2002-07-06 / Sports

Hopes, Dreams, Home Runs And The Who

By Elio Velez

Hopes, Dreams, Home Runs And The Who

By Elio Velez

A sellout crowd at the ballpark, parents attend with their children, hot dogs are eaten, the mascot plays with the children and all people have a great time. Of course you find that at Yankee and Shea Stadium, but Keyspan Park is the becoming one of the next hottest places to be.

The sellouts and the great enthusiasm that the fans have shown toward the youngsters of the Brooklyn Cyclones have surprised me. I never thought that Brooklyn or even the Rockaways would adopt the Cyclones as their home team.

The first thing you get shocked about is the $4 parking. That’s unheard of for a sporting facility. At Yankee Stadium, the price for parking ranges from $10-18 and at Shea Stadium, it is almost $10. Inside the stadium, beer, hot dogs, popcorn is just a few dollars less than the stadiums. But when you have Nathan’s just two blocks down the street, it can be a worthy alternative.

The Cyclones are a Single A team for the Mets organization and most players begin this year playing professional ball. Of course, there are mistakes since they are learning, but the hustle is there and the crowd does not get angry at the mistakes. It’s an understanding that permeates through the sellout crowd.

The atmosphere is great for children. Activities are held within the innings for prizes such as hitting water balloons and Sandy the mascot goes through the crowd to hug youngsters and give them high fives.

When the original deals were made with the city, Brooklyn got a team first because of their previous tradition with the Dodgers. If there is a future expansion of minor league teams into the city, and I doubt that it would happen, Rockaway would be a great place to host a team.

People say that can’t happen; there is no car access; the community wouldn’t support it, blah blah blah. There is enough land that has been waiting for years to be developed throughout the peninsula for a stadium, shops and housing to be placed there. If I am in fairy tale land with my statements, then I will proudly say that I am a member of the fairy tale community. Bring baseball to Rockaway.

If not, then the city should use those lands to use as baseball and recreational fields for the kids. I think I’m back in reality with that statement, huh?

Olympics in Rockaway?

The United States Olympic Committee came to New York for a two-day visit to hear the city’s pitch for the 2012 Olympics. Even if the Olympics are 10 years away, the city has stated quite loudly that they want to be the host city.

New York City has the done the same thing that previous cities have done to get the games. We have wined, dined and given gifts to the committee that still hasn’t fully admitted that they took illegal gifts from Salt Lake City back in 1998, when they wanted to be the host city. For the privilege of showing how we are the greatest city in the world (and giving enough money behind closed doors), The Olympics will be located here.

Rockaway gets into the Olympic game in the proposed deal by New York Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff and the NYC 2012 committee. In that deal, Breezy Point will be the launch site for the sport of sailing. According to the NYC2012 website, Gateway will create "a sweeping, crescent-shaped boardwalk, built on piers to preserve the natural shoreline, will link this new marina's buildings, storage yard, and boat slips."

Well, before people start jumping for joy, there could be problems ahead. Word has started to spread that due to the possible big crowds, Breezy Point residents do not want the big crowds near their streets and homes.

Just becausethe plan is not finalized, it does not mean that the plan won’t materialize. The communities should talk it over with the city to make contingency plans on how to handle the community board. Jonathan Gaska, district board manager of Community Board 14, says, "As long at it doesn’t negatively impact the community, it’s something we are willing to talk about."

The Olympics will not decide if New York is one of the United States finalists until November of this year. It won’t be until 2005 when the Olympics choose the host city for the 2012 Olympics. There is still time for rational discussion and if there is an agreement, the Olympics will show Rockaway to the entire world. I just hope that regular people can view the event and not just the corporate fatcats. Does it still sound like I’m skeptical on the sincerity of the Olympic committee to be fair in judging New York City? You bet your sweet bippy I do.

This column is in honor of John Entwistle, who recently passed away and with the band, The Who, was one of the best bassists in rock and roll history. The Kids Are Alright.

Until next week, Peace.

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