Broadalbin-Perth, Warrensburg baseball teams keep tradition alive

Last Tuesday, the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots rallied to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to officially pick up a non-league victory over Warrensburg.

However, the teams did not walk off the field, they just kept playing.

Who can blame them, it was a beautiful, sunny day and they were playing at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, a tradition the two teams have shared for more than a decade.

“We were very lucky that our old coach, Dave Thompson, started this,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Dan Simonds said. “We were scheduled to play Fonda here and they had to drop out. We put it out there on the Section II website that we were looking for an opponent and Warrensburg called. It has developed into a really nice thing.”

Warrensburg coach Rex Reynolds said the game has become a tradition for his players.

“Our kids really look forward to this game,” he said. “There is no place to play baseball like Cooperstown. They always keep the fields in wonderful shape. The whole atmosphere here is baseball with all the shops on Main Street and the Hall of Fame, of course. We got rained out the first year we came down here and my sons were on the team. One was a junior and the other a senior, so they never got to play together on Doubleday Field.”

The teams both sponsor fundraisers throughout the year to pay for the use of the field and extras, such as the postgame pizza party, to make the day memorable.

“We split the cost,” Simonds said. “We have fundraisers to pay for the game. They even lowered the cost this year, which helps. I don’t know anyplace else that has lowered their prices. We were the only game today but normally they have three games.”

The Patriots also used the occasion to honor their graduating senior on the team presenting them with personalized bats made in Cooperstown.

The tradition also included a bat that was to be presented to the winning team, engraved and passed on to the next winner.

“We won it in 2004 and took the bat home, but we haven’t seen it since,” Reynolds said. “The winner has it engraved. It is a great tradition, and we were keyed up to bring the bat back this year and we almost pulled it off.”

The day away also serves to revitalize the teams as they prepare for the rigors of league championship and sectional postseason play.

“We have been struggling the past couple of games to be able to close people out, and it showed up again today,” Reynolds said. “Take nothing away from these guys [B-P]. We had a game last night and have one tomorrow, but to come here and see [Broadalbin-Perth’s] pitching and fielding and to hit against their defense makes us strive to be better and it perks us up. They get really pumped up about it. I have to calm them down and remind them we have to win league games to vie for a league championship and get into sectionals. They are stoked about coming down here and are already talking about next year.”

For the Patriots, it gave them a chance to shake off back-to-back losses to Johnstown and return home for consecutive Foothills Council victories over Gloversville.