Maimonides Park, Brooklyn, NEW YORK
Number of states: still 38
To go: 12
Number of games: 1
First game: June 23, 2021 (Brooklyn Cyclones 3, Jersey Shore BlueClaws 2, 10 innings)
I can’t separate my feelings about Maimonides Park from the way I spent the entire day, and as a result, the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones will likely score higher than it might have on any other day. This was a fabulous day at the ballpark,
and the ballpark itself did well to take advantage of my fantastic mood.
I sandwiched the Cyclones between visits to the Mets and Yankees on a three-day trip to New York in 2021. At that moment, the city–and the country–was just starting to wake up from the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, as I write this during that summer, I realize we may have some fits and started before we are totally done, depending on vaccinations and variants.
Because 2020 was a horrible summer. I don’t want to lessen the tragedies and traumas of those who lost loved ones or jobs in that trash heap of a year. Nothing lessens that. But I remember sitting in my house for that entire summer, watching baseball in empty stadiums on my TV screen instead of doing my planned New England jaunt with my baseball buddies (stay tuned for 2022). It was psychologically taxing for me.
This wasn’t just because of the baseball. While one might think I am an extrovert, given my love of being on stage, I’m
This is why I chose New York City for my first ballpark trip as COVID restrictions lifted. I can’t think of a better spot in the world to be by myself around a slew of strangers. That’s kind of what New York does. And it’s what I did that day, June
The last of those faces were on the Coney Island Boardwalk as I approached the ballpark. And there’s something about an amusement-park boardwalk that encapsulates the whole minor league baseball experience. It’s all about the fun. I loved being around those people.
So when I got to the ballpark, I was predisposed to like the place, and I did.
They have a sense of Brooklyn baseball history. They’ve set up a statue of Pee Wee Reese with his arm around Jackie Robinson, creating a memorial to that critical moment when Reese showed that he sided with his teammate and not
Inside, pillars with former Cyclones who have since become Mets, such as Syndergaard and Conforto, look out at the
The game itself turned out to be every bit as fun as I wanted it to be. When I saw the opposing pitchers had really high ERAs, I was ready for a slugfest, but instead, the game stayed scoreless until the 6th and zipped to extra innings tied at 1. We put the stupid zombie runner on base at that point (I was delighted to hear people yelling that the rule was stupid). When the home team won, it put a pretty nice cap on the evening.
This just felt like a package of fun where the baseball still got to take center stage. The only time I felt like the promotions interfered with the night was for the “villain of the game,” their term for the guy on the other team who needed to strike out for some section to win something (I don’t remember the details). Poor Herbert Iser was the villain of the game, and wound up wearing a golden sombrero: he couldn’t touch any kind of pitch the Cyclones threw at him. So he had taken care of his three strikeouts by the seventh-inning stretch, but STILL got to hear the horror-movie music to villainize him has he struck out again to end the top of the ninth. But beyond that, I found the Cyclones to be respectful of the game.
I would have thought about heading back for a second game the next night had the trip on the subway not been so long (as it turns out, Long Island is a fairly Tall Island as well). On the whole, this was very well done.
Regional Feel: 8/10
Plenty of Brooklyn around: Jackie and Pee Wee, 9/11 heroes, the ocean, the boardwalk, New York accents, Mets history…the ballpark does well here.
This score was hurt by the turf field.
The whole day felt like a spectacle: the amusement park, unlike at Altoona (the only other place I can think with a visible roller coaster), seems to bleed into the attitude and mood of the entire night. They were, on the whole, respectful of the game while still up for some non-game fun.
Sandy the Seagull didn’t do much for me. The team name, though, was delightful: I like naming the team directly after the roller coaster.
Charming place, yes, but not terribly good-looking.
Pavilion area 3/5
We can’t walk around the entire park on the inside, or watch the game from the outfield. But one can see the game easily from the walk from foul pole to foul pole.
Solid work here. I was never lost save one wild pitch/passed ball question.
How can I argue against my longtime ballpark friend David? People, on the whole, were very friendly.
So much to like about this night: it was the end of a fantastic day. Only the long subway ride detracts here.
Baseball stuff I saw here:
Brooklyn comes back to win in the bottom of the tenth. After scoring the zombie runner without a hit (HPB, walk, walk), catcher Jose Mena lobs a single in front of the right fielder for the winning RBI.
Strong pitching by Jersey Shore’s Ethan Lindow and Brooklyn’s Alec Kisena take us deep into the game without a run.