Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friends and Family Plan

MCU Park light pole at dusk, as Melvin gets arty

Two weeks ago today—yes, that is a Byways record—I joined my friend Ryan at MCU Park for his eighth annual ballpark gathering of friends and family.  At 54 tickets, it was record-sized and one professional colleague set another record by bringing a three-week old baby.  Coincidentally, Melvin was in town for a couple days and he tagged along for the game between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Lowell Spinners.

I very much enjoyed the group outing to see the Cyclones earlier this year but this game left me unrequited.  It's my own fault.  The group assembled at Peggy O'Neil's, the truly awful bar beneath the grandstand, and like the cocktail hour at a wedding reception, that was the time to mingle.  Instead, Melvin and I had dinner at Nathan's.

Ten days earlier, Melvin and I had spent ten days together and the Cyclones game felt like a continuation of our Midwest trip.  Melvin stated that this is the first time we have returned together to a ballpark where we have been together before, but that is not true.  We've seen three games together at Fenway.

When we re-joined the rest of the party, the six-row by nine-seat block of tickets made it hard to socialize.  Every time I looked, Ryan's wife Ellen was climbing over seats to chat with someone else, but that was more than I could do.

So that left watching the game.  The Spinners did all their scoring in the second inning, plating four on four singles and a double.  The Cyclones came back bit-by-bit and won, 5-4, on the hitting of catcher Nelfi Zapata and shortstop Daniel Muno.  Zapata hit three doubles in four at-bats, picking up a couple of RBIs in the second and later scoring twice.  Muno hit a two-run triple to tie the game in the fourth.  (Muno hit his one other triple to date at the June game I saw.)

Zapata's third double came in the sixth.  Muno grounded out to move him to third, and Zapata scored the go-ahead run on a single by Cole Frenzel.  The crowd might have gone "into a Frenzel," as Melvin quipped, except this is minor league baseball and most people didn't notice or care that much.
Box Score

The evening's promotion, by the way, was a "Brooklyn-to-Queens" baseball featuring the seven former Cyclones now playing with the Mets.  They are, in chronological order by year of play in Coney Island; Angel Pagan (2001), Nick Evans and Bobby Parnell (2005), Lucas Duda and Dillon Gee (2007), and Ike Davis and Jenry Meija (2008).

One-quarter of the Mets' 25-man roster came through Coney Island.  That's pretty exciting, as has been the scrappy ball the rookies—I use the term loosely—have played.  Maybe I need to go "Brooklyn-to-Queens" myself before the season is over.

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