(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
If you are a long time reader of this site – and if you are, we thank you – you would know the Brooklyn Cyclones, along with the Long Island Ducks, were the first teams we covered on a regular basis.
The year was 2004 and the Cyclones still had that new team smell. The stadium was then known as Keyspan Park and it was the centerpiece of a revitalization effort on Coney Island.
That was 11 years ago and today the Cyclones – now in their 15 year of operation – are still going strong. A new Thunderbolt rollercoaster is right over the outfield wall, while the team plays on field-turf now, thanks to the devastation from Hurricane Sandy a few years ago. The scoreboard has been upgraded, while the Brooklyn Baseball Museum has been converted into a restaurant.
But not much more has changed with the Cyclones. The Mets still want this team to win, but it’s not the end-all, be-all decree it was a decade ago. It’s more like every other Short Season A-Ball team, which is filled with many second year players, along with college draft choices.
But this is baseball and it’s in Brooklyn, where they still draw strong crowds and have led the NY-Penn League in attendance by a long shot every year. For their first 11 seasons, the Cyclones had Kings County pretty much to itself, but then the Nets moved in and now with the Islanders coming west, they are less of sports story for the local media and they are covered much like many of the other minor league teams in the area.
That doesn’t mean it’s not still a viable option the competitive New York market. Sure tickets are not $10 apiece anymore. They tend to run from $15.00 to $17.00, but the team has set aside Wednesdays as turn back the clock days where all the tickets cost you the soon to extinct Alexander Hamilton.
And yes, there’s still the Mets feel to the club. In the past team alumni like Howard Johnson, Bob Ojeda, Tim Teufel , Mookie Wilson, Frank Viola, and Wally Backman were coaches and mangers of the team, this years club enlists Edgardo Alfonzo as the third base coach.
No matter what the changes, the Cyclones still feel like that old comfortable old shoe, one that slides on and makes you feel right at home.
That’s what the now-called MCU Park is – a summer home away from home. No matter what changes happen, on and off the field and in Brooklyn as a whole, the great experiment of bringing baseball back to Brooklyn has upheld the test of time, which is definitely a good thing.