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The Brooklyn Cyclones

Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island

Ben Osborne

Publication Year: 2004

When professional baseball returned to Brooklyn in 2001, fans were jubilant and the media swarmed. After losing the Brooklyn Dodgers to California 44 years ago, Brooklyn baseball fans could once again claim a team of their own: the Cyclones, a Class A affiliate of the New York Mets.

The Brooklyn Cyclones: Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island recounts that first season of the Cyclones. From the construction of the incredible Keyspan Park at Coney Island to their improbable successes on the field, Ben Osborne tells the story of the Cyclones' delicate first year of operation. We see the story up close and personal through the eyes of two very different young men. The first is Anthony Otero, who was raised in a Coney Island housing project and loves baseball, but has never seen a game in person until the Cyclones land in his neighborhood. The second is Brett Kay, a young man from California who has never been to New York, until he becomes the catcher for the Brooklyn Cyclones.

From the plans of politicians like Rudy Giuliani and Howard Golden, to the poverty of Coney Island's citizens, The Brooklyn Cyclones reveals the stories behind the headlines to show that the reality of creating a new sports team often involves broken promises and shattered dreams. Osborne includes chapters on the Cyclones' rivalry with the Staten Island Yankees, the Cyclones' chances of capturing the New York-Penn League title, and an epilogue updating Kay's, Otero's, and the Cyclones' progress through the 2003 season.

Ultimately, Ben Osborne shows how, for these two young men, the Brooklyn Cyclones created dreams the same way the Brooklyn Dodgers allowed the boys of Flatbush to dream about one day playing in the Big Leagues.

Published by: NYU Press

Cover, Title and Copyright Pages

Contents [Includes Preface]

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pp. v-x

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Prologue: June 2, 2001

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pp. 1-3

It is less than four weeks before the Brooklyn Cyclones—the new Single-A farm team of the New York Mets—will play the first professional game of baseball to take place in Brooklyn since the Brooklyn Dodgers’ last game there in 1957, and few people have any idea what to expect,...

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1. Opening Day

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pp. 5-28

Monday, June 25, 2001, is a beautiful and stunning day in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The temperature is approaching ninety, and the ocean is glistening as the bright sun shines down on it. By 3:30 in the afternoon, Surf Avenue is teeming with people who have come to the...

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2. The First Few Brooklyn “Home Stands”

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pp. 29-52

Two days after opening day, while Brett and the Cyclones get ready for another game against the Scrappers, the scene is the same at the Coney Island Houses: Anthony and his friends are playing baseball. The approximately 120' x 120' square of blacktop that the kids have...

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3. Kay and the Cyclones Become Celebrities

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pp. 53-75

It’s Tuesday, July 10, and the Brooklyn Cyclones have their first off day of the summer. Obviously, the potential for things to do in and around New York City is practically limitless, especially on clear, hot days like this one. There’s beaches, zoos, parks . . . and that’s just in...

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4. Coney Island’s Team Begins Its Own Rivalry—The “Ferry Series”

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pp. 76-112

The sun-drenched late afternoon of Sunday, July 15, presents a Cyclone home game that has captured the city’s imagination more than any game since opening night. It’s the Staten Island Yankees’ first visit to KeySpan Park. Since the game is a 5 p.m. twilight start, the crowd near...

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5. Kay and the Cyclones Take the New York–Penn League by Storm

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pp. 113-127

With the two Yankee wins that kick off the Ferry Series, and with seven more victories in the next eleven games, the Cyclones have established themselves as the team to beat in the McNamara Division of the New York–Penn League. Sitting in second place, of course,...

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6. Brett Kay Moves to the BIG City, Anthony Stays in Coney Island

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pp. 128-148

Brett Kay has been given something that is making his magical summer even more special. It’s a gift, of sorts. Since mid-July, he’s been in possession of something every New Yorker wants—a Manhattan apartment. “The guy Bob who helped me with my contract, he’s like my...

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7. The Last Home Game of the Regular Season

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pp. 149-167

September 2 is another brilliant day in a summer that has been filled with them. New York has a reputation for sticky, humid days, but, except for a few of those in the dog days of August, there’s been little rain or humidity. Most days, like this one, have been perfect for hanging...

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8. The Postseason

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pp. 168-180

The playoffs have brought a new intensity level to KeySpan Park, and Brett is in the middle of the excitement. But before he gets ready for the decisive Game Three of the playoffs, he recalls another highlight of his Brooklyn summer, which took place the morning after the final home...

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9. Epilogue: September 15, 2003

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pp. 181-193

While New York City was mourning the second anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11/01, the Cyclone organization and its fans were dealing with a more minor sadness—the team’s championship series loss to the Williamsport Crosscutters. ...

2001 Statistics and Standings

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pp. 194-195


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pp. 196-197

About the Author

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pp. 198

E-ISBN-13: 9780814762608
E-ISBN-10: 0814762603
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814762059
Print-ISBN-10: 0814762050

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2004