The committee members signed a note for a $1,800 loan from the First National Bank to finance trips to New York to obtain national support for the project. This strategy seemed to work, as the Doubleday Field cause soon appeared in a number of national publications.
“For in striving to preserve Doubleday Field, Cooperstown is striving to preserve a memorial to baseball in which every lover of that game should feel a genuine interest. If Cooperstown, alone and unaided, can raise $3,000, does it not seem reasonable to suppose that all the rest of the great baseball community, the thousands – yes, millions of fans, who have derived wholesome pleasure from the pioneer efforts of Abner Doubleday, should step into the breach and assume responsibility for the needful balance of but $2,000?” it said in Baseball Magazine at the time.
The committee’s combined efforts raised $3,772, and in 1923, at a special election, the Cooperstown taxpayers authorized the purchase of the field by the village and appropriated the necessary funds. Title to Doubleday Field was officially transferred to the Village of Cooperstown by a Supreme Court order dated Sept. 29, 1923.
Spalding’s Official Baseball Guide editorialized in favor of the purchase: “From a sentimental standpoint, we hope that Cooperstown purchases the field if it is the will of the city to do so. If the town folks are without funds and do not feel that they can immediately afford to make a purchase, we hope that some way will be devised whereby the field can be secured and turned over to the city or to a memorial committee, or association, for permanent reservation.”
Even the Sporting News, the self-proclaimed “Base Ball Paper of the World,” editorially advocated on Nov. 29, 1923, that “it is a cause that will interest all lovers of baseball, and if every male citizen in the United States pays one-eighth of one percent of the debt he owes to Abner Doubleday the committee will be able to pave the outfield with blocks of 24-karat gold.”
A wooden grandstand was added in the spring of 1924, and taxpayers appropriated funds to enlarge the plot in March of 1926. In June of 1927 additional property was purchased for an entrance to the field.
In a letter dated October 13, 1926, Heydler writes, “I only hope that the people of Cooperstown will be able to hold on to this historic property. It may be years from now that professional baseball will honor itself by doing something to perpetuate this Doubleday Field, but I have faith that eventually something will be done. This, of course, is a personal expression and not official.”
Beginning in 1933, Doubleday activity was again seeing changes, as not only were additional parcels of land purchased to expand left field, which was short of regulation size, but under a Works Progress Administration (WPA) program the entire field was graded, a new diamond was constructed, the area was fenced in and the entrance was landscaped. On Aug. 3, 1934, Lt. Gov. M. William Bray of New York formally reopened the field.