A group of young baseball players are offering residents a fun night out this month to help them achieve their dreams. FishHawk Youth Baseball’s (FYB) 2020 Cooperstown team is hosting a Dueling Piano event on Friday, January 24 at the Palmetto Club in FishHawk Ranch to raise money to fund their trip to New York this summer to play in the Cooperstown Dreams Park tournament.
Playing in the Cooperstown tournament, located at the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is a goal of many young baseball players.
According to the team’s manager, Rich Woytowich, the tournament was founded in 1999 to promote a high caliber of play for those 12 and under and to allow them to experience the purity of baseball as it was meant to be played.
“I have had the honor of coaching most of these young men since the age of 7 in one form or the other,” said Woytowich, whose son is also a member of the team. “The park runs tournaments for 11 weeks each summer with over 108 teams from the United States and Canada competing each week.”
In addition to the tournament, there is a skill competition and opening and closing ceremonies where each player and coach competing gets inducted into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame.
“It is truly a once in a lifetime experience,” said Woytowich.
Players are chosen to participate in the team by the FYB Cooperstown committee after a tryout in the fall the year before they attend. The 13 FishHawk players will attend the tournament from Saturday to Friday, July 4-10.
In order to attend the tournament, the team needs to raise $30,000.
“This number is based on the number of players and coaches on the team, as they stay in barrack style dorms, which also include food, lodging, uniforms for the tournament and game expenses,” said Woytowich.
The team has also organized three music bingo nights to raise money, but the Dueling Piano event will be the signature fundraising event.
Two levels of tickets are available at different price points for the piano night. The standard ticket includes one free drink and light food items while the VIP level has three drinks and preferred seating in addition to the food. There will also be silent auctions, 50/50 contests and a cash bar.
The team is currently sponsored by Flatwoods Consulting and Leaven Brewery, but sponsorship opportunities are still available. Tickets to the event can be purchased at https://fyb-cooperstown2020.ticketleap.com/.
FYB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, 100 percent volunteer run organization. To learn more, visit www.fishhawkyouthbaseball.org.