Submitted by Pete Vardaro, Suffolk Raiders manager
Thanks to the combined efforts of Jimmy Rose (President of the Long Island Stan Musial Baseball League) and the Long Island MSBL, we were able to play league games in beautiful Cooperstown this past weekend. Our team, the Suffolk Raiders from the 35+ AAA division, went up to Cooperstown from Long Island along with three teams from the LIMSBL 35+ AA division to play on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday we played against two tough teams, the New York Grizzlies and the Garden City Mets. Both games were hard fought and went down to the last innings, but we were able to come out on top thanks to outstanding complete game pitching by Frank Buongervino and George Carroll. Tom McKiernan powered our offense by going 7 for 12 during the three-game weekend. Craig Smith made several tough plays at third in both games and, against the Mets, Frank Buongervino doubled up the potential tying run on second in the ninth with no outs with a diving catch in center field.
On Sunday we came up short against the North Shore Spartans despite Jim Gross going 2 for 3. In all, we played three games in slightly less than 24 hours, starting on Saturday at 1:30 pm and finishing on Sunday at 12:45pm. Ice bags, aspirins, a few adult beverages and the fresh mountain air kept us going. Weekends like this remind us why we love the game so much!
We must add that most of the team stayed at the Bryn Brooke Manor in Cooperstown, a wonderful bed and breakfast full of baseball history. Our host Brenda Berstler, told us many interesting baseball stories and baked fresh muffins and scones each morning to send us on our way. She was the best!