News of Otsego County

Clark Sports Center

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Retirement Celebration 10-19-21

Retirement Celebration


RETIREMENT RECEPTION – 6 – 8 p.m. Celebrate the 20 year tenure and recent retirement of the Greater Oneonta Historical Society’s Executive Director Bob Brzowski. Refreshments, cake will be served. A cash bar will be available. Covid safety protocols will be followed. Foothills Performing Arts Center, Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Fall Fling at the Sports Center 10-09-21

Fall Fling at the Sports Center


FALL FLING – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. A spring tradition is happening in the Fall this year. The Cooperstown Rotary Club presents their annual craft fair featuring a growing list of vendors, artisans, food, drink, crafts and much more. New this year is the Utica Zoomobile. Returning is the ever-popular Basket Auction. Proceeds help to support variety of local foundations. On the Lawn, The Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Visit

Coop Rotary plans Fall Fling for Saturday

Coop Rotary plans Fall Fling for Saturday

by CHAD G. WELCH • Special to

The Rotary Club of Cooperstown is hosting the Fall Fling fundraiser at the Clark Sports Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday Oct. 9.

Fall Fling is replacing Spring Fling. which the club has hosted annually in May since 2017, event chairperson Sydney Sheehan said. It was canceled in 2020 and postponed this year.

“We decided to hold this event in the fall because we felt that a fun and festive fall event might be just the thing to bring everyone together,” Sheehan said. “Cooperstown has so much to offer in the autumn and year-round and it’s a great time to celebrate our community.”

Lack of childcare option in pandemic frustrates Cooperstown parents

Lack of childcare option in pandemic frustrates Cooperstown parents

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Lack of childcare in Cooperstown Central School District is causing a crisis for many families of young children.

The Clark Sports Center had previously served the role but now is closed for children under 12 because of COVID pandemic restrictions.

Mary Jane Sansevere, a Cooperstown resident with a husband and two children, said her family was forced to move her children out of the school district because of a lack of childcare. She also resigned her position in Cooperstown and took a job at Schenevus Central School as a pre-k teacher.

“Childcare in this town is sort of at a crisis level,” Sansevere said in a conversation with

Sandra Lou Stockdale Single mother overcame challenges, found love

In Memoriam

Sandra Lou Stockdale

Single mother overcame challenges, found love

COOPERSTOWN – Sandra Lou Stockdale (Sandy) passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Thursday, August 26th, 2021.  She was surrounded by her loving family who made certain she was comfortable.

Sandy is survived by her loving husband of 30 years and one day, William Stockdale. She is survived by her children and their spouses: Greg and LisaMarie Morrison, Glenn and Michele Morrison, and Glenda and Matt Vatovec.  She is also survived by her loving granddaughters, Emily and Abigail Vatovec and her grandsons Kane Morrison and Brett Morrison. She was predeceased by her daughter, Gretchen Miller, and her first husband, Walter Glen Morrison.

Sandy was a hard-working woman who had her fair share of obstacles to overcome in life. After losing her first husband, Walter Morrison, she became the sole caregiver to her four children. With very little means and not having had a job to date, Sandra picked herself up and took charge of getting things in order. She got her first car, worked hard to find several jobs to make ends meet, and still managed to care for her four young children.  There were many tough times. One of Sandra’s favorite stories to tell is finding her family low on funds, and needing to feed her family, she was able to find 5 dollars with the help of her eldest son, Greg, and she purchased hot dogs and macaroni and cheese with which she built a meal for her children. That was just the kind of person she was, she could make a full meal out of very little.

Inside the induction: Since 9/11 attacks, guarding baseball’s legends, fans, has become top priority for Hall, local officials
Hall of Famers applaud 2015 inductees Jeff Bagwell, right, and Ivan Rodriguez during their Induction Ceremony. (Cheryl Clough)

Inside the induction

Since 9/11 attacks, guarding baseball’s legends, fans,
has become top priority for Hall, local officials

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

As with a lot of things in America, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Induction Weekend changed 20 years ago, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Before, at Induction, you were thinking, ‘what if someone has a heart attack out here in the field?’ Suddenly, you had to think about a lot more things that could go wrong,” said Otsego County Board of Representatives Chair Dave Bliss.

Lions, Rotary, other partners host annual river cleanup day

Lions, Rotary, other partners
host annual river cleanup day

COOPERSTOWN — The fourth Susquehanna River Cleanup took place Saturday, July 17.

Community involvement in this project has continued to grow with more than 35 people volunteering this year. The Cooperstown Lions Club, Cooperstown Rotary Club, Rotary E-club of Global Trekkers, OCCA and Otsego 2000 as well as some individuals all made financial contributions to assist with building three new improved rafts.

The Susquehanna River Cleanup project came about because John Rowley and Maureen Rowley would walk the riverside trail between Mill and Main streets in Cooperstown on a regular basis.

They were dismayed by the amount of debris and garbage in that section of the river, including a large cattle-feeding trough.

Growing tired of seeing this, John proposed a clean-up project to the Cooperstown Lions Club, where he is a member and past president. Lions Club International Foundation had made environmental projects one of the club’s new initiatives.

The Cooperstown Lions Club embraced the project and set out to team with other organizations that would assist and guide the Lions with the project.

With induction delayed, HOF awards get Saturday spotlight

With induction delayed, HOF awards get Saturday spotlight


While the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony has been pushed back to Sept. 8, in order to accommodate the inclusion of fans in attendance on the lawn at the Clark Sports Center, the Hall’s annual Awards Presentation honoring baseball writers and broadcasters is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, as a television only event.

This year’s Ford C. Frick Award and Baseball Writer’s Association of America Career Excellence Award ceremony will include respective 2021 recipients, broadcaster Al Michaels and writer Dick Kaegel as well as 2020 honorees, Ken Harrelson and Nick Cafardo.

‘Do you Believe in Miracles?’
Perhaps best known for his indelible call of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team’s stunning defeat of Russia in the 1980 winter Olympics, Al Michaels was already a seasoned and accomplished sports broadcaster at the time breaking into baseball with the Pacific Coast (minor) League’s Hawaii Islanders in 1968. The 45th winner of the Frick Award, Michaels assumed the lead broadcaster responsibilities for the Cincinnati Reds in 1971 and the San Francisco Giants in 1974.

Clark gym becomes summer basketball gathering spot

Clark gym becomes summer
basketball gathering spot

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Clark Sports Center Assistant Athletic Director Scott Whiteman, center, watches as Meghan Niles, left, and Piper Seamon do a basketball drill Thursday, July 8. Watching in the background are Cooperstown girls basketball coach Mike Niles and Gabby Woeppel. (Greg Klein/

MIDDLEFIELD — As summer began and COVID regulations eased, Clark Sports Center Assistant Athletic Director Scott Whiteman started getting more activity on his phone. It was the basketball athletes checking on open gym status.

“We couldn’t practice the last week of school, because it was finals,” said Piper Seamon, a 2020 Cooperstown Central School graduate and college basketball player at Hamilton College in Clinton.

“So, I was texting Scott a week before I got home, ‘Are you open? Can I work out?’”

In the off seasons of many sports, athletes go back to their college campuses to work with old trainers or scrimmage with young recruits. Around Otsego County, elite basketball players congregate at the Clark.

Clark Sports Center to offer summer clinics

Cooperstown Central School held its annual Kathleen Galland-Bennett Third Grade Track Meet on Wednesday, May 26, at the elementary school in Cooperstown. Students were chosen by their peers for demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship during this event.
The sportmansship winners are, from left: Arlynn Bachorik, Allison Nagelschmidt, Joey Conte, Connor Van Buren, Kamren Martin and Bella Robbins. (contributed)

Clark Sports Center to offer summer clinics

Members 12 and older now allowed to work out

With coronavirus protocols lifted in July and with the gym reopened to kids, the Clark Sports Center announced this week that it will offer summer sports clinics for campers.

The sports and adventure clinics are open to kids age 12 to 18.

Adventure classes will be offered in mountain biking fundamentals, advanced mountain biking, climbing and kayak rolling, leadership.

Sports classes will be offered in youth strength, basketball skills, football for linemen, football skills and plyometrics or jumping training.

Loosened COVID rules allows Hall to open induction to more fans

Loosened COVID rules allows
Hall to open induction to more fans

COOPERSTOWN — Following last week’s announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that lifted significant COVID-19 restrictions, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced Monday, June 21, that tickets will not be needed for free lawn seating for the Wednesday, Sept. 8, induction ceremony.

The ceremony was rescheduled from its traditional last Sunday in July to an event at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center in the town of Middlefield.

The event will celebrate the inductions of Class of 2020 members Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker and will be broadcast live exclusively on MLB Network.

Since 1992, the event has been held on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center, with estimated crowds approaching and surpassing 50,000 at five of the last six ceremonies, from 2014 to 2019. The second-largest crowd on record – an estimated 55,000 people – attended the Hall of Fame’s last induction, July 21, 2019.

Hall: Wednesday induction was best option

Hall: Wednesday induction was best option

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN — A National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum official said the rescheduling of Induction Weekend to a Wednesday in September came down to one simple factor: the calendar.

“Looking at the calendar, we just had a very limited amount of options,” Jon Shestakofsky, vice president of communications and education, told Iron String Media, Friday, June 11.

The exclusive interview took place two days after the Hall announced it would shift from a virtual induction on the traditional Sunday afternoon in July to a limited capacity, ticketed-only induction Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Clark Sports Center in the town of Middlefield.

Shestakofsky said the date was the best available option. He said there was no weekend date in September that worked for all of the induction stakeholders, including Major League Baseball, the MLB Network, the inductees and their families, the Hall and the Hall of Famers.

FALK: ‘It Takes A Village Moment’ Inspires Candidate Falk

‘It Takes A Village Moment’
Inspires Candidate Falk

To the Editor:

Saturday I had one of those “It Takes a Village” moments.

I offered a ride to a friend to the vaccination clinic at the Clark Sports Center. Sitting with her in a folding chair on the gym floor, I remembered just how special our community is.

We have a teaching hospital right here in Cooperstown, we have an amazing recreational facility and, most important, we are blessed with people who care.

Our local community members helped spread the word about vaccine availability, assisted with online registration, provided rides, checked people in, gave shots, stood by in case of an emergency, and checked up on our friends and neighbors.

We live in a one-of-a-kind place that I am pleased to call home.

For the past nine years, I have been privileged to represent village residents on the Board of Trustees. This Tuesday, March 16, I will be running for my fourth term.

There is little hype about this election. My name and Hanna Joy Bergene’s will be the only ones on the ballot, and there are two open seats. There is no national election going on simultaneously and no COVID-induced change to the voting date as there was last year.

Honestly, it may seem like there is little reason to participate. But I am hopeful that in our remarkable village people still will make the effort to exercise their right to vote.

Polls are open noon – 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at the fire hall, and absentee-ballot applications and absentee ballots can be picked up by 4 p.m. Monday, March 15, at Village Hall, 22 Main St.

The pandemic has been difficult on all of us individually and collectively. The village government is no exception to that – the last year has been trying, and the coming months will be critical as we begin to creep forward into a post-pandemic world.

I encourage you to take part in the democratic process as we enter this next phase, and I would greatly appreciate your vote on Tuesday the 16th.

Trustee, Deputy Mayor

STERNBERG: Neighbors Helping Neighbors Get Shots

Neighbors Helping
Neighbors Get Shots

Richard Sternberg, retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, is providing his professional perspective weekly during the COVID-19
threat. A village trustee,
he resides in Cooperstown.

This past weekend Bassett performed an amazing feat of vaccinating a large group of people, more than 1,100 over two days. The confirmation of vaccine availability only came though on Wednesday, March 3, leaving but two full days to prepare. Nevertheless, I visited on Sunday and it had the appearance of a military operation (which in a sense it was).

The Bassett community, from Dr. Tommy Ibrahim on down should be proud, as should the staff of the Clark Sports Center, which hosted the event.

I want to especially commend the Bassett Director of Network Pharmacy, Kelly Rudd, Pharm.D., who was in command of the clinic from planning through implementation.

She worked from the list of patients from the state, a list of patients from Bassett’s own scheduling system, and an ad hoc group of volunteers who worked to contact and track down people qualified to be vaccinated, but for whom the computer-driven scheduling system was difficult or even impossible to use.

Also, many thanks are due to the Bassett staff who took the time to make hundreds of calls to help schedule seniors 65+.

There are many reports of computer-savvy individuals signing up friends, family members, and neighbors for vaccine appointments. To see this community spirit and kindness is a great thing.

The clinic was also able to smoothly access the waiting list to make sure no dose went unused. The volunteer group – which went out and identified about 175 people who had difficulty finding appointments on their own – included church members, other faith-based organizations, philanthropic NGOs (non-government organizations) including the Community Foundation of Otsego County, and additional individuals.

Many had been working on an individual basis, but recognized the synergy of working together.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103