Schenectady County

Cornell, Siena to honor local supporter with Cooperstown games

For the next two years, Siena College and Cornell University will move their baseball series to Doub
Courtney Erickson with his nephew James in 2012
Courtney Erickson with his nephew James in 2012

Among his many passions, Courtney Erickson loved his alma mater, Cornell University, Siena College and Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

So, yes, he would have loved this: For the next two years, Siena and Cornell will move their baseball series to Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, fulfilling Erickson’s wishes.

The doubleheader slated to start at 2 p.m. April 14 will be played in memory of Erickson, a 1987 Linton High School graduate and longtime journalist, sports official, publicist and educator who died July 5, 2013, after battling pancreatic and liver cancer.

Erickson, a 1993 Cornell graduate, was a fixture at Siena games and often covered events at the Hall of Fame. “Court” was renowned for a relentlessly upbeat nature that made him friends throughout the sports world and elsewhere.

“Court loved covering the Hall of Fame as much as any journalist I have ever known,” Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball

Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a statement. “Always with a sunny disposition, and always in search of the truth, he had tremendous journalistic and personal integrity. His passion for the game was undeniable and the contest at Doubleday Field between his alma mater and Siena College is a fitting tribute.”

Erickson’s nephew James will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and his father, Jack, brother Phil and sister-in-law Sarah will all be in attendance. Admission to the game is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Jack Falvo III Foundation (“Jack’s Place.”) Erickson was active in charitable causes.

“The game is a truly wonderful opportunity for Court’s work to continue on in exactly the manner he would have loved and for the benefit of all,” said his older brother, Phil. “We encourage everyone to support this great event.”

Courtney Erickson majored in communications at Cornell and later served as alumni class vice president. He interned with CNN Sports in Atlanta, worked in public relations, did freelance sports and feature writing for The Daily Star in Oneonta and was a tutor in the Schenectady City School District. Erickson also was involved in politics and charitable efforts, working for the national Obama campaign in Washington, D.C., congressional offices and local Schenectady campaigns. He had served on the board of directors of the National Kidney Foundation of Northeast New York.

In sports, in addition to working in sports information and as statistician and in replay for Cornell and Georgetown universities and at Siena, Erickson was a certified high school baseball umpire and basketball referee.

“Courtney remains a great inspiration to our athletic department,” Siena baseball coach Tony Rossi said in a statement. “His smile was contagious, and he always uplifted everyone’s spirit. We’re so excited to be able to continue this series at Doubleday Field the next two seasons as a tribute to his dedication to both schools.”

And now the two schools Erickson most closely associated himself with will fulfill his dream, in his honor. That would have made a man who was always smiling beam even more.

“We are honored to be able to play Siena at Doubleday Field and fulfill one of the final wishes of Courtney Erickson,” said Bill Walkenbach, Cornell’s head coach, said in a statement. “He was a great friend to Cornell baseball, and playing games in his honor at such a historic venue will be a great tribute.”

Categories: -News-, College Sports

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