Youth attend baseball camp
Three youth Picayune baseball players recently returned from a trip to the “field of dreams.”
It’s called Cooperstown Dream Park and Jakail Myers, 12, Kade Turnage,13, and Logan Ledet,13, had the opportunity to play baseball in the locale where legends were made.
According to the town’s website, Cooperstown, N.Y. is universally recognized as the birthplace of America’s favorite pastime and is home to Abner DoubleDay field.
Cooperstown Dream Park promotes a high caliber of play and all players are inducted into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame, the park’s website states.
Jerel Myers, Jakail’s father, said the children play baseball locally and were invited to be on Slidell’s Louisiana Reds team in January.
The Reds are a major youth team and a member of the United States Specialty Sports Association, Myers said. Part of the deal included the boys’ trip to Cooperstown.
Derek Turnage, Kade’s father, said they arrived in Cooperstown on July 5 for a weeklong tournament.
“It’s very similar to baseball camp,” Turnage said. “The boys stayed in a dormitory.”
Turnage said there were 104 teams participating that week and they played six pool games to qualify for a seat in the tournament bracket. The boys’ team seated 34.
The boys were provided the opportunity to watch games in DoubleDay stadium and tour the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, Turnage said.
“It was a great opportunity for the boys to play ball in the place where baseball started and to walk where legends have walked,” Turnage said. “Baseball is an important part of childhood.”
Logan said going to Cooperstown was a fun experience and he learned about sportsmanship and how to have fun, not stress, when playing baseball.
Logan has played baseball since he was 4 or 5-years-old and plays locally for the Heat and the Louisiana Reds.
The positions he plays are pitcher, third base and sometimes catcher, Logan said.
His favorite professional players are Albert Pujos and Mark McGuire.
Logan plans to attend Louisiana State University and aspires to play professional baseball.
“It felt good to play where legends to have played and to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Logan said. “It gave me the chance to see how much equipment has changed over the years.”
Kade said he learned how to stay under control and play “loose”, which means staying calm and relaxed.
Kade has played baseball since he was about 4 or 5-years- old.
He currently plays for the Louisiana Reds.
Kade said his favorite part of the tournament was hitting “dingers,” which are homeruns.
Kade typically plays catcher and said he got the chance to pitch for the first time in Cooperstown.
His favorite professional players are Mike Trout and Jackie Robinson.
Cade plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi one day and major in engineering.
“I enjoyed viewing the changes in the history of baseball at the Hall of Fame, Kade said. “It was exciting to see Babe Ruth’s uniform.”
Jakail said he enjoyed traveling to N.Y. and visiting other states.
Jakail said he learned how to relax during games.
He has been playing baseball since the age of five.
His favorite part of baseball is playing with friends.
He plays pitcher, shortstop and centerfield and hit six “dingers” at Cooperstown.
Jakail’s favorite players are Derek Jeter and Jackie Robinson.
Jakail currently plays for the Louisiana Reds and plans to attend the University of Alabama in the future.
“It was great to visit the Hall of Fame,” Jakail said. “It was cool to learn about how baseball was played in the past.”
Myers said it’s amazing to see the children start playing baseball at such a young age and to cap off their early careers playing in Cooperstown.
“It’s an experience and feeling you just can’t put into words,” Myers said.
“It’s a joy as a parent to see him playing so well and playing with friends.”
Turnage said that this experience in baseball has taught not only his son about life, but himself as well.
“This opportunity has helped him and our family grow,” Turnage said.
“I wish every child who plays baseball could have this experience at Cooperstown and visit the Hall of Fame.”
Logan’s father Bobby said this Cooperstown is an experience every child who plays baseball should have.
“It was a good experience for him, he played on pristine fields and traveled to New York,” Ledet said.
Learn more about Cooperstown Dream Park at www.cooperstowndreamspark.com.
Learn more about the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at www.baseballhall.org.
Visit www.thisiscooperstown.com to learn more about the town of Cooperstown.