The Brooklyn Cyclones have had a phenomenal season, finishing with the best record in the New York Penn League – 51-24. They were 30-8 at home this season, and they’ll open the playoffs on Tuesday guaranteed home field advantage throughout.
Naturally, I didn’t go to a single Cyclones game until yesterday. They should probably thank me for spending so much time watching the Newark Bears and New York Mets. 🙂
The Cyclones gave away a team photo poster to the first 2,500 people at the game yesterday, and they sent out most of the team to greet the fans as they entered and sign autographs. That was a really nice move. I was able to get about 15 signatures on my poster – who knows, maybe one or two of them will play for the Mets in a few years?
Once I got inside, I bought a 2010 team set and was able to get seven cards signed in the 20 minutes or so that was left before the game began. A lot of the pitchers were happily spending time signing autographs after they finished their conditioning work.
My seat was ten rows behind the visiting team’s dugout, but I probably could have moved up if I had really wanted to. The crowd was a bit late to arrive, but I don’t think the ballpark ever got more than two-thirds full. I’m not sure if that was because of the holiday weekend or the ticket prices — I thought $16 was a bit much for a NY-Penn League game.
The Cyclones were already assured of their playoff spot and home field advantage, so Wally Backman treated it like a spring training game. We had a new pitcher every other inning, and the two best position player -Darrell Cecilliani and Cory Vaughn – were pulled after their third at-bats.
The Tri-City Valley Cats, an affiliate of the Houston Astros, went into the game not knowing if they would make the playoffs. They had a half-game lead on the Connecticut Tigers, so the Valley Cats needed a win or a Tigers loss. Conneticut lost, and Tri-City manager Jim Pankovits pulled most of his starters in the fifth inning when he got the news.
I did get to see Vaughn hit a home run – his 14th of the season, setting a new Cyclones single-season record.
I also saw Darrell Cecilliani go 2-for-3. He finished the year with a .351 average and became the first Cyclones player to win a New York Penn League batting title.
Oh, and the Cyclones won 6-5. Maybe I’ve found a team that I don’t jinx. 🙂
It was a fun day, and if the Cyclones advance to the championship round of the NY-Penn League playoffs maybe I can get back out to MCU Park next weekend.