Cooperstown-bound Wilshire Warriors need our support

| June 2, 2022 | 0 Comments

THE TEAM. Back row, (left to right), Coaches Stephen Sykes, Steve Matloff, Fred Ragsdale, Rick Luna and Steven Shin. Middle row (l to r): Coltrane Ragsdale, Gabriel Hart, Raphael Gray, Reece Luna, Dillanger Sanchez-Sykes and Aaron Shin. Front row (l to r): Nathaniel Palmer, Ryan Seeley, Daniel Matloff, Keiran Andersen, Nate Schechter, Brandon Phan and Teddy Barringer.

Wilshire Warrior baseball General Manager Stephen Matloff and Head Coach Fred Ragsdale expect their travel team to play 11 games in Cooperstown, New York, this summer.

“If we make it to the championship game, we already will have played 10 games,” said Ragsdale.

That doesn’t include the pick-up games, sometimes two or three in a day, that the team will play that week leading up to the trip’s culmination, an event that Dreams Park Cooperstown calls The Greatest Tournament in America. 

Li’l League Abner

Baseball’s origins are speculative. The most popular myth is that Abner Doubleday invented the game in Coopers-town in 1839, but there’s much debate and doubt surrounding that version. What isn’t debatable is that Cooperstown has become youth baseball’s mecca, and how could it not be? That’s where the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is located.

The best of our local 12-year-old Wilshire Warriors are headed to Dreams Park Cooperstown to participate in a baseball summer camp where 64-100 teams attend per week. 

The players and coaches room in barracks, and during the day when they’re not at clinics or competing, they roam the grounds, watching other teams play and meeting boys from all over the country.  

Dreams Park was founded and constructed in 1996. There are 22 grass playing fields and 104 barracks in the 165-acre Baseball Village. The fields have lights, so the boys play night games, too. And there are plenty of spectators. Cooperstown is a family destination, with parents and siblings encouraged to attend games when not on Otsego Lake or touring the Baseball Hall of Fame; there are plenty of hotels and Airbnbs to accommodate families. The experience for the players mirrors big league ball as much as possible. The infields are groomed, and the fields have short porches, meaning the fences are not that far back.

“We’re expecting a lot of home runs,” said Ragsdale.

Interesting comment, especially when Ragsdale’s son Coltrane leads the team in home runs this season with seven.

The lineup

In the tournament, each team is guaranteed seven games (weather permitting – after all, this is baseball, where rain is often the 10th man) through round-robin pool play, then a double-elimination bracket. This is where the 10 games Ragsdale referred to come into play. 

All players must be 12 or under to participate. The birthday cutoff date is May 1 the year of attendance in Cooperstown.  

So, how do the Warriors stack up? Their ace pitcher, Aaron Shin, has a stingy 1.50 ERA (earned run average). Going the opposite direction, slugger Dillanger Sanchez-Sykes wields a spanking .412 batting average. Impressive,  considering that’s against other programs’ all-star pitchers. Gabriel Hart leads the team in RBIs (runs batted in) with 32, and the player who has benefitted most from that is Teddy Barringer. He’s scored 24 times this season. The team captains are Daniel Matloff and Reece Luna. This is a well-rounded squad that expects to go deep in the tournament.


The approximate cost per player is about $3,000, which includes travel, lodging, meals, uniforms and that seven-game guarantee, as well as incidentals like laundry, snacks and team pins, which the boys trade with other players throughout the week. Because of COVID-19, this will be the first Wilshire Warrior squad to visit Cooperstown since before the start of the pandemic. It’s been too long. 

There will be a Carnival for Cooperstown fundraiser at Pan Pacific Park in June with food, games and a home run derby.

If you’d like to help with donations, or if you have more questions, reach out by email to the team manager and co-coach Stephen Matloff at You may donate via Venmo to the account dedicated to the Cooperstown 12U team (@Stephen-Matloff – last 4 of mobile # = 9940) using this link: Finally, donations may be made by check payable to “Wilshire Warriors” and mailed to Stephen Matloff, 511 S. Lucerne Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90020.

By Jim Kalin

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Category: News

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