With very little else to write about this time of year, I figured I will try to boost readership to this site by taking a slightly different approach to Brooklyn Baseball Banter.
During the 2016 baseball season, I managed to break last seasons record of 83 games by attending 88 games, 62 of them being played at MCU Park. Along the way, I also went to 5 ballparks I had never been to before.
So, after going through all my scorecards, reading thru the hundreds of innings of baseball I watched this season, here the top 10 games I saw this season.
This week, we will look at Numbers 8, 9 & 10.
10: Going up to Tri-City
This game would not have come in dead last on this list had the Brooklyn Cyclones actually won. Had they lost by 5 or less runs it would have been fine. But the ass-whooping I saw forced this to go all the way at the bottom.
The highlights of the day were a relaxing bus ride with Sam Williams and Robert Bloom, going to a new ballpark at Joe Bruno Stadium and getting free tickets behind the visiting dugout from Cyclones Pitching Coach Billy Bryk Jr.
The reason this does make the list was that my unannounced attendance in Bruno Stadium seem to upset a number of ValleyCats fan who were big autograph collectors. Most of them already had the 2016 team set, something most Brooklyn Cyclones fans did not own at the time. At least 20 people at that ballpark told me that they had my card from the 2014 set, but it was at home. Had I publicly announced I was coming, they would have brought it with them.
I was nice enough to give out a few signed cards and told them to mail them to me with a stamp and I would send it back signed. I also promise all ValleyCats, as well as general autograph collectors, that I will announce all future trips on this site.
9: Mets at Noon, Phillies at Night
I began the day with a trip to Citi Field, seeing the Mets beat the Chicago White Sox 1-0. During that game, I got to sit with Daniel DePasquale, who entertained so many Brooklyn Cyclones while working with the team.
Before the game, I was talking with my good friend Mike Casiano, the King of Citi Field, told me he was going to Citizen’s Bank Park after the game to see the Phillies play. I told him I never been to Philly for a baseball game before, to which he said “Then come along. We got room for one more in the car.” Before I know it, I’m in the car with Mike and two others, off to the City of Brotherly Love.
Wearing a Mets jersey to a Nationals vs Phillies game might not have been the best idea, but I greatly enjoyed a Major League game at a new ballpark. Former Cyclone Daniel Murphy homered for the Nationals, so I applauded him, as I will be forever grateful for his performance in the 2015 NLCS.
8: CSI No-Hits Yeshiva University
The forecast for Sunday, March 13th, 2016 was in the 60s, which in my book, had college baseball weather written all over it. The problem was, almost nobody was home.
I finally found a team that was home, but it was not exactly the place I really wanted to go. The College of Staten Island Dolphins were hosting the Yeshiva University Maccabees for a doubleheader. I was faced with one of two options. Either stay home on a beautiful day or make a long trip to Staten Island to see what would be one-sided baseball.
However, I do not regret it in the end. Working with a 16-0 lead in the Top of the 7th, Dolphins starter Peter Bellina had a perfect game going in the twinbill opener. However, Bellina hit the leadoff hitter with a pitch to end the perfect game, but preserve the no-hitter. A ground out moved the runner to 2nd and he scored a batter later on an error. However, Bellina got the next two outs to earn a no-hitter, the first I ever attended.
Game two was also very close to being another no-hitter, as Chris Karnbach took a no-hitter into the Top of the 7th, with the Dolphins once again up 16-0. After Karnbach allowed a 1-out double for Yeshiva’s only hit of the day, Dolphins Head Coach Michael Mauro signaled to the bullpen and was serenaded with boos from the fans. The closer got the next two outs, ending the game.