The Port Washington Dragons capped off an incredible year of baseball with a fun-filled trip to the Cooperstown Baseball World Tournament from July 20 to July 26. The team enjoyed living in the dormitory suites of the State University of New York at Oneonta, eating in its cafeteria and playing on its manicured baseball fields against top 12-year-old teams from around the country. Thirty teams attended the Cooperstown tournament. The Dragons finished 8th in their division.
At the opening ceremony All-Star pitcher Dave Lemanczyk (formerly) with the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays) welcomed the participants and spoke about the importance of team work and supporting your teammates, especially after they make a mistake. It was an important lesson for all players in attendance. Throughout the week the team experienced the same sportsmanship as those who participate in the Olympic games, making new friends and trading pins with players on other teams.
The Dragons were treated to a very special event. Port was the first team ever permitted to play an intra-squad doubleheader on the fields using the tournament's pitching machine where the players, coaches, and their family members joined in the action. The director of the tournament complimented the Dragon coaching staff for so successfully cultivating each player's love of the game saying, "In all the years I've been running this tournament I've never seen a team and their supporters enjoy the sport of baseball as much as the Dragons." The camaraderie continued through the last day of the tournament when the Dragons played an impromptu game of whiffle ball against their new friends on the Red Devils from Millis, MA.
Although playing eight games in five days dominated the agenda, the team was treated to visits to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the National Soccer Hall of Fame, attendance at a minor league baseball game as well as pool and pizza parties.
The coaches want to thank the players who gave everything they had on the field and the many parents who helped make the experience one that each player will remember for the rest of his life.