” I said. “Cooperstown, to be exact.”

“The Baseball Hall of Fame!” he said happily. “I drove up there a few years ago. Loved it. Had to visit. Love baseball.”

“I love baseball, too,” I said, “but I love my Stax records. I’m glad to be here at your Hall of Fame.”

This week’s column comes to you from the ninth-floor room in a Hilton Garden Inn in the “Bricktown” neighborhood of downtown Oklahoma City. The view from our window: the glorious field of the OKC Dodgers, the AAA affiliate for the Los Angeles Dodgers. We watched the final three innings of the game as we pulled in yesterday afternoon; no game today (but there are tornado warnings for later tonight, so there’s that).

Around the stadium — statues of Baseball Hall-of-Famers like Warren Spahn, Johnny Bench, and Mickey Mantle. Busts for Lloyd and Paul Waner (“Little” and “Big” poisons, respectively), Carl Hubbell. One for Negro League great Joe Rogan. One for beloved Yankee Bobby Murcer, a street named for Joe Carter. Proud Oklahomans all.

Dave & Adam’s comes to town

Cooperstown welcomes new baseball card shop

From left to right, Brendan Smoot, store manager Max Penke, and Andrew Long of Dave & Adam’s Card World in Cooperstown


On the drawing board for months as COVID seeped in and out of business plans, Dave & Adam’s Card World in Cooperstown offered its ‘soft opening’ on Sunday, April 3 as visitors began trickling back into the village.

For the store’s staff, though, it’s not “just another baseball shop on Main Street in Cooperstown.” The Main Street location, just a few doors down from the Baseball Hall of Fame, is the card retailer’s first foray outside its home base of Buffalo, New York and its popular web-based business.

Richfield Springs ready to build youth sports complex

Richfield Springs looks ahead to youth sports field complex

A rendering of plans for soccer, softball, baseball, and T-ball fields (along with some sledding) in the works for Richfield Springs

They have to wait until the end of ‘mud season’ to start, but Richfield Springs is eager to break ground in the Spring on new baseball, softball, and soccer fields that could be ready for action in time for Autumn’s soccer season.

Town of Richfield Supervisor Dan Sullivan said the Richfield Youth Sports Athletic Complex got its start when a dedicated group of volunteers began a bottle and can drive – “literally putting nickels together,” he said – and raised enough to take a look at 18.4 acres on the border of the village and town near Lake Street and Cemetery Road. With money in the bank and a site in mind, Mr. Sullivan worked with the group to write a grant through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process – leading to an award topping $160,000 for the project.

“This gives exercise opportunities for everyone,” Mr. Sullivan said. “There’s an issue with rural poverty, an issue of rural obesity. These fields will be easy to access and open for play and activity. We can’t wait to get going.”

Mr. Sullivan said he hopes to include a walking track around the fields and is even eying 16 acres at nearby Roundtop for more adult recreation options.

His plans for the Village and Town include a study of a extending a walking and bike trail from the sports complex to Baker’s Beach on Canadarago Lake and even the city of Little Falls.

“The Empire State Trail runs through Little Falls,” he said, noting the state had considered ‘branch trails’ until COVID stalled the plans. “We’d like to do some study and planning for the next round of CFA grants. I think it’d be a great opportunity.”

Oneonta Little League opens 2022 registration

Oneonta Little League opens registration for Spring 2022

Oneonta Little League invites kids aged 4-12 of all abilities who live or attend school within its territory to register for its Spring 2022 season.

Visit the league website at for registration information.

Players who are League-age 10, 11, or 12 must register no later than March 15, as do players League-age 9 who wish to try out for the Major division. The registration fee for the Major, Minor, and Bantam divisions is $50 plus a processing fee; registration for the Tee Ball division is $25 plus a processing fee. In its effort to make Oneonta Little League programs available to all eligible children, financial aid is available.

This week 02-10-22


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

February 10, 2022


Telly in her element: Telly couldn’t have been happier than to get on the ice and snow that fell on Cooperstown last week. The two-year-old Bernedoodle enjoyed playing and relaxing on the snowbank in front of her mom’s shop on Main Street. Jen Howard, owner of Cooperstown Classics, said, “Telly lives for this weather. It’s her favorite time of year!” The good girl is full-grown, topping out at 75 pounds.


Cooperstown Central plots anti-racism strategy, addresses complaints

Doubleday renovations on track for June finish

Inside The Paper

State says ‘no’ to gifting pot

Not a day over 27

Fate of James Fenimore Cooper murals rests with Westchester school board

Glimmerglass Festival names three ‘Honorary Life Trustees’

Cooperstown costume pro voting on top film awards



District Attorney right on bail, discovery


Rust never sleeps

Sternberg on COVID this week: Getting better?

Opportunities for Otsego: The Childcare Dilemma

History Column

Bound Volumes


Editors Policy


Lloyd H. Johnson

Linda J. Hall

Marshall L. Thorne

David S. Wilshere


Happenin’ Otsego

Editorial: Don’t bet on it

Don’t bet on it

We love Major League Baseball’s World Series, even when it’s not “our” team playing in the Fall Classic. It always is a joy to see visitors traveling to and walking around Cooperstown just for the opportunity to watch the game on television in a restaurant in The Home of Baseball.

This year’s television and radio broadcasts, though, border on the unwatchable. Not because the quality of play is any less intense or expert. Not because it’s the Houston Astros once again vying for the title — Manager Dusty Baker has single-handedly restored dignity to a franchise that just a year ago was almost shamed out of existence thanks to its bang-on-a-can, signal-stealing controversy.

It’s not even because Joe Buck sometimes rattles on a little too much about statistics that sound like some of the most arcane trivia one could ever imagine.

Opinion by Charlie Vascellaro: Is Cooperstown calling for Dusty?

Opinion by Charlie Vascellaro
Is Cooperstown calling for Dusty?

Houston Astros veteran manager Dusty Baker is on the brink of winning his first World Series which should assure him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

In the wake of the sign-stealing scandal that tarnished the Houston Astros 2017 World Series victory and three-year run of success, veteran manager Dusty Baker was hired in 2020 to right the ship and restore the team’s reputation.

During the Astros fan-less season of 2020 the team managed to elude the scrutiny and jeering associated with its indiscretions over the course of the abbreviated 60-game season.

Baker guided the team to a respectable second-place finish in the American League’s West division, the Astros fell one game shy of reaching the World Series, losing the seventh game of the American League Championship Series to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Baker’s 24-year managerial career has been largely defined by such devastating losses: In his rookie season as manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1993, Baker’s Giants finished one game behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League West division despite winning a franchise record 103 games.
In 2002 powered by the historic performance of slugger Barry Bonds, Baker’s Giants captured the National League pennant but lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Angels in seven games after having a 3-2 lead in the Series. Baker’s contract was not renewed after the season, and he was immediately signed by the Chicago Cubs taking the 2003 team all the way to the seventh game of the National League Championship Series again losing games six and seven after holding a 3-2 lead.
After four seasons with the Cubs Baker moved on to his third managerial position with the Cincinnati Reds in 2008 and delivered the Reds first NL Central title in 15 years in 2010. The Reds were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies in three straight games in the National League Division Series.

Under Baker the Reds won the NL Central again in 2012 and lost a closely contested NLDS three-games-to-two after holding a 2-0 lead. In 2013 the third -place Reds captured the second Wild Card playoff spot but lost the one-game pay-in to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baker was fired at the conclusion of the season.

After a two-year hiatus from managing Baker won back-to-back NL East division titles with the Washington Nationals in 2016 and 2017, falling in the first round to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 and to the Chicago Cubs in 2017.

Now in his first full season in Houston Baker is back on the brink of capturing his first managerial World Series ring which would almost certainly punch his Hall of Fame ticket.

The Astros opened the World Series at home against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, October 26.

Baker’s 1,987 managerial wins ranks him 12th in major league history and 10 of the 11 managers in front of him on the list have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame (Bruce Bochy, 2,003, is 16 wins in front of Baker over 25 seasons).

More than two dozen managers who have won many less games than Baker have also been inducted to the Hall including such luminary legends as: Casey Stengel (1,905), Tommy Lasorda (1,599), Dick Williams (1,571), and Earl Weaver (1,480).

“That guy is going to be a Hall of Famer soon,” said Astros catcher Martin Maldonado, after Houston’s AL pennant-clinching victory over the Boston Red Sox last week.

Baker was an accomplished major league player during his 19-year career playing with four different teams. He broke into the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves in 1968 where he was mentored by Henry Aaron batting in the clean-up (fourth) spot behind Aaron in the Braves batting order. It was Baker who famously greeted Aaron at home plate when he broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record with number 715 in Atlanta on April 8, 1974.

After eight seasons in Atlanta Baker was traded by the Braves to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1975.
Baker was the MVP of the 1977 NLCS hitting tow home runs with eight RBI and a .357 batting average in the Dodgers three games to one victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He played on three NL pennant winning teams for the Dodgers (1977, 1978, 1981) capturing his only World Series ring as a player in 1981.

He spent the final three seasons with the San Francisco Giants (1984) and Oakland A’s (1985 and 1986) finishing his career with 242 home runs, 1,013 RBI and a .278 batting average. He was named to tow NL all-star teams with the Dodgers in 1981 and 1982, batting .320 and .300 respectively. Baler was one of four Los Angeles Dodgers to eclipse 30 home runs in 1977 the others being, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Reggie Smith.

For his cumulative accomplishments in the game Baker certainly merits Hall of Fame consideration but if he should capture a World Series championship with the Astros this year, Cooperstown will most likely come calling.

St. Louis, Milwaukee catcher fell off writers’ ballot quickly

St. Louis, Milwaukee catcher fell off writers’ ballot quickly


One of 19 catchers elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame, Ted Simmons belatedly joins his contemporaries: Johnny Bench (1967 to 1983, inducted 1989); Carlton Fisk (1969 to 1993, inducted 2000); and Gary Carter (1974 to 1992, inducted 2003), all of whom played in a golden age for the position.

Largely overlooked by the voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America in his first year of eligibility in 1994 Simmons received just 3.7% of the requisite 5% in order to remain on the ballot.

Simmons spent a generation in candidacy purgatory until his name was included on the Modern Era Committee ballot for the first time in 2018, falling one vote shy of the 12 needed to gain the 75% necessary for election. The third time proved to be a charm for Simmons who received 13 votes on the 2019 ballot, joined by long time MLBPA (union) Executive Director Marvin Miller.

Miller changed baseball in ways that improve players’ lives

Former MLBPA President Marvin Miller enjoys a game in this undated photo. (Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery)

Miller changed baseball in ways that improve players’ lives


Marvin Miller, the first director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, was elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Modern Era Committee, along with catcher Ted Simmons in December 2019.

The cancellation of the Hall’s 2020 Induction ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic postponed their inductions, along with Baseball Writers’ Association of America selections Derek Jeter and Larry Walker, all four of whom will be enshrined when the ceremony returns to the grounds of the Clark Sports Center in the town of Middlefield at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Miller who passed away Nov. 27, 2012, gained induction to the Hall posthumously on the eighth occasion his name appeared on a Veterans/Era Committee Ballot and will occupy a unique corner of the Hall as the first labor leader to be enshrined.

Elected as the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966, Miller succeeded former president Bob Feller (1956-1959) and player agent Frank Scott (1959-1966) in the first year the organization was recognized as a union.

New joy in Mudville


New joy in Mudville

There seems to be a general feeling in this country these days that getting things done and making a difference is an impossible thing. When the United States Congress itself seems unable to get anything done, what chance do small groups or ordinary citizens have to make a difference? The odds are so stacked against that happening that most people wouldn’t even think of wasting their time trying.

But sometimes even legislative accomplishments come from the darndest places.

In 2017, Cooperstown Elementary School teacher Anne Reis was leading her fourth-grade class through a study of state government in New York. During a section on state symbols, the kids learned New York had no official state sport. They concluded there should be one and it should be baseball.

Reis inspired her young charges to dream big and take action and they got to work researching baseball’s influence in and on New York’s history, economy and culture. They wrote essays on the sport’s numerous qualifications for official designation, and they sent them all to Albany.

Oneonta’s Green Wave ends state run in final four

Oneonta’s Green Wave
ends state run in final four

The Oneonta Green Wave won the District 6 championship Monday, July 19, in Binghamton. Pictured are, front row from left, Carter Neer, Jordan Goble, Kendall Haney, Coach Mike Jester, Aidan Breakey, Kaden Halstead and David Morse. In the back row are, Tanner Russin, Dakoda Buzzy, Cam Horth, Aidan Gelbsman, Seamus Catella, Louis Bonnici, Cole Platt, an unidentified Legion official and Owen Burnsworth.

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Oneonta’s run at a state title in Legion baseball ended Tuesday, July 27, in Saugerties.

The Green Wave lost to Smith Post of Rome, 6-1, Tuesday, to end its tournament.

After losing its first game of the day Monday, in the double-elimination, eight-team tournament, Oneonta rallied to defeat Schenectady, 7-6, to make it to the final four.

Tanner Russin had a walk-off double to keep the Green Wave alive in the tournament.

Oneonta lost to Hamburg, 16-6, in Monday’s opener. It beat Clinton County in the opening game of the tournament, Sunday, July 25, 8-0, Jordan Goble got the win Sunday, pitching six innings. Cole Platt had an RBI double and Aidan Breakey had a triple and two RBI.

The Green Wave went 2-1 in the opening days of the state tournament, a week after winning a District 6 title last week.

The Green Wave swept two games from Harpursville-1596 on Monday, July 19, at Conlon Field in Binghamton to win its third District 6 championship.

Oneonta won, 1-0, and, 19-1, in a mercy-rule win in the finale to secure the title.

Cooperstown’s Ubner wins multiple player of the year awards

Cooperstown’s Chris Ubner received many post-season awards following the Hawkeyes Section III Class C-1 winning season. (Greg Klein/Allotsego)

Cooperstown’s Ubner wins multiple player of the year awards

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Cooperstown’s Chris Ubner swept a series of baseball award announced last week.

Ubner shared the Most Valuable Player Award from the Center State Conference Division II, with teammate Kendall Haney.

Ubner also won Player of the Year Awards from two Upstate newspapers, the Utica Observer-Dispatch and the Syracuse Herald.

Haney was named to the Syracuse All-Star team as well.

Ubner’s Utica announcement carried the biggest surprise as the Mohawk Valley Award was announced by Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, in a video presentation.

Both players played multiple positions for Cooperstown, including pitcher and around the infield, leading the Hawkeyes to two section titles and a spot in the 2019 Class C championship game. Both will play college baseball, Ubner at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill and Haney at Herkimer County Community College.

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