CHESTER, Vt. – One evening this winter, after a basketball game at Green Mountain’s Nason Gym, I stayed around and chatted with a number of people, as I often do after games. I noticed there were two young men, really intensely going at each other in some type of basketball competition between the two of them.
By the time I left Nason Gym, I learned the court competitors were the McCarthy brothers and remembered I had something about one of them in my “I hope I can find the time and space to write about this some time folder” back home. Upon checking, Green Mountain baseball coach Matt McCarthy had sent me something about his son, Dylan, competing in a Cooperstown Baseball Tournament the end of last summer.
I checked it out, and Dylan McCarthy competed in a Cooperstown Field of Dreams Tourney and his regional team – the Green Mountain Lightning – did well, breaking about even. They beat a good team from Orlando, Fla. along the way. There were a whopping 104 teams in the tournament.
McCarthy played pitcher, catcher, and shortstop on the Lightning team. Teams have to apply to participate in the event, and the structure of the event has 104 teams accepted each week for one of these tourneys. For anyone who has visited Cooperstown, N.Y., you have possibly seen the large number of fields a few miles out of town that can be seen from the road. What a complex!
I found out by placing a call to their father Matt McCarthy, that both McCarthy brothers – Dylan in 8th grade and Kaiden in 3rd grade – play plenty of extra baseball, in addition to competing on their teams in Chester. Trips to play in the Albany, N.Y. area have become a staple over the years to participate in the Empire State Baseball League. Dylan will be headed back to Cooperstown again in 2018 to take part in a Wooden Bat Tournament. He will be competing on the Green Mountain Varsity baseball team this spring as an eighth grader, which is allowed in Division III. Both brothers play soccer and basketball as well.
When I spoke to Green Mountain basketball coach Brian Rapanotti about watching the fierce competition between the two brothers I witnessed on the court that night and how competitive it was, despite the two boys age difference, Rapanotti said, “That doesn’t surprise me one bit. Kaiden will die trying to keep up with his brother.”
Matt and Dylan McCarthy wanted to extend gratitude to several entities that made donations, which made it possible for Dylan to have his Cooperstown experience. Big thanks go out to the Springfield Elks, BPOE #1560, Mike McCarthy’s Painting, Stone Hearth Inn and Tavern, BWM Painting, Brad Pearson, and Terry Emerson.