An American Treasure, “Coach” Lou Presutti Made Dreams Come True
One year later, July 6, 2017 — Today has been one full year since Coach passed away. It has been a very hard year for many that were so close to this special person. Not a day goes by where I don’t wish my phone would ring and he would be on the line for one of our near daily conversations. With each moment, I realize exactly how important he was in the lives of my son, wife and I. I am eternally grateful for every moment we spent with Coach and for the once in a lifetime experience he provided for my son Tyler to experience Cooperstown Dreams Park as many weeks as he did. He taught Tyler so many lessons about life, that I know will stick with him forever.
I can’t tell you how many times alumni of Cooperstown Dreams Park and their families have approached me to share their experiences with Coach and the Park. It has been good therapy to listen to their stories and to share some of mine.
Life goes forward and I continue to do my best to keep his memory alive and to promote Cooperstown Dreams Park and all the things Coach taught me. May God continue to watch over Coach’s family and all the families that travel to Cooperstown Dreams Park.
I love you and miss you my friend.
“BE YOUR OWN HERO”
“Be Your Own Hero.” A phrase delivered to hundreds of thousands of youth baseball players
and their families over the last 21 years by “Coach” Lou Presutti at Cooperstown Dreams Park.
It is with great sadness to write these next few words – “Coach” passed away at the age of 75 on
July 6th. Coach Lou Presutti was one of the best friends I have ever had and more importantly he
was an American Treasure for youth baseball across America. I want to share with everyone what made
this man so special to all youth baseball players and families.
Coach founded the family owned Cooperstown Dreams Park located in Cooperstown, NY, and home
of the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame. Cooperstown Dreams Park is the crown jewel of baseball
tournaments for 12 year old players. Every week for 13 consecutive weeks over the past 21 years, 104
teams have competed from all over the country at Cooperstown Dreams Park. The week of play in
Cooperstown kicks off with an inspirational Opening Ceremonies which include a history of the park,
a tribute to our soldiers and highlighting those who have played, and an honoring of the American flag.
Each player and coach is inducted into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame and presented with a
ring at the conclusion of the week.
Coach was a true hero to so many people. He made DREAMS come true for baseball players and
their extended families – it is always an emotional experience for everyone. When baseball players
leave Dreams Park, parents, grandparents, and players say that it was the best experience of their
I was fortunate enough to meet Coach eight years ago. We developed an amazing friendship
built on trust, love of the game of baseball and a mutual desire to see kids make their dreams come true.
Over the last few years, our friendship had grown by leaps and bounds, we trusted one another and
we cared for each other. He became such a central figure in the life of my son.
Tyler and I first visited Cooperstown Dreams Park four years ago and were blown away by this
amazing facility and all that it provided for baseball players. The next year we returned at Coach’s direction
and Tyler got to play two weeks with teams from Illinois and New York. I will never forget the
look on my son’s face when he walked onto the field in his uniform from Cooperstown Dreams Park. We
returned the next year where Tyler had the opportunity to play for five more weeks as an 11U baseball
player. He hit his first two Cooperstown Dreams Park home runs, both times with Coach watching.
If you have been to the park, you know that Coach was everywhere, he managed to have an interaction
with nearly every family and player all 13 weeks. Amazingly, every home run Tyler hit at the park
while Coach was alive, Coach was there to watch. When Tyler hit his first home run and pointed to
the sky, just after Coach had passed, he was smiling up above. I believe he continues to smile from
up above as he watches all the players from all 104 teams each week living their dreams.
This summer was going to be very special for Tyler and our family. It was Tyler’s 12U baseball
season and over the course of the last year, Coach had told Tyler that he needed to be at the park all
13 weeks and that he was going to have him play for different teams every week. He was insistent
upon this and would have it no other way. During the fourth week, Tyler came down with Pneumonia
and we were forced to return home to recuperate. Coach called nearly every day to check on Tyler and
to make sure he was getting better and ready to get back up to Cooperstown for week six.
One day before we were scheduled to return to Cooperstown Dreams Park, I got the call that Coach
had passed away. It was a crushing blow for all the baseball families that had been fortunate enough to
experience the park. You see, to us, Coach was larger than life, he was
this special human being that only comes along every once in a while. He was a friend to the game of
baseball and the game of life. Even today, over one month after his passing, not one day goes by where
I don’t think about the incredible relationship I had built with Coach and the role he played in our lives.
Tyler has spent the entire summer at Cooperstown Dreams Park and has grown up with the love and care
of the Presutti Family and all the great people that make up the Cooperstown Dreams Park team. He is
committed to making Coach’s wish come true and honoring him in all walks of life. My son will walk ahead in life a better person because of all the lessons Coach taught him.
I am committed to making sure that Coach’s dreams and his legacy live on for many others to experience.
Coach’s family is filled with special people and true friends. His wife Linda was the heartbeat of Cooperstown Dreams Park and she will carry the park forward I am sure.
I plan to continue to spread Coach’s message of “Be Your Own Hero.” Coach wanted children to look internally for their heroes, not at some sports figure making millions of dollars. According to Coach, a child should
strive to do the right things in life and to be their own hero. If they need other heroes, look inside their family
at parents that provide so much for them, or their Grandparents that deliver unconditional love. Look
at the coaches in their lives that show they truly care. Coach taught this lesson to my son, my wife and I, and
we are better off because of his words of wisdom and the love that he showed to all of us.
I could write about my friend Coach Lou Presutti for days and never run out of stories to tell. I
will close in stating that every baseball player in America that has visited Cooperstown Dreams Park is
better off today because of Coach Presutti. I will forever miss my dear friend and all that he meant to
me. Friends like Coach are one in a million and I am thankful for all the years I did have him in my life
and more importantly in Tyler’s life. My family and others will always remember you and the lessons
you shared with us. I love you Coach!