Tag Archives: little league

Cooperstown All-Star Village: A Cautionary Tale

15 Jul

Miss me?

I’ve been out and about in the world!  Well, the Catskills.

If you’ve been stalking me on Twitter, which I recommend doing because I have the most amazing things to say (@MichelleSFTS), you know that I was out of town last week.  We ventured to Oneonta/Cooperstown, NY for a little league tournament.  It was not quite relaxing, but not quite stressful either.  It was the ideal mix of feeling like we were away for some R&R and anxiety attacks from sports-fueled tension.

We left for what I thought was Cooperstown, NY in the early afternoon on July 5th.  It was a scenic, but long (close to 7.5 hour) drive through central PA and up into NY state.  We arrived in Oneonta, about an hour away from Cooperstown proper, early enough to settle in and explore the rental house we were staying in for the week.  Talk about scenic.  The town is nestled among the Catskills, where you can see vast forests off into the horizon speckled with little farms.

On Saturday, brother CJ had to check-in with the rest of his team at Cooperstown All-Star Village, a prestigious and expensive baseball resort where he would spend the week playing in a tournament against nationally ranked little league teams.

CASV

We spent a lot of time on these 8 fields (there are 2 hidden fields in the back right corner) – and I have a lot of feedback for anyone reading this as a potential visitor to the resort.  Most of it isn’t good.

As a player, CJ’s team (along with many, many others) stayed in these barracks:

CASV.Bunks

The boys played from Sunday-Monday to determine how they would be seeded for the actual All-Star tournament, which lasted from Tuesday to Thursday.  We played well off and on, but were knocked out in the second round of the final tournament.

I just want to share some honest thoughts on Cooperstown All-Star Village…

1. It is waaaaaay over-priced.  One of the other families rented a room on the grounds and was very disappointed.  She spent twice as much money as families staying a hotel off-site, but had smaller amenities and a poorly kept room.

2.  The coaches stayed with the players in the bunks and were privy to somepretty intense conditions.  I’m not sure how the sanitation department hasn’t come in and shut this place down or at least fined them.  The boys all shared toilets/showers in a big building.  By the first day, the toilets had backed up and feces was floating around in the showers with the boys.  No one ever came to clean it up (or the bunks for that matter) and the coaches had to band together to scavenge for cleaning supplies and do it themselves.

3.  Near the restaurant, there is an outdoor bathroom near a ledge that overlooks 3 of the fields.  As we sat in this section through much of our trip (aka the over-priced and poorly stocked bar), we noticed that by the first day this bathroom was also completely immersed in raw sewage.  Instead of blocking it off or calling in someone to fix it, the bathroom sat like that all week (in 80-90 degree heat, mind you) with the door propped open.  It was absolutely disgusting.  The boys at the dugouts were provided with water fountains where BROWNISH ORANGE water came out of.  Are you friggin’ kidding me?  Our team’s parents took pictures, I’m not making this stuff up.

4.  The food was not good at either the restaurant on site or where the kids ate.  Frankly, I was more than a little concerned about the fact that the AC was out in the restaurant and cooked food was sitting around in banquet trays in the hot heat.  It was wayyyyyyy overpriced.  Think $9 for about 15 nacho chips and shredded pork on top.  No cheese.  No veggies.  No sour cream.  I was not happy.

5.  For the hefty price tag, you would think that families and spectators would be provided even a small portion of shade to watch the games.  Each field had high fencing so that you couldn’t really watch from outside the small set of bleachers located INSIDE the fence.  There was absolutely no shelter on those bleachers.  The first day we went ran to the hardware store to buy tarps and bungees because we didn’t pack umbrellas for the trip.  It was horrible.

6.  The resort is marketed as a family-friendly facility, and yet there wasn’t one single thing for the younger kids to play on.  Not a playground.  Not a jungle gym.  Nothing.  By the end of the week, I can’t even imagine how bored younger sibs were from watching endless games with such short attention spans.  As far as the boys go, if it started to sprinkle, the lifeguard on duty was dismissed immediately.  The boys only got pool time one day during the week we stayed there, despite there only being rain 2 days.

7.  We learned that the owner of the park, Marty, has earned himself quite a notorious reputation.  Aside from being drunkenly rude to one of team parents, we heard stories from everyone we spoke with.  For example, we heard from an employee that his hand-picked team was losing to a really great team from out of state, who had dominated throughout their entire stay at the resort.  Marty, determined not to lose, flew a top notch player in from California to beat the competition.  Not the epitome of good sportsmanship.  I can’t say that the stories are 100% true because obviously I’m hearing them second hand, but I know how we were treated and I know how the facility was kept.  That’s enough for me.

These are not just angry rantings of a disgruntled guest. I started a list in my head mid-week of things that were bothering me about the place.  I hoped that things would improve, but they didn’t.  Then, I sat on things for a few days (we returned Friday) to make sure that I wasn’t overreacting.  I spoke with team members’ parents who were equally disgusted and upset about the resort.  I felt obligated to send this out into the universe with the hopes that someone looking for reviews of the facility heeds my warnings.

The only truly positive thing about the resort was watching the boys play and the time we spent away from the resort.  To be honest, most of the things I listed above didn’t affect the kids.  They were too busy being pre-teen boys and experiencing “camp” and playing on amazingly kept baseball fields that are the closest thing to major league quality as little league can get. I’m thankful for that.

That having been said, I urge parents to be weary about wasting their money on the camp.  I urge families who have stayed to write reviews online so that perhaps the owner will be forced to fix what’s very, very wrong.  And mostly, I urge someone to call the DPH and report his ass.  Oh, that’s right…I all ready did that.  For the first time in my life, I felt so disgusted by an establishment and the unsanitary conditions provided for children to live and play in – I reported them to the Department of Public Health.

Be weary of the place, folks.  That’s all I can say.

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Busybodies ♥

19 May

Not much to report here, folks!  We have been at little league games for the past two days AND we have one more game tonight.  Practice makes perfect, I guess, and the BNBs need a lot of it!

We have been so busy in fact, that we were so busy we had to order PF Chang’s the other night for “lunch/dinner.”

So good, as always!

We split an order of chicken lettuce wraps, flaming red wontons (with pork and spicy garlic), and each got an egg roll.  It was….ehhhh.  PF Chang’s has never really impressed me.  I’ve actually started to prefer my version of the chicken lettuce wraps since I’ve started eating less processed food.

Let me just say this:  If we hadn’t been given a gift card (which we are incredibly grateful for), we probably wouldn’t have ordered there and won’t again.  B-

1-Tini-Weenie

28 Apr

Well, Changin’ Time is one step closer to expansion, pending some serious financial decisions to be made this week (and not by us).  So last night, feeling pretty confident in what we have accomplished so far, she♥ and I went out to celebrate a little bit.

Like an good lesbians, we went to Shadyside, thinking we would do a mini-bar crawl (like 3 bars).  We started at 5801 because, hello.  Its gay and classy and has a patio (not that it was warm enough to take advantage of it).

I am pretty sure this is her♥ initiation into Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week

Mine was the other day, if you remember correctly.  She hated this one, but ended up finding one she did like.

I had a pomegranate martini.

Now, I am by no means a drinker at this point in my life.  Beer has made me fat.  Wine is fine.  But liquor – whew! – things can get a little messy.

So in order for me to maintain my dignity (and don’t worry, I spilled some of my drink after 3 SIPS!), we ordered one of the healthier looking bar munchies, roasted red pepper hummus with flatbread:

So good!  The flatbread seemed like it had been fried though, which of course takes the health level down, but we didn’t even finish the small portion that we shared.  Guilt-free celebration, especially since I turned out to be a one-tini-weenie.

We called it a night by 9:30 and crawled into bed…had to get up early to support some of our boys at their track meet this morning!

Of course Shadyside is known for its nightlife, but I do like to people watch and check out scenery so our trips to Shadyside are like a triple threat!

This was the gallery we parked next to, so I thought I’d take a few shots to share:

It was a great night!  Just long enough for a little celebration and then a lot of sleep so we can get a TON done this weekend!

The kids did amazing at the track meet today, and hopefully the little league game that she♥ has this afternoon will go the same.  Go Bluejays!!

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