Last year, a local group of players and coaches from Thurmont Little League (TLL) teamed up to plan the baseball trip of a lifetime to participate in the prestigious Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament in Cooperstown, New York. This tournament is well-known nationwide and attracts hundreds of youth baseball teams each summer. However, as was the case with many other things, the COVID-19 pandemic had other ideas. Unfortunately, instead of heading to Cooperstown, the team had to pivot and travel to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to participate in The Ripken Experience Tournament. It was a great experience for all involved, but the players did miss out on touring the Baseball Hall of Fame and many of the other opportunities that only Cooperstown can provide.
This year, with the help of Coach Jeff Potter from the Potter Baseball Tour, the team was able to secure a spot to return to Cooperstown for this summer’s event from August 3-9, 2022. The team, consisting of 12 players and 3 coaches from the Thurmont and Emmitsburg area, will play under the name Potter Pirates Black. The Thurmont community and TLL have partnered with Potter Baseball on several activities over the past few years, including a charity kickball tournament to benefit the Fuse Teen Center, a painting project on the exterior of the Thurmont Food Bank, and upgrades to the façade of the Thurmont Senior Center. They are excited to partner with Coach Potter and his organization again for this amazing opportunity. The local team will consist of players Tucker Bryant, Chase Cregger, Brandon DeGrange, Mason Hewitt, Reed McCauley, Brody McQuay, Nate Morlan, Justice Myers, Brayden Rickerd, Graysen Strobel, Ethan Tokar, and Bracen Webb. Manager Keith Myers and Assistant Coaches Brandon McQuay and Lane Strobel will accompany the team to Cooperstown, along with umpire Blaine Young and Coach Potter.
Players and coaches get to stay on-site for a week, lodging at Baseball Village. They will be spending quality time together, meeting players from all over the country, and, of course, playing a lot of baseball. They will be provided with daily meals and custom uniforms for the tournament. The team will get to partake in an opening and closing ceremony, skills competitions, and a minimum of seven games. Other benefits include pin trading, personalized baseball cards for the players, tournament rings, and a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. There will be digital webcasts of the games and highlights as well for those wishing to follow along at home.
The trip comes with a hefty cost, so the team is fundraising and seeking support from the community to help them fulfill their dreams. They are asking the community to consider supporting the team at a fundraiser or by donating to the group. Many efforts are already underway, such as Roy Rogers donating a portion of their proceeds from scheduled fundraiser nights on the first Friday of each month. In addition, there has also been a Tastefully Simple fundraiser, courtesy of Dawn Fisher, and a World Series grid fundraiser in support of the team. A MightyCause online fundraiser has also been established as a method of collecting online donations. Upcoming fundraisers include Bingo on Sunday, January 9, at the Lewistown Fire Hall; the selling of Super Bowl squares; and a benefit breakfast at Trinity UCC on Saturday, March 19.
For more information on how you can help support this worthy cause, please contact Team Manager Keith Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.