Tonight at KeySpan Park in Coney Island, the Brooklyn Cyclones open their 6th season as the Mets' single A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. It is a short season, with just 76 games played. The season concludes in the first week in September. Most of the players have just turned professional, and it is their first taste of pro ball. I will be in attendance, sitting a few rows up behind home plate.
I've been going to KeySpan ever since the park opened, and it is just a terrific place to watch baseball. The park holds just over 8,000. It is right on the water at Coney Island, with the famous Parachute Jump (see photo) in the background. The Cyclone is visible from the park beyond left field.
The atmosphere at the park is great, as it is very family-oriented, and the ticket prices are very reasonable. There is always something going on in-between innings, such as water-balloon tossing and the Great Hot Dog Race. The quality of the games is generally quite good, and the players are at the beginnings of their careers and looking to make an impression. In my years seeing the Cyclones, I've seen Lenny DiNardo, Scott Kazmir, and Bobby Keppel (now pitching for the Royals) play for them over the years.
Tonight the Cyclones play the hated crosstown Staten Island Yankees. It is a sellout. I have a seven-game plan with my father for this season. The Red Sox have an affiliate in the NYPL, the Lowell Spinners. They come to KeySpan during Labor Day weekend.
The Cyclones website is: www.brooklyncyclones.com. It is definitely worth a night out to come and check them out.