LAFA 12-U Squad Makes Memories and Wins Some in Cooperstown

There are a great many reasons for baseball fans – young and old and even in-between – to be excited about making the trip to that sport’s beloved and historic cradle in Cooperstown, N.Y.  And the Londonderry Athletic Field Association (LAFA) 12-U All-Star baseball squad gets the opportunity to be reminded of that each summer.

Head coach Tim Dodge, his assistants, their players, and members of their families savored their annual trip to Central New York State recently in the wake of their huge, trophy-hoisting success at the Tyngsboro, Mass. tournament. Testing their mettle against teams from across the nation in one of The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s weekly summer tournaments, the locals acquitted themselves quite well and made memories which will no doubt last a lifetime.

“This week has been great, right from the opening ceremonies walking into Little Majors’ Stadium and hearing and seeing all the parents cheering on all kids as they participated in the team parade,” said Dodge. “The games were great, the team played great, and the games were highlighted by a come-from-behind, walk-off win against the Muskego Warriors from Wisconsin and a 7-2 win over Dover, Mass in the playoffs. Every kid had a moment that they will remember forever. Overall we could not be more proud of the kids and the effort they gave this week.”

The local stars played in a huge international tourney in Cooperstown which ran from Saturday, July 20, through last Friday the 27th.

And that span led into Cooperstown’s most exciting weekend of the year, with a group of great former major leaguers being inducted into the Hall of Fame. That crew included Detroit Tigers’ legends Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, ex-California Angels’ superstar Vlad Guerrero, Atlanta Braves’ longtime stalwart Chipper Jones, former Cleveland Indians’ slugger Jim Thome, and ex-San Diego Padres relief ace Trevor Hoffman.

The LAFA all-star squad’s roster included Taylor Dodge, Joey Cafaro, Michael Thistle, Michael Maloney, Colin Parent, Matthew Traynham, Sammy Bernardini, Liam Stott, Drew Heenan, Spencer Nelson, Mary Croteau, and Drew Fuller. The assistants to head coach Dodge were Greg Thistle, Chuck Fuller, Ray Croteau, and Pete Cafaro.

The locals could not have headed off on their exciting and much-anticipated trip to Cooperstown in a better state of mind than they did after winning the championship at the aforementioned Tyngsboro tournament.

On Thursday night, July 19, the local hardball squad capped off an undefeated run at the Bay State tourney by narrowly besting a strong Lowell Highlands’ team in the title game. The next day they were on the road with every reason to feel nothing less than great about themselves.

“The team went 6-0 in the tournament and played great in every game,” said Dodge. “We won the finals 2-1 over a very good Lowell Highlands team. I’m very proud and happy for this group of kids. Every one of them contributed during the tournament, and they ended their local all-star season on such a high note. They have been through a lot this year, and this was an outstanding finish.”

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