The Verona Outsiders 12U team had the experience of a lifetime playing baseball at Cooperstown All Star Village.
Twelve families made the 14-hour trip to Upstate New York on June 28 after spending the last two years planning and fundraising.
Cooperstown All Star Village hosts week-long tournaments where teams across the country come to play baseball. Their mission is to provide kids with a Major League Baseball experience complete with professional fields and uniforms, a commemorative tournament ring and All-Star treatment. The players also traded team pins and thanked player Patrick Alt’s grandmother, Eileen Alt, for making pin-holder books for each player to display the pins they collected from other teams.
In all, 60 teams participated in the tournament. The first night was complete with opening ceremonies and a skills competition. The Outsiders’ Alex Rech participated in the Fastest Person in Camp competition. Each of the 60 teams entered their fastest player to run the bases, and Rech finished second.
The 12U team played nine games during the tournament and faced some tough competition, but were pleased with their record. Teammates Hayden Duffy, Bryson Kundinger, Brady Patten, Jackson Quinn and Rech excited their fans by hitting home runs. Not only did the team have plenty of fans cheering them on at the ballfield, but fans back home were able to stream the games and the watch the action live.
This Outsiders team has played ball together since they were 9 years old, and has the reputation of working hard, having fun, and never giving up. A baseball club created by Heidi and Craig Neuroth, Verona Outsiders was established to allow young baseball players the chance to play tournaments with their friends. Their goal is not to win every game, but rather to teach winning and losing with dignity and respect and to instill the love of the game to all players.
Coaches Bill Patten, Scott Kundinger and Kilby Willenberg have led this group of boys since the beginning, and stayed with the players in the bunkhouse.
The team was also able to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, during their free time.