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Lou Gehrig with his teammates June 21 1939. Photographer unknown

By Daniel Dunaief

‘The greatest of all, the game which seems to breathe the restless spirit of American life, that calls for quick action and quicker thinking, that seems characteristic of a great nation itself, is baseball.’

Photographer Charles M. Conlon, 1913

Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente and pictures of numerous other legends of the baseball diamond are coming to the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook.

Starting May 18 and going through October 15, the History Museum at the LIM is featuring two baseball exhibits.

In one, called Picturing America’s Pastime, the museum is showcasing a collection of images from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Archive. In the other, called Home Fields, the museum has brought together objects and photos from the Ducks field in Central Islip, the new and old Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Citi Field, Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds. The objects come from regional private collections, including some from the Shea family for whom the home of the original Mets was named.

The museum, which charges $10 admission, is hosting a members only opening reception on June 15. Membership costs $40 for an individual and $60 for a family. At the reception, the museum will serve baseball-inspired food, including Cracker Jacks and popcorn.

Picturing America’s Pastime

In one of the pictures, photographer Charles Conlon captured a determined Ty Cobb successfully stealing third base on July 23, 1910, with the throw going by New York Highlanders third baseman Jimmy Austin. Unlike the instant gratification of modern-day digital photographs, Conlon didn’t know he caught and immortalized the moment until later, when he developed the picture.

The exhibit mixes intimate photos of heroes and legends, with a picture from an unidentified photographer of Yankee legend Lou Gehrig holding court in the dugout with his teammates on June 21, 1939 at Yankee Stadium after returning from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Diagnosed with amyotropic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which is now widely known as “Lou Gehrig disease,” Gehrig gave his speech in which he declares himself “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth” 13 days after the photographer snapped the dugout picture.

“He’s having this semi-private moment with his second family,” described Joshua Ruff, the Co-Executive Director of Collections and Programming at the Long Island Museum. “It’s just amazing that somebody had the wherewithal to capture that photographically and to save that memory for us.”

The pictures also feature an image of Jackie Robinson, clad in a Montreal Royals uniform, entering the Dodgers clubhouse on April 10th, 1947, five days before Robinson became the first black player in Major League Baseball and seven years before the Supreme Court struck down segregation in public schools in Brown vs. the Board of Education. In the photo, taken by William C. Greene, Robinson is holding up a baseball glove in the air and entering a door with the words “Dodgers Club House” above and “Keep Out” below.

The pictures featured in the exhibit are “much more than about the history that’s being achieved on the field,” Ruff added.

The Picturing America’s Pastime exhibit also includes a photo of the 1920 St. Louis Giants from the Negro League, as well as the Muskegon Lassies with the team bus in 1947.

In a snapshot from Chicago’s Comiskey Park in May 1916 by an unidentified photographer, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson sits on the ground with four bats across his right knee. The photo was taken four years before Baseball Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis banned Jackson and seven of his teammates for life from the sport for the Black Sox scandal of 1919.

The pictures also include more recent heroes, such as Japanese sensation Ichiro Suzuki, photographed by Brad Mangin in 2006 at Oakland’s McAfee Coliseum. In his trademark move before he hit, Suzuki is tugging at the right shoulder of his uniform with his left hand while holding the bat vertically in his right.

Home Fields

The Home Fields exhibit, meanwhile, features a collection of paraphernalia from local ballparks, such as a bleacher from the old Yankee Stadium, and seats from the Polo Grounds (where the Yankees and, for two years, the Mets played), Shea (home of the Mets) and Ebbets Field, where the Brooklyn Dodgers played before leaving in 1958.

The museum, which has a Derek Jeter bat from 2007, will display a World Series ring from 1969, when the Miracle Mets defeated the heavily favored, 109-win Baltimore Orioles that included stars Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer.

A replay of seven minutes of the fifth and final game from the 1969 NBC radio broadcast will play in the background, providing ambient baseball sounds for guests. The museum is coordinating a revolving slide show of images from that game in the Home Fields exhibition.

The museum also has a piece of the outfield fence from Shea and pieces of the scoreboard from Yankee and Shea stadiums.

A private collector loaned the museum the on deck circle from 2000 subway series between the Mets and the Yankees. In that series, which was the third consecutive World Series victory for the Yankees, Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens threw a piece of Met Mike Piazza’s broken bat towards the Mets catcher as he made his way towards first on a foul ball, bringing both teams out of their dugouts.

Ruff suggested that the exhibits could spur a range of memories from fans of all ages. Born in Baltimore, he calls himself a “lifetime baseball fan” whose favorite players are Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray. He has loved attending Mets and Yankees games.

Ruff likens these two exhibitions to “playing in the sand box. Hopefully, that will be the same for people that walk through. Whether you’re a fan of the Mets, the Yankees, the Reds or whoever your team is, there’s a lot to appreciate and enjoy when you come see these shows.”

The Long Island Museum is located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook. For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

At 11-3, the Port Jefferson Royals — the defending Long Island champions — sat comfortably in second place, enjoying an 11-game winning streak. That is until the 3-10 Amityville Warriors came to town. 

In the second of a three-game series at Diamond in the Pines on Thursday, May 4, the Warriors snapped the Royals’ streak. The Warriors scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning, taking the lead. Port Jeff made a pitching change the following inning, but the bats went quiet, unable to rally back, falling to Amityville 7-3. 

Ruairi Rago managed the only hit for the Royals on the day while finding his way home. Teammate Natti Mullen crossed the plate twice. 

The deciding contest of this series took place the following afternoon, May 5, when each team put double-digit runs on the scoreboard. The Royals scored two more, though, winning the game 12-10 and taking two out of three games against the Warriors.

— Photos by Bill Landon

At 11-3 on the season, the Patriots of Ward Melville opened game one of the best of three game series at home against Bellport (6-8) on Monday, May 1, having defeated the Clippers decisively back in early April.

The Patriots bats spoke first, building a 7-4 advantage after four innings with pitcher Thomas Ruehle working his way out of a jam on two occasions in the early going. The Patriots prevailed, winning the League IV matchup, 9-5.

The Patriots trail top-seeded Connetquot by one game with five games remaining before postseason play begins May 16.

It was Luke Ciminiello’s bat that spoke first with a home run to drive in a run for the Bulls of Smithtown East in the opening inning for the early 2-0 lead in a road game against Centereach Thursday, April 13. The Cougars battled back, edging ahead to win 10-6 in the final game of a three-game series where Centereach won two out of three in the League IV matchup.

The win lifts Centereach to 2-6 in the early season as the Bulls drop to 3-5.

April is known to be a month when pitchers are ahead of the hitters — but this is getting ridiculous.

The Northport Tigers baseball team was shutout on only one hit on Saturday, 2-0 against West Islip to wrap up a three-game set. Also wrapped up are the Tiger bats, as Lions right-handed pitcher Evan Byrnes pitched the complete game one-hitter and struck out nine. Northport was held hitless through five in their opener against West Islip righty Chris Lospinuso, and they have scored only seven runs in the first three games thus far, losing two of three to West Islip to start the season.

Northport’s lone hit against Byrnes might well have even been a gift from the official scorer, as West Islip right fielder Erick Burciaga was unable to grab Dominick Tetta’s pop fly behind the first base bag in the third inning.

Burciaga raced about 40 yards towards the right field foul line and lunged for the ball, but he closed his glove a split second too early and the ball fell to the grass. Despite the long run, he feels he should have made the catch.

“I should have had it and I wish they ruled that an error,” Burciaga said, “I apologized to Byrnesie because I felt bad, but he was very nice about it. He cared more about winning the game.”

Byrnes still took the opportunity to needle his teammate.

“I told him on the bus the bus ride that he ruined my no-hitter, but he knew I was kidding,” said Byrnes, who is only a sophomore. “In truth, I wasn’t even expecting him to get near that ball. It would have an incredible play.”

Though Byrnes was dominant, West Islip’s offense didn’t exactly burn up the basepaths in this series either, as the Tigers actually outscored them 7-6 in the three games. Northport won the middle game 6-2, but the Lion offense mustered enough to take two of three, as Lospinuso and Byrnes held them in check, allowing only one run in 14 innings. 

The Tiger strung together an effective bullpen game as righties Mike Lombardo, Liam Ryan and Ty D’Amico combined to give up only one earned run. On this day against Byrnes, who improves to 2-0 in 2023 and hasn’t allowed a run in 11 innings, it was one too many.

“West Islip has a great pitching staff and it seems like they do every year,” said Northport head coach Sean Lynch. “In both of the losses, we were in the game until the end, but they found away to scratch out runs when they needed to and we didn’t. It’s as simple as that.”

Tiger shortstop Owen Johansen hit a long drive to right after Tetta reached base with his hit, but Burciaga was able to make the catch steps in front of the fence. That’s the closest Northport was to scoring a runoff of Byrnes. 

“I have a feeling he (Byrnes) is going to be one of the toughest guys we face this year,” Lynch said. “I’m hoping our bats start to come alive as the weather gets warmer and we get used to facing live pitching.”

Byrnes was honored by Lynch’s assessment of his performance.

“It’s definitely one of the greatest feelings in the world to have that type of respect from the coach of a top team like Northport,” Byrnes said. “They have a tough lineup with a bunch of guys who can change a close game with one swing, so I’m glad we were able to finish the series with a win.”

Northport will need to string together a few good swings, starting with their three-game set against Half Hollow Hills East that kicked off on Tuesday.

Zeros filled the scoreboard on Opening Day at John DeMartini Baseball Field in Northport on Monday afternoon.

West Islip righthander Chris Lospinuso had a no-hitter through five innings and despite having traffic in almost every inning, Northport’s sophomore lefty Max Donecea had managed to keep the Lions off the scoreboard through six.

Something had to give.

When Northport Tiger senior catcher, lead-off hitter and captain John Dwyer strode up to the plate in bottom of the sixth inning and not only broke up the no hit bid but put the Tigers ahead 1-0 with a 362-foot home run over the left center field fence, it gave.

Lospinuso had finally blinked, and Donecea wanted nothing more than to slam the door shut in the top of the inning. He could not.

Lion centerfielder Sean Boyle led off the seventh with a clean single, was sacrificed to second and scored on a suicide squeeze executed perfectly by left fielder Erick Burciaga. The game was tied at one.

“That squeeze was a little surprising in the moment and I should have anticipated it,” Dwyer said. “Either way, they executed the play and it’s a tough play to defend if done right.”

Donecea was now out of the game and replaced on the mound by Owen Johansen, who has returned to the diamond after a year on the lacrosse team and a broken ankle during the football season. Johansen, who started the game at shortstop, pitched a scoreless eighth inning and gave his team a chance to earn a memorable, walk-off win on Opening Day. 

They were 90 feet from doing so.

Dwyer was hit by a pitch, Johansen and LF Michael Lombardo singled, and Northport had the bases loaded and nobody out. But with Dwyer dancing off third, ready to score the winning run, West Islip reliever Frank Romano induced a popup and struck out two to escape the jam. 

In his second inning of work, Johansen allowed a walk, threw a wild pitch and then gave up an RBI single to Burciaga. After being in line for the win, Johansen took the hard-luck loss.

“West Islip is one of the best teams in the county and this year is no different,” said Northport Head Baseball Coach Sean Lynch. “It was very frustrating not to get that run to win the game, especially with the way Max threw the ball today.  He pitched a great game.”

“I would have loved to finish the game,” said Donecea, who gave up five hits, four walks and struck out seven. “I felt like my control could have been a little better, but overall, I think I pitched well.”

Also pitching well was Lospinuso, who struck out 11. But he lamented the one mistake that cost him his no-no.

“I left a splitter up to that kid [Dwyer] and he took advantage of it,” said Lospinuso. “Other than that, all three of my pitches were working well today. I was able to keep them off-balance with four seam fastball, splitter and curve.”

Northport was able to balance their record on Tuesday by beating the Lions in West Islip. Aiden Bisson got the win for the Tigers in their 6-2 victory. The rubber match will be played on April 8 at Northport.

The Northport Tigers baseball team scrimmaged against the Walt Whitman Wildcats on Friday, March 24, at the John DeMartini Baseball Complex at Northport High School.

The game was unscored as the Tigers continued to tune up their pitchers as they steam toward Opening Day for league play, which will be at home against West Islip on April 3.

Aiden Bisson, a senior and the ace of the staff in 2022, pitched three innings and gave up four runs but they were unearned. Senior pitchers Jayden Paranandi and Tyler Mulligan also got work in and were effective.

Senior outfielder Stephen Blazevich smacked a three-run homer over the left-center field fence in the fourth inning, when the Tiger scored four runs.

The Tigers played to a 0-0 tie in their final tune-up against St. John’s the Baptist High School in West Islip on Tuesday. Max Donecea and Bisson held the Cougars scoreless. The Tiger starting pitcher for the opener is yet to be determined.

Facebook photo/New York Yankees

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

If I were pitching to Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, I would probably take a long pause before throwing my first pitch.

I know it’s absurd to think of this older man who never threw a ball much harder than low high school level pitching to a generational legend, but let’s play out the fantasy for a laugh or two.

I wouldn’t pause so I could figure out how to get him out. Sure, it’d be nice to do my job well and my teammates might appreciate it if I gave us a better chance to win a game.

Instead, I would need to ponder the moment that history might be calling. I’d be thinking about the best choreographed reaction to him hitting a home run. I mean, after all, the pitchers who surrender his long home runs are, in their own way, famous.

They share the moment between when they release the ball, and he obliterates it into the night sky, sending thousands of people screaming out of their seats, arms in the air, sharing in the majesty that wouldn’t be possible without my meatball pitch sputtering, laughably, towards his powerful bat.

If he sent a ball out of the stadium, I would be joining select company, with so many pitchers around the majors surrendering home runs in a historic year.

I’d be thinking about how I’d look in newsreels or newscasts or digital versions of the Aaron Judge year to remember.

I could imagine ways to overreact. I could throw my glove on the mound, gesture wildly by putting my hands in the air, or shake my head so violently that my manager and the trainer would have to waddle out to the mound to put me in a neck brace.

Or, maybe I’d hold my glove up to my face and appear to yell a stream of expletives into my mitt, as if, somehow, I knew I should have thrown a different pitch in a different spot.

Then again, I could rub my fingers in some dirt and write a capital “AJ” on my uniform, like scarlet letters, except it wouldn’t be anything puritanical, and I would be acknowledging my inferiority.

None of that seems like me, even in my fantasy world.

Being stoic would make me too much of a personality-less pitcher. Let’s face it: even in my imaginary moment of being an above average starter or relief pitcher, the time to focus on me would be incredibly short.

Let’s say I didn’t blink after he hit the home run. Or, maybe, I tracked the flight of the ball carefully, like a zebra eyeing a lion suspiciously in the Serengeti. That might get me on TV and make me more than just another guy who gave up a home run to Aaron Judge.

Maybe I’d wait at home plate and give him a high five or a fist bump to acknowledge a full season worth of greatness. While kids do that in Little League, professional players generally don’t acknowledge the remarkable achievements of their opponents.

When he reached second base, I could put down my glove and clap from the mound, ever so briefly. Then, perhaps, I’d take off my hat and salute him.

Or, maybe I could take a page out of the more subtle but celebrated Mona Lisa textbook. I could give just a hint of a smile as if I were saying, “you beat me and you’re a pretty spectacular hitter. There’s no shame in losing this battle and now we’re weirdly connected, like we’re kind of twins, except that you’re great and going to be remembered forever and I’m just going to be remembered for starting the ball on its magical journey into the history books.”

METRO photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

Have you seen images of the Greek gods on Mt. Olympus?

Sure, some of them looked like they were having fun, like Dionysus, while others were out hunting or frolicking, annoying their spouses and causing all kinds of havoc on the Earth below.

But when they weren’t getting ready for an intractable war with each other or with the Titans, they seemed bored.

Perfection wasn’t all that inspirational, peaceful or enjoyable.

Maybe the Greeks knew a thing or two about perfection. Maybe we shouldn’t crave or want perfection from our kids, particularly on the verge of the new academic year.

Mistakes provide an opportunity to learn, while adversity also offers a chance to grow and develop resilience.

Failing, striking out, falling down, biting our lips or tongue, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and getting a question or two wrong on a test provide opportunities to learn.

Your kids and mine are bound to get something wrong. The question doesn’t need to be a reflexive, “why did you get that wrong?” The better question is: “how will you respond to that moment?”

I have been at baseball games where parents are at their worst when their children don’t perform as they (the parents) would like. One parent, who coached with me when his child was around 11 years old, screamed at him for not swinging at a called third strike.

The other kids on the bench looked horrified, while the child sat off by himself at the corner of the bench.

The error didn’t happen between the lines. It happened on the bench when the father made a potential learning experience uncomfortable.

Change and growth can be painful. Parents, teachers and friends shouldn’t compound the discomfort.

I definitely live in a glass house. When I evaluate my parenting skills, I recognize deficiencies and have tried to improve.

I have told my children that I recognize that I made mistakes when I’ve said the wrong thing to them.

Maybe, before the new academic year begins, it’d help to have a conversation with our kids about the role they would like us to play. This may turn into something of a negotiation, as interactions with children often are, but at least we can have an idea before we repeat patterns that may not work for our children, of what they’d prefer.

It took me a long time to ask my daughter what she’d like me to say in response to moments of adversity.

Letting our children make every decision won’t always lead to the best outcome. They might, for example, prefer to eat cookies for breakfast and cake for dinner.

Giving them a chance, however, to suggest ways we can do exactly what we’re trying to accomplish, by supporting them, encouraging them, and helping them improve, may create a better and healthier dynamic for them.

The pursuit of perfection is tiring and is bound to lead to disappointment. Chasing ways to be better, however, and seeing growth opportunities can be rewarding.

We as parents made countless mistakes when we were our children’s age. We can’t prevent them from making mistakes. While we might also share stories about the discomfort brought on by our errors, we can’t even prevent them from doing the same stupid, inappropriate, ill-advised and awkward things we did, no matter how much we plead with them to learn from us.

What made those Greek gods so compelling were the stories of their imperfections. I’m not sure they learned from their mistakes, but, as the Greek chorus suggests in tragedies, maybe we can.

Frank Boulton, third from right in front row, cuts the ribbon with County Executive Robert Gaffney, second from left in front row, state Senator Owen Johnson, third from left, and other officials in April 2000. Photo from the Long Island Ducks

By James Teese

[email protected]

“Fans come first.”

Buddy Harrelson’s oft-stated line was true when he and Frank Boulton founded the Long Island Ducks and “fans come first” remains a baseball and business mantra for a thriving organization that still draws legions of fans to the ballpark — over eight million since the team played its inaugural season in 2000.

Patrick Czark, 10, of Setauket, shows off the bat he received for being the first child in line for tickets in 2012. Photo by James Teese

With deep community ties — Boulton from Brightwaters, Harrelson in Hauppauge — the high school baseball player turned successful bond trader and New York Mets World Series champion — created and grew what has become one of Long Island’s great attractions. And the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), also founded by Boulton, became a reality as an independent league as the owner negotiated to bring a ballpark and a team to Suffolk.

“So, I started working on the Atlantic league in the early to mid 90s,” Boulton said. “It took me about five years to get everything put together in the ballparks and the ballparks being built for the Atlantic League.” 

Already an owner of minor league teams, Boulton always wanted to bring a ball club to his Long Island home, seeing the potential as he had elsewhere.

“We saw that [in other locales] we had the same kind of families in Wilmington, Delaware as in Long Island … very similar,” he said.

He saw similar “socioeconomic groupings” and “thought that with our density of population [on Long Island] and the fact that we really didn’t have anything like [a minor league team].”

“At the time, you know, there was no aquarium,” he said “People would go to the beaches … we were an island … with beaches, sailing, even water skiing. But being a baseball guy, I just saw the demographics were just too ripe here.”

“And I wanted to take what I learned on the road,” he added. “Just like a Broadway show when they first take a show on the road.”

In fact, part of the move to create the ALPB and the Ducks was spurred by the New York Mets organization vetoing an unaffiliated minor league team within 75 miles of their own ball club. Boulton had originally hoped to move his New York Yankees farm team to Suffolk; the Yankees were OK, the Mets were not.

Public private partnership

Now known as Fairfield Properties Ballpark, in 2000 the Ducks played under the banner of EAB Ballpark. It was, and remains owned by Suffolk County, which also collects the monies from the naming rights.

Boulton has nothing but praise for the state and county officials who helped make the stadium a reality.

“As a young man, I had been involved with the YMCA,” Boulton said. “I’ve been involved in many different community endeavors …So I got to meet a lot of elected officials. I had worked with [State Senator] Owen Johnson and … without Owen Johnson, this ballpark probably wouldn’t have been built.” 

Johnson went to the New York State Empire Development Corp.

“We gained $14.3 million dollars, economic state, a grant for which Suffolk County [gained the benefit],” he added. Bob Gaffney was the County Executive at the time, and he and his guy [Deputy CE] Eric Kopp … were very instrumental. They were both big baseball fans, Bob and Eric. The county level [of government] was great!”

Then-Commissioner of Public Works for the County, Charles Bartha, remembered a fast-paced project.

“[The ballpark] was designed and built in just 14 months from when the grant was signed,” the engineer said. 

The lead architectural firm was BD Harvey, he said, a national firm that was one of only a handful that did work on big ballparks. 

The county’s officials had “a strong feeling and confidence in Frank [Boulton’s] ability to promote and run [the team and ballpark.]”

The county, said Boulton, “has seen a return on its money from day one.”

Lined up for tickets

The Czark Family. Photo by James Teese

After a decade, the fans still lined up. In 2012, this reporter recalls, some light snow and low temperatures did not deter faithful fans on a Saturday morning for the opening of the then-named Bethpage Ballpark ticket office. 

The Czark Family from Setauket comprised the first fans in line for a second consecutive year, having arrived Thursday morning.

“I was not ready [for the snow] but we got through it.  We were online about 48 hours,” Christopher Czark said. “The kids just enjoy coming out to the ballpark. The Ducks always have something new every year. The girls like Sundays when they get to run the bases and meet the players. It’s a great experience for them.”

Getting fans and community involved

During games, fans are a part of the show. In-between every inning, the Ducks hold what they call “fan-interactive promotions” on the field. The activities, which fans sign-up for, are sometimes sweepstakes, other times funny contests such as ’dizzy bats” or ”musical chairs,” and sometimes a celebration of a young fan’s birthday — joined by QuackerJack and serenaded by the on-field host.

Even for family members less enthusiastic about baseball, there is constant action and entertainment. Sunday is Family Funday, including the post-game opportunity for kids to line-up by first base and run the bases to home plate.

And special games are followed by numerous Postgame Fireworks Spectaculars, a favorite for thousands of fans who regularly fill the ballpark for the pyrotechnic display.

More seriously, at every home game the team recognizes local veterans as well as active-duty service men and women, this year with the Suffolk County Office of Veteran Affairs and New York Community Bank, in a program called “Heroes of the Game.” 

“The feedback we received from fans, veterans, sponsors and the community has been tremendously positive,” said Ducks President and General Manager Michael Pfaff.

In fact, when the public address system marks the moment, the fans — in a county which is home to nearly 100,000 veterans — consistently rise to deliver a standing ovation.

Outside the ballpark, QuackerJack and team members are often seen in the community, participating in local parades and charity drives, visiting hospitals, schools and more.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ducks hosted numerous donation events at the ballpark, and acted as a vaccination site.  Programs to aid the community are ongoing and effective fundraisers, whether its “Home Runs for Hunger” or “Breast Cancer Awareness Night,” the Ducks are a vibrant and contributing force in the surrounding communities.

Ducks fans all

After being refused the chance to relocate his Yankees farm team, Boulton had a realization: “If I had had a Yankee team, I would have been splitting the baby. So, now we have Yankee fans that are Ducks fans, and we have Mets fans that are Ducks fans.”

And just plain Ducks fans, of course. 

Whether it’s through promotions, the reasonably priced tickets and concessions, or the free parking, the Ducks endeavor to provide a cost-effective choice for a family’s scarce disposable dollars.

Twenty-one seasons and counting, and fans still come first.

James Teese has written for numerous Long Island news outlets and has covered the Long Island Ducks since their first Opening Day.