Baseball is the greatest American sport and Cooperstown, NY is where the sport comes to life. Not only is it the home to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, it is also home to Cooperstown Dreams Park. This baseball facility hosts weekly tournaments, from June to August, for 12-and-under teams from around the country. Each week, 104 teams come together for an experience of a lifetime. They practice, learn and play baseball with and against the other teams in the town know as baseball’s birthplace. This is a huge honor and a must-do for any kid who loves baseball. This year, the Grit Performance 12U travel baseball team is going to Cooperstown.
GRIT Performance (“Game Ready Intense Training”) is a travel baseball organization that hosts travel teams, a cross-training facility and after-school programs that focus on mental and physical development of the player. Unlike many other travel teams, their players come from Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Wilkesboro, Eden, Charlotte, and Raleigh. Players come from all around in order to try out to be a part of this organization, and that says something about who they are. The staff at GRIT comes to the table with years of experience. The coaches for the 12U team include lead trainer Gavin Culler, who played Division One baseball at Winston-Salem State and Taylor Idol, who served in the United States Marine Corps after playing two years at Winston-Salem State.
GRIT is extremely excited to be taking the 12U team to Cooperstown this summer. Director of Player Development, Jason Culler, said, “This is a trip of a lifetime for these players. They don’t just get to play baseball in this historic place; it’s an opportunity to meet players and connect with teams from all over the country. This is a week they will never, ever, forget.” Players stay in Creams Park along with all the other teams. Each team has a trading pin made that players can trade and collect as souvenirs. Culler went on to say, “The pins are a big deal. The second they arrive at the village, they are off looking for players to trade pins with. It is a lot of fun. The goal is to get one from every team and when they get home, we embroider a towel for them, place all the pins on it and have it framed. It’s a great keepsake.” This will be the second time a team from GRIT is going to Cooperstown; they also went in 2018. They are hoping to make it an annual trip for the 12U team from here out.
Along with this amazing opportunity comes a big expense. It will cost the team around $1,000 for each player and coach. “The $1,000 per player and coach is just the cost to participate and doesn’t include travel expenses, so we are currently looking for donations, sponsors and hosting a fundraiser to help offset the costs for the players. We are looking at a minimum of $15,000 for the team just to play,” said Culler. Raising funds for this team is really important. In addition to asking for donations and sponsorships, this year GRIT is having a raffle and fundraising event to help reduce the cost of this trip for the players. Tickets are on sale now for the raffle, with prizes that include a Benelli Shotgun and gift cards to Providence Restaurant and Mac and Nelli’s.
GRIT Performance is located at 162 Hillsdale West, Advance, NC 27006. If you would like more information about GRIT performance or would like to help them by sponsoring the 12U team or making a donation to the team, Contact Jason Culler at 336-407-0983 for more details. Follow them on Facebook at GRIT Performance for more information about how to get raffle tickets and updates on the fundraising event. Sponsorships and Donations to the GRIT 12U team are tax deductible.