By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
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.
By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
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.
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 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 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.
HOME GAME – 7 p.m. Local PGCBL baseball team, the Oneonta Outlaws will host the Albany Dutchman for the team’s home opener at Damaschke Field in Oneonta. 607-432-6326 or visit www.facebook.com/oneontaoutlawsbaseball/.
Cooperstown Dreams Park is set to open Friday, July 23, without masks or any guidelines on social distancing, according to the park’s website.
However, a vaccine will be required for participating children and adults.
The opening will include no restrictions on high fiving or other physical contact, as well as face-to-face pin and baseball card training.
The 2021 baseball camp is set to go through August.
Dreams Park gives participants a chance to play in tournaments, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and watch baseball games at Doubleday Field.
According to their website, Dreams Park gets approximately 500,000 visitors per year, hosting teams for 13 weeks of tournaments. However, it was closed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and had earlier in the year put its season in doubt when it issued guidelines for campers requiring vaccinations.
For more information, call 704-630-0050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By CHARLIE VASCELLARO • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
It came as a surprise to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the baseball community at large when Tim Mead stepped down from his position as President of the Hall of Fame after less than two years on the job.
What would seem to be the dream job for almost anyone who works in the baseball industry was never fully realized for Mead whose brief tenure coincided with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and was marred by the unprecedented passing of 10 members of the Hall of Fame in about a year.
“What Dale and Jeff (former presidents Petrosky and Idelson, respectively) had been able to accomplish in terms of the travel and all, obviously we had 10 Hall of Famers pass away and we weren’t able to attend those services, the only one I was able to go to was Whitey Ford’s mass and Jeff was able to fly in from San Francisco for that one,” Mead said in an interview before his departure from the Hall on May 15.
With the 2021 baseball season underway and the Hall of Fame announcing its decision to hold this year’s induction ceremony indoors in a custom-made television studio*, and without fans in attendance, Mead announced his decision to step down from his post on April 16.
“It’s particularly tough with family being back (in California),” he said. “I have a grandson that is 30 months old and a granddaughter coming in September. That aspect of things has been a bit more challenging than perhaps I allowed myself to believe it would be.
Mead was hired to replace Idelson in June of 2019, presiding over the Hall of Fame’s 2019 Induction and represented the Hall of Fame at the Major League All-Star game in Cleveland.
Cooperstown won two blowouts and a tight conference game with a controversial ending in a four-day stretch to stay undefeated in baseball.
The Hawkeyes started the weekend by honoring their seniors at Doubleday Field on Friday, May 14, before a 14-1 win over Frankfort-Schuyler in a Center State Conference game.
Chris Ubner hit a grand slam home run and pitched four scoreless innings for the win.
Cooperstown led 11-0 before F-S got on the scoreboard off reliever Derek Moore in the sixth inning.
Treston Emerick relieved Moore and got out of a bases loaded, one-out jam, getting two outs on four pitches. Emerick finished the game with a scoreless seventh inning.
Ubner went 2-for-4 with 5 RBIs and two runs scored. He faced just 12 batters in four innings, although his defense helped him with two double plays. He got five strikeouts and gave up one walk and one hit.
Kendall Haney also had a home run, to almost the same spot in left center field where Ubner cleared the wall, and went 1-for-2 with two runs. Moore went 3-for-4 and scored two runs and Alex Poulson went 1-for-3 and scored three runs.
Junior Marley Lippett and Sophomore Dani Seamon combined for 16 strike outs as the Hawkeyes improved to 3-0 with a 12-5 softball win over visiting Oneonta on Thursday, May 6, at Cooperstown Central School.
Lippett went four innings in her debut game of the year, after missing a doubleheader at Canastota on Saturday, May 2, because of COVID protocol. She gave up four hits and five runs.
Lippett struck out eight batters, including pitching out of a first inning jam. After striking out the first batter of the game, she walked two batters and let them get to second and third with one one.
However, she got Jenna Gaisford on a fly ball out and struck out Makenzie Pierce to end the inning.
COOPERSTOWN– Cooperstown’s softball players organized a 2.5 mile walk around the village Wednesday, April 28, to raise money and awareness for autism.
About 30 softball players, including modified, junior varsity and varsity players, walked from Cooperstown’s middle/high school to Main Street and back. They were joined by teachers, coaches, parents and one of their classmates who is on the autism spectrum, junior Kai Boulet, who led the walk.
The event was sponsored by the school’s Leadership Training for Athletes program, with support from LTA sponsor Monica Wolfe, who coaches the modified softball team, and special education teacher Stephanie Nelen and Boulet’s aide, Dawn Chase.
The teams raised $1,400 for the Kelberman Center, with seventh graders Arya Patel and Kayleigh Butler raising the most money individually, $665 and $415, respectively.
At the beginning of the 2021 baseball season, Coker University senior outfielder Riley Hall had five career collegiate home runs. He matched that total Saturday, April 3, during a doubleheader at the University of Virginia-Wise.
Hall, a 2017 graduate of Cooperstown Central School and former Oneonta Outlaw, hit two home runs in the first game and three more in the second game to pace the Cobras, who combined for ten homers in the sweep, an 18-1 victory that was shortened to five innings by run rule and an 11-5 win, respectively.
Hall also hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh of an 8-4 loss in the seven-inning opening game of the series Friday, April 2. Coker beat the Cavaliers, 10-4, in the nine-inning second game.
With the series win, the Cobras improved their overall record to 13-16 and 12-11 in conference play and moved into seventh place in the 13 team South Atlantic Conference.
Coker University is an NCAA Division II school in Hartsville, South Carolina.
With tourism dealt another pandemic-related blow last week, Otsego County’s leaders are increasingly turning to outdoor adventures to lure visitors.
“We’re actually in the process right now of trying to launch a massive campaign to tout our outdoor adventure,” said Cassandra Harrington, executive director of Destination Marketing Corporation, which promotes tourism in Otsego and Schoharie counties.
Harrington said the tourism news has been mostly dismal in the week since Cooperstown Dreams Park announced it would require all teams playing at the park’s summer tournaments to be vaccinated for the coronavirus pandemic. The uncertainty of getting vaccinations for children and a hard refund deadline has left dozens of teams in a catch-22, leading to hundreds of reported cancellations.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s winter announcement that it was moving its postponed 2020 Induction Weekend to a virtual event, had already crushed pre-pandemic hopes for a record sized crowd for Derek Jeter’s induction.
However, the reopening of the baseball parks, Dreams Park in Hartwick Seminary and Cooperstown All-Star Village in West Oneonta, was a big pillar of the county’s hopes for a renewed summer of tourism. All-Star Village has not announced similar vaccination requirements for its teams, but the Dreams Park changes make its June opening unlikely, Harrington said.
“Now that the bottom fell out with Dreams Park, our accommodations are dealing with a flood of cancellations,” she said. “So, we really need those outdoor visitors more than ever.”
Editor’s Note: Here is the obituary prepared by Sam Nader’s family.
Albert S. “Sam” Nader passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, at his home as he wished, surrounded by members of his family.
He was born on July 8, 1919, in Oneonta, the son of Elias Andrew Nader and Rose Rajah Nader (Nassar). He was one of six Nader children. Sam Nader spent nearly his entire life in Oneonta. He was a proud lifelong resident of the 6th Ward and became an integral member of the community.
He graduated from Oneonta High School in 1938, where he excelled as a lefthanded pitcher. Mr. Nader attended Bates College and later Hartwick College and played baseball at both institutions.
As World War II approached, Mr. Nader began working for the Scintilla Magneto division of the Bendix Corp. in Sidney.