BC Update: Coming Back Home
By Elio Velez
The Brooklyn Cyclones return home after a 2-week journey on the road mixed with 1 game homestands. Though it was an arduous journey, the Cyclones will return home to play the last 11 of 14 regular season games. In third place and within striking distance of winning the division, Brooklyn will control their own destiny when they face division leaders Williamsport and Staten Island.
The Cyclones will face off against their rivals in the division 6 times before the season ends on September 4th. Five of the six games will be at home.
The road trip saw some firsts achieved for members of the home team. Hard luck pitcher Miguel Pinango finally picked up his first win of the season after 5 losses in a 9-4 victory over the Tri-City Valley Cats. Pinango held the Cats to 1 run in 5 innings.
It was only fitting that the most versatile member of the Cyclones would win the Most Valuable Player Award. IF/OF Blake Whealy won the NY Penn League Most Valuable Player of the Week Award by hitting .414, 2 HR, 9 RBI and 7 runs scored. Whealy has improved his average over .320 and is in the top 10 in the many of the league’s offensive categories.
Pitcher Kevin Deaton has used his outstanding control to win his sixth consecutive game as the Cyclones swept Tri-City on August 20. Deaton is among the league leaders in strikeouts.
The offensive explosion has spread to many of the team including once struggling players such as 2001 Cyclone heroes such as Frank Corr and Joe Jianetti. In his last ten games, Corr has hit .323 and driven in 10 runs and Joe Jianetti has a .300 average and is driving in key runs.
First round pick Scott Kazmir continued to dazzle in his second start as he struck out 7 Valley Cats in 4 innings and only allowed 1 hit. The 18 year old did not get the win but in his first 2 starts; Kazmir has struck out 11 in 6 innings. He is expected to pitch at least 2 more ballgames for the Cyclones.
Petition for Gil Hodges
The Brooklyn Cyclones have started a petition drive to nominate Dodgers’ and Mets’ former great Gil Hodges to the Hall of Fame. On August 25, the Cyclones will have a formal tribute to the Brooklyn legend with a video tribute filled with highlights of his Dodgers and Mets career and personal remembrances. The Cyclones will also permanently retire Hodges’s #14 jersey at Keyspan Park.
The Cyclones have chosen that day to officially start the push to gather petitions from brooklyncyclones.com or at the ballpark to submit Hodges’ name to the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee for induction into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
An outstanding player for the memorable Dodgers’ team of the 1950’s, the first baseman drove in over 100 RBIs in seven consecutive seasons. He hit 30 or more homeruns six times and helped the Brooklyn Dodgers win their only championship n 1955. A three time Gold Glove, Hodges managed the Mets to their first championship in 1969. He died of a heart attack at 47 years old in 1972 before the start of the Major League Baseball season.