Forget the play by play and the stats for tonight’s game between the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Long Island Ducks. What I want to talk about is what makes this baseball team on Long Island get their fans so excited? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s good ol’ fashioned real baseball where the only high tech entertainment is watching the “Mustard hot dog” chasing the “Catsup hot dog.” No need to flash colored lights throughout the ballpark, along with music that can make your ears bleed. Just a ball game in the friendly confines of Bethpage Park in Central Islip.
Ok, since this is a sports column, I have an obligation to let you know what happened.
After losing the first two games to the Skeeters in Texas, the Ducks came roaring back with a come from behind, 3-2 win Friday night. With their 6-3 win last night, they are all even at two games apiece in this best-of-series and are on the brink of another championship. That will get any fan pumped but what is interesting here is the fact that Ducks’ fans seem to be pumped from March to October every year. The energy is infectious. Win or lose they are excited to be in this ballpark watching this team play.
I talked to ushers, security guards, concession workers and baseball ops people and they all tell me the same thing, “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on a nice summer night.” They love working there and interacting with these wild and enthusiastic fans as if they are all one big happy family. As the game unfolds on the field, the whole place feels like a really good professional baseball game that is being played in your back yard Sort of like a family Bar-B-Q, with kids playing in the walkways and others dancing to music between innings.
All of that stuff happens throughout the season. What makes everything so over the top for everyone at the park now, is the chance to watch their team become champions of the Independent Atlantic League for the fourth time. By the way, every person who attended last night’s game was given a free ticket for tonight’s finale as they exited the ballpark. What other professional team in any sport does that?
Tonight’s game starts at 5:05 pm. Get there early, buy some food and drinks and get to your seats before the first pitch. This is going to be one to remember. Just note that if your face hurts watching the game it’s because you can’t stop laughing and smiling.