The Long Island Ducks defeated the Somerset Patriots tonight, earning the 2016 Liberty Division Championship title and the right to play the Sugar Land Skeeters this week for the Atlantic League Championship.
The Ducks became just the second team in league history to rally from an 0-2 start to win a best-of-five playoff series. (The 2001 Patriots were the first to pull it off, defeating the Newark Bears.)
The 2016 Somerset Patriots will have a former National League All-Star on their roster.
That former MLB All-Star is 1B/OF Bryan LaHair.
Chicago Cubs fans might remember LaHair, who earned his All-Star status with a hot start to the 2012 season, hitting .390 with five home runs and 14 RBI in April. He was one of 38 representatives on the NL squad that year.
More recently, the 33-year-old Worcester, Mass. native spent the 2013 season with the Fukoka Softbank Hawks in Japan and split the 2014 season between the Double-A Akron Ruber Ducks and the Triple-A Columbus Clippers in the Cleveland Indians organization. He did not play at all last season.
Still, it’s always interesting to see new players with notable Major League Baseball resumes turn up in the Atlantic League.
We’re still a few weeks away from the start of spring training, but there are a bunch of things that baseball fans can do this weekend to help forget that the calendar says it’s still winter.
Meet the 1986 Mets
The Steiner Sports Store is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the New York Mets’ 1986 World Series championship this weekend by having nearly all of the living members of the team sign autographs at The Steiner Sports Store at Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York.
The stars of that team – Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez – will be there, of course. But what makes this special is that many of the lesser-known members of the team will also be there. So if you need people like Tim Corcoran and John Mitchell to finish off a team-signed item, this weekend is your chance to get it done. Autograph fees start at $20 per signature.
Former New York Mets prospect and Somerset Patriots player Alan Zinter will be the San Diego Padres’ new hitting coach.
Zinter, who has been an assistant hitting coach for the Houston Astros and a minor league hitting coordinator for the Cleveland Indians, replaces Mark Kotsay, who left to become the bench coach for the Oakland Athletics.