triple crown baseball cooperstown
The 12U Triple Crown Baseball team, representing Gilroy, played in Cooperstown, New York, on July 9-15. Pictured, back row from left: David Rodriguez, Ben Rodriguez, Joseph Valentine, Caden Gosnell, Alex Vankerkwyk. Middle row: Jacob Carreiro, Justin Stramel, Lorenzo Alvarez, Malachi Lira, Blake Holler. Front row: Jaxton Snakenburg. Contributed photo
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What happens when 11 Gilroy boys go to Cooperstown, New York, for a week-long baseball tournament? 

A lifetime of memories. 

The 12U Triple Crown Baseball team played in Cooperstown, New York, on July 9-15 representing Gilroy. All these players proudly came through the Gilroy Little League system, having played together since they were in T-ball. Experiencing Cooperstown together is what player David Rodriguez recalls as, “The best time of my life.” 

Cooperstown is unique because of its rich baseball history. Cooperstown is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Cooperstown Dreams Baseball Tournament. The tournament is a young ball player’s dream; baseball games on immaculate fields surrounded by the Catskill and Adirondack mountains, with dorm style housing where players can bunk up with teammates and meet others from across the country. So, when the Triple Crown baseball team arrived at the Cooperstown Dreams Tournament, they were overflowing with excitement. 

Assistant Coach David Lira captured their excitement and ambition with an introduction video he made the first day. Lira asked each player to share what they were looking forward to in the upcoming tournament. 

Lorenzo Alvarez said he was looking forward to “Playing with kids from all over.” Player Alex Vankerkwyk, knowing the Cooperstown tradition of pin trading, said he was looking forward to “Getting everyone else’s pins.” 

Many of the players’ goals were to hit a home run. Triple Crown did not disappoint. 

They had eight home runs between four boys; Jacob Carreiro hit three, Justin Stramel hit two, Lorenzo Alvarez hit two, and Blake Holler hit one. Ten out of the 11 players had the opportunity to pitch during the tournament as well. Additionally, Triple Crown took second place in the Around the Horn competition out of 94 teams. Their overall record for the week was 2-5. 

One of their most unforgettable moments was an impromptu wiffle ball game at the Fly Creek Cider Mill amidst a sudden summer downpour. 

Manager Jordan Holler also played in the Cooperstown Dreams Tournament when he was 12 years old. When asked what he loved most about coaching in Cooperstown, he said, “Watching the boys meet other teams from around the country, that all love baseball, is pretty cool. The talent level for some of these boys is extremely impressive. It was an amazing experience and we will be back next year.” 

Player Jacob Carreiro enjoyed the experience of meeting players from other states, but what he loved best was “Hitting home runs and getting to know my team better.” 

Coaches and players agree that it was an unforgettable opportunity with memories that will last a lifetime. 

Triple Crown Baseball recorded their Cooperstown adventures on their Instagram account @triple_crown_travelball. To know more, take a look at their page and watch the full introduction video, the team playing wiffle ball in the rain, videos of their home runs, photos, and team antics.

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