Local baseball athlete plays at Cooperstown
A local Central Oregon baseball player, Hayden Forman, was able to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cooperstown, a village in Otsego County, New York.
Hayden, the son of Sandy and Steve Forman, flew out with an elite 12-and-under baseball team from Oregon and Washington. Hayden was the only player selected from Central Oregon to play on the Northwest Nationals baseball team. The Forman family were longtime Madras residents but recently moved to Powell Butte, in Crook County.
The Northwest Nationals baseball team played in the tournament Aug. 3-9, playing in two games every day. Teams played in the Cooperstown Dream Park, which has 22 baseball fields.
The villagers of Cooperstown believe that Abner Doubleday, a United States Army officer as well as a Union major general in the Civil War, invented baseball in a cow pasture within the village in 1839. Every year from 1940 to 2008, Doubleday Field, a main field in Cooperstown, hosted the Hall of Fame Game.
The Northwest Nationals team had to raise $25,000 to play in the tournament, which did not include airfare and lodging. Players and families had multiple fundraisers to help pay for the trip. This was Hayden's first time playing for the elite baseball team. He also plays football and basketball, but focuses on baseball.
At the tournament, which was an invitation-only tournament, there were 104 teams from all over the United States and Canada. Hayden and the Northwest Nationals won eight out of nine games, finishing in fifth place.
Cooperstown is known as a place for baseball, having the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum there. Players and families were able to visit the town and all its attractions between games.
This wasn't the only the only big baseball tournament Hayden and the Northwest Nationals have played in. The team, this year, already played in tournaments in Louisiana and Los Angeles.
"This was a lifetime memory," said Sandy Forman, mother of Hayden. "This was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was simply amazing."
Hayden and the Northwest Nationals didn't just represent Oregon and Washington by winning eight out of nine games and placing fifth, but also setting Cooperstown records in the process.
The Northwest Nationals are in the Youth Hall of Fame now for an incredible accomplishment. Every player on the Northwest Nationals roster hit an over-the-fence home run at the tournament. No other team has ever done that. The Northwest Nationals had a total of 68 home runs during the nine-game span.
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