Wilshire Warriors bound for Cooperstown need our support: Larchmont Chronicle

THE TEAM. Back row, (left to right), coaches Stephen Sykes, Steve Matloff, Fred Ragsdale, Rick Luna and Steven Shin. Middle row (left to right): Coltrane Ragsdale, Gabriel Hart, Raphael Gray, Reece Luna, Dillanger Sanchez-Sykes and Aaron Shin. Front row (left to right): Nathaniel Palmer, Ryan Seeley, Daniel Matloff, Keiran Andersen, Nate Schechter, Brandon Phan and Teddy Barringer.

Wilshire Warrior baseball general manager Stephen Matloff and head coach Fred Ragsdale expect their travel team to play 11 games in Cooperstown, New York, this summer.

“If we get to the league game, we’ll have played 10 games already,” Ragsdale said.

That doesn’t include the pick-up games, sometimes two or three a day, the team will play this week before the culmination of the trip, an event Dreams Park Cooperstown calls America’s Greatest Tournament.

Abner Little League

The origins of baseball are speculative. The most popular myth is that Abner Doubleday invented the game in Coopers-town in 1839, but there is much debate and doubt surrounding this version. What is not debatable is that Cooperstown has become the mecca of youth baseball, and how could it be otherwise? This is where the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is located.

The best of our local 12-year-old Wilshire Warriors are heading to Cooperstown Dream Park to participate in a summer baseball camp attended by 64 to 100 teams per week.

Players and coaches stay in the barracks, and during the day, when they’re not at clinics or competing, they roam the pitches, watch other teams play, and meet boys from all over the country.

Dreams Park was founded and built in 1996. There are 22 grass playing fields and 104 barracks in the 165-acre baseball village. The fields have lights, so the boys also play night games. And the spectators are numerous. Cooperstown is a family-friendly destination, with parents and siblings encouraged to catch games when not on Lake Otsego or visit the Baseball Hall of Fame; there are plenty of hotels and Airbnbs to accommodate families. The experience for players mirrors the major league ball as much as possible. The inland fields are manicured and the fields have short porches which means the fences aren’t that far back.

“We’re expecting a lot of home runs,” Ragsdale said.

Interesting commentary, especially when Ragsdale’s son Coltrane leads the team in home runs this season with seven.


In the tournament, each team is guaranteed seven games (weather permitting – after all, this is baseball, where rain is often the 10th man) through a round robin, then a double elimination table. This is where the 10 games that Ragsdale refers to come into play.

All players must be 12 or younger to participate. The anniversary deadline is May 1 of the year of attendance at Cooperstown.

So how do the Warriors compare? Their ace thrower, Aaron Shin, has a miserly 1.50 ERA (runs earned average). In the opposite direction, slugger Dillanger Sanchez-Sykes has a .412 batting average. Impressive, given that it is against star pitchers from other programs. Gabriel Hart leads the team in RBIs (RBIs) with 32, and the player who has benefited the most is Teddy Barringer. He has scored 24 times this season. The team captains are Daniel Matloff and Reece Luna. It’s a well-rounded team that expects to go far in the tournament.

Fund raising

The approximate cost per player is around $3,000, which includes travel, accommodations, meals, uniforms and that seven-game guarantee, plus incidentals like laundry, snacks and game pins. team, which the boys trade with other players throughout the week. Due to COVID-19, this will be the first Wilshire Warrior team to visit Cooperstown since before the pandemic began. It’s been too long.

There will be a Carnival for Cooperstown fundraiser at Pan Pacific Park in June with food, games and a circuit derby.

If you would like to help with donations or have other questions, email team manager and co-coach Stephen Matloff at [email protected]. You can donate via Venmo to the dedicated Cooperstown 12U team account (@Stephen-Matloff – last 4 from mobile #=9940) using this link: https://bit.ly/Warriors12U. Finally, donations can be made by check payable to “Wilshire Warriors” and mailed to Stephen Matloff, 511 S. Lucerne Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90020.

By Jim Kalin

Key words: baseball summer camp, Carnival for Cooperstown fundraiser, Dreams Park Cooperstown, Pan Pacific Park, Wilshire Warriors

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