A Charlotte teen baseball team is stepping up to the plate, taking a big swing and rounding the bases all the way to Cooperstown.
Queen City Burn is a collection of ballplayers 12 and under who have been playing together for years. Baseball, they say, runs through their blood.
“We are basically a family,” Madden Grumbach, one of the athletes.
Later this month, the team will head for a tournament like none they’ve ever played before.
Queen City Burn, along with dozens of teams from all over the world, will descend on Cooperstown, New York, home of the baseball hall of fame. The boys will live on the campus and play ball every day.
“It’s going to be fun, maybe chaos at some times,” said team member JC Talbot.
“It’s going to be awesome,” added Griffin O’Connell.
Head coach Erik Winkler said the team raised more than $32,000 to fund the trip. Their parents helped by participating in market research surveys. The kids raked leaves.
“Usually I don’t like to rake leaves,” Grumbach said. “I don’t like to do chores, but to know it is for a great cause, and something we get to have fun doing, it felt better than just doing it.”
In addition to raising the money for the trip, each team must bring an umpire with them. Tagging along with Queen City Burn is Channel 9 reporter Joe Bruno.
“That’s part of this fun story,” Winkler said. Bruno and the coach are both Philadelphia Phillies fans and have gotten to know each other on the baseball diamond.
The team is excited for the baseball ahead, but even more, they’re looking forward to the lifelong memories they hope to make on the trip.
“I remember talking to someone who is playing high level college baseball right now and I was able to ask him what his best memory in his baseball career (was), and without question, his answer was ‘my trip to Cooperstown when I was 12.’”
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