Longtime Brooklyn Cyclones & New York Mets employee Max Colten has been officially named MCU Park’s 4th Head Grounds Keeper. The hiring took place in February. In addition to his Grounds Keeping Duties, Max will also serve as Head Clubhouse Manager.
Max replaces Mike Meola, who stepped down this off-season.
Max has worked with a number of Mets farm teams throughout the years in various roles. From 2009-2012, Max served as a member of the MCU Park Grounds Crew. Following Hurricane Sandy, the grounds crew staff was scaled back due to the installation of FieldTurf, Max became the Brooklyn Cyclones Clubhouse Manager for the 2013 season.
In 2014, Max was promoted to the Savannah Sand Gnats, where he served as Head Clubhouse Manager. For his efforts, he was named the 2014 Minor League Clubhouse Manager of the Year. In 2015, Max moved to AA and became the Visiting Clubhouse Manager for the Binghamton Mets before returning to Brooklyn this winter.
In addition to his baseball duties, Max served as an Assistant Equipment Manager for the Brooklyn Bolts of the FXFL during their 2 season at MCU Park.
One of the more popular MCU Park incidents that included Max worth sharing came on August 30th, 2012.
With the Cyclones taking on the Hudson Valley Renegades, play was suddenly halted by the umpires as something landed on the infield grass. Cyclones Manager Rich Donnelly told the ground crew there was a dead bird on the field, right near the pitcher’s mound. Kevin Ponte, the Head Grounds Keeper at the time, sent Max out with a shovel to remove the bird, as Ponte was too scared to approach it.
When Max went out there, he not only to find out the bird wasn’t dead, but to see it wasn’t even a bird. Max saw a crippled, nearly dead and foaming at the mouth.* Max scooped up the lifeless bat and carried down the First Base Line out of the ballpark. As he walked, fans seated in nearby Sections 14, 16 & 18 gave him a standing ovation as he contained his laughter. Max left it under the boardwalk by the bullpen, as it was the most humane thing to do, should the bat somehow recover.
- EDITOR’S NOTE: It is very possible the bat had Rabies.