NewsLocal NewsCoronavirus


Cooperstown baseball tournament requiring immunization

New requirement poses challenge to area youth league
Posted at 10:11 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-12 23:35:55-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Mandy Applebaum loves to watch her son Preston play baseball.

"He started at age 3 and he's been playing ever since, and he plays travel and rec," she said.

Applebaum said the ultimate dream for Preston and his teammates is to play in Cooperstown on their travel team -- the Palm Beach Legends -- in New York.

But a couple of days ago, she said a new requirement from Cooperstown Dream Parks has changed their minds.

"It said that your child had to be vaccinated to be able to go to Cooperstown," she said.

A notice was sent out by the organization on April 8.

"All participants, coaches and campers 12 years and older must be immunized," it stated.

It went on to say that "campers under 12 years of age are exempt but must provide a negative test upon arrival."

WPTV contacted the organization but got no response.

Steve Saccone is Preston's coach. He also has a son that plays ball.

"At this point, first of all, the 12-year-old boys can't get the vaccination," he said. "If they do require it for our team, we have to decide how many kids can go and are willing to get the vaccine and how many are not willing to get it and therefore can't go."

At the moment, all Florida residents 18 years of age and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for anyone ages 16 and up.

Applebaum said knowing this, many parents are deciding to attend a different tournament in Cooperstown that doesn't require immunization.

"There's two Cooperstown -- one Cooperstown is a mandatory vaccine and we're going to the All-Star Village, which is not requiring it at this time, so we're going to pray they do not," she said.

She said if both tournaments require vaccination, they'll end up staying home.