NH Youth Baseball Team Forced To Cancel Trip To Cooperstown Over COVID Vaccine Requirement

Cooperstown Dreams Park is requiring everyone over the age of 12 to be vaccinated. WBZ-TV's Mike LaCrosse reports.

Video Transcript

- Right now, COVID-19 vaccines aren't approved for anyone younger than 16, but the Cooperstown Dreams Park, which hosts youth baseball teams from across the country, is requiring any player 12 or older to be vaccinated before coming. As WBC's Michael Cross tells us, teams that were planning to go there are angry.

MIKE LACROSSE: 12-year-old Levi Locke is focused on perfecting his pitching skills for this summer season.

LEVI LOCKE: I just want to get out there and play. I didn't really care about the vaccine.

MIKE LACROSSE: Levi, like all his teammates on the New Hampshire Bobcats, are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. And it's still unclear when kids under 16 will be. Because Levi and his friends won't be vaccinated by August, they're not allowed to play at the Cooperstown Dreams Park in New York.

LEVI LOCKE: I'm bummed. I mean, I was looking forward to the experience this year.

MIKE LACROSSE: The Cooperstown Dreams Park is requiring everybody over the age of 12 to be vaccinated. And to get inside, you have to prove it. The organization says, "Our plan is the only responsible course of action at this time to prevent the possibility of a camp shutdown and displacement of families due to COVID-19. This will ensure the necessary key elements of family participation, camper interaction, and safe visits to the Cooperstown area."

JESSICA LOCKE: We were pretty disappointed. We didn't understand it.

MIKE LACROSSE: The policy has Levi's mom, Jessica, scratching her head.

JESSICA LOCKE: It's very difficult to explain to your kid that you can't go do this thing you've been dreaming of because of a rule they want you to keep that actually we couldn't do even if we wanted to for you.

MIKE LACROSSE: The Bobcats are pulling out of this summer's event and will be eventually getting their money back, but parents are still on the hook for hotel costs.

KEVIN GRAY: Some are getting 90% of their money back. Some of them aren't getting the deposit back.

- That's gone.

MIKE LACROSSE: The team is planning a trip somewhere else, but it just won't be the same for Levi.

LEVI LOCKE: I've been dreaming of Cooperstown, really.

MIKE LACROSSE: In Manchester, New Hampshire. I'm Mike LaCrosse, WBC News.