by Emily Marie
Bronx, New York
August 15, 2003
Baseball fans undoubtably know the Dodgers once played in Brooklyn. When the team moved away in the late '50s, it took a large part of the soul away from the burough. At the turn of the century though, baseball came back to Brooklyn in the form of the single-A Mets affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones.
The Cyclones play at the fairly-new Keyspan Park. Keyspan is at Coney Island, still a very popular summer attraction for city-dwellers. Much of the park has the carnival feel to it, just like the neighborhood. I made my first trip to Keyspan in August '03, and couldn't help notice the flavor. Clown-like characters were making balloon animals for the kids on the main promenade. The roof along the foul lines looked like they may have been from a carousel. The light stantions looked like they belonged in a theme park, and the florecent lights on the prominade were reminicent of those you'd see at a bumper cap track. Above the scoreboard in left was a representation of the Cyclone roller coaster (from where the team got its name), and beyond that, you could see the real coaster in action. Meanwhile down the right field line the old parachute drop tower looms over everything. And if that weren't enough, the Coney Island boardwalk runs along behind the center field wall.
The team also tips its cap to the Brooklyn Bums. The only two retired players are Gil Hodges and Jackie Robinson. The press area has a sign hanging in front of it reading, "The Catbird Seat," as famed announcer Red Barber used to call his vantage point.
Cyclones tickets, like all at this level of play, are cheap. So is parking compared to the major teams in the area. However the park is much smaller, and is often sold out. If you do get tickets, drive out or take the subway early and spend the day here. Besides the game, there are still the amusements of Coney Island and the New York Aquarium just a walk away. With all these attractions, and the less-stuffy crowd, a trip to Keyspan is a much better family outing than either Yankee or Shea Stadiums.
From journal Baseball, New York City