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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brooklyn Cyclones and MCU Park

MCU Park in Brooklyn. Note the moon on the right and the unique hoops around the lights. (G21D Photo)
My wife and I got down to Brooklyn to see the Cyclones, MCU Park and Coney Island with some friends who just moved to Brooklyn.

Our friends aren't baseball people at all, so I suggested we introduce them to their new hometown team, the Cyclones. It didn't hurt that my wife and I had yet to see MCU Park.

Actually, my wife had to keep reminding me that the purpose of the trip was to see our friends, not the Cyclones. But I figure the trip had a dual purpose, and both those purposes were achieved.

And our friends seemed to enjoy themselves. Helping that along was a good game between the Cyclones and the Aberdeen Ironbirds. Down by four in the ninth, the Cyclones came back to tie. Aberdeen then came back with the game-winner in the 10th.

The Cyclones' stadium is one of those cool stadiums that is integrated into its location. The park is located on Surf Avenue, the main drag of Coney Island. And the ballpark views incorporate Coney Island.
MCU Park and the Parachute Jump. (G21D Photo)
Down the right field line is the jewel of Coney Island, the old Steeplechase Park Parachute Jump, the "Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn."

Beyond the left field wall is the amusement parks, with rides and rollercoasters visible throughout the game. Down the left field line is Surf Avenue, and the famous Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs.

We were actually hoping to stop into Nathan's before the game, but we were there on the day of the Mermaid Parade and basically everywhere was packed with long lines. Too many people for us. I did get a Nathan's at the game.

Also, way over the right field wall, visible from higher parts of the park, is the ocean.
The old Brooklyn Dodgers on the second-level facade. (G21D Photo)
The Cyclones also honor the old Brooklyn team, the Dodgers. On the second-deck facade are the names and numbers of Brooklyn greats Duke Snyder, Gil Hodges, Carl Erskine, Don Newcombe and Jackie Robinson. The 1955 Dodgers World Series championship is up there, too.

All of this was possible after intense off-season cleanup and repairs to the park after last fall's Hurricane Sandy. has a good rundown of what happened and what had to happen for the park to be back in playing shape for the new season.

But, the cool thing is, if I didn't know the park had been damaged, I wouldn't have suspected anything had been wrong. The place looked great.
The MCU Park scoreboard with a real roller coaster to the right. Delivering to the plate is Aberdeen pitcher Sebastian Vader. (G21D Photo)

To bring it back to the blog here, the Cyclones obviously weren't in the 1990 ProCards set, but the franchise was. The Cyclones are the former St. Catharines Blue Jays, moving to Queens in 2000 and then to Coney Island in 2001.

With the move to Brooklyn, the franchise became a Met farm team. I have yet to feature the 1990 St. Catharines team, but that set included future Met Carlos Delgado.

Also, of course, there was a player featured in the 1990 ProCards and CMC sets in attendance. That was Aberdeen manager Matt Merullo, featured with his Birmingham Barons teammates recently.

With that, here are some more pictures from our trip to MCU Park:
The parachute jump lit up. (G21D Photo)
On the seat isles. (G21D Photo)

Note the moon near the flag and the unique hoop around the MCU lights. (G21D Photo)
The moon behind the lights. (G21D Photo)
A video montage of our visit. Note the bouncing ride in the background, the SuperFan, who was cool in that he knew when to rally and when to get out of the way, the game-tying ninth-inning hit and fireworks:

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