2006-08-11 / Sports

Aura Of The Chicken Lifts Brooklyn Cyclones

By Elio Velez

Jacob Ruckle. Photo By Borriello Photography.  Jacob Ruckle. Photo By Borriello Photography. New players can arrive or depart from the Brooklyn Cyclones at any time. So goes the business of baseball but a new member of the team have been placed on official program scorecard and will be a perment fixture for the rest of the season.

If you cluck, I mean check his name, it's contributions to the team has been extraordinary or superstitious according to any Cyclones player you ask. The Rally Chicken, the new clubhouse mascot and lucky charm has created a quite stir.

"We don't like to talk about the chicken," Jacobs laughed as he spoke about his "teammate".

"He's a behind the scenes kind of guy. It's kind of funny. It keeps us loose and its just superstitious I guess. It's a lot fun because he's definitely for us and backing us up every day."

The chicken's presence has spread throughout the whole team in a good way of course. The Cyclones woeful start of the season has been erased by their torrid pace of late. Brooklyn completed a 12 game winning streak, gained the best record in the New York Penn League and rose to first place in the McNamara Division last week against the cross-town rival Staten Island Yankees. The turnaround also gave George Greer and his the opportunity to manage the National League at the NYPL All -Star Game in Aberdeen on August 16.

At presstime, the Cyclones fell back to earth with two losses, which tied them for the division lead with Staten Island with a 29-20 record.

Greer certainly has two candidates to choose as potential all-stars. The New York Penn League honored outfielder Dustin Martin with Player of the Week honors as he continued to rip opposition pitching. From July 31August 6, he batted .464 with seven RBI, five runs scored and a .821 slugging percentage.

His four triples last week increased his yearly record to six, which broke the all time short season single A Cyclones record five set by teammate Joe Holden in 2005. A remarkable statistic is that he's hit better at the road, batting .443 than at home, where he's hitting under .200 for the season

Starting pitcher Jacob Ruckle, the 6 foot 2, 195 pound starter has a herky jerky delivery to the mound with a high leg kick and outstretched arms. But his quirky delivery has given him the results the Cyclones have wanted.

With a 4-1 record and a team leading .241 ERA, Ruckle had his best performance of the year on August 7 against Staten Island. Pitching 8 strong innings, he allowed only four hits and struckout a career high 10 batters.

The Cyclones play a three game series at home against Batavia on Saturday and have two off-days for the AllStar Game.

Rockaway Night

Residents of the Rockaways are invited to attend the September 7th game against the Vermont Lake Monsters as the Cyclones pay tribute to the peninsula in "Salute to the Rockaways" night. Tickets start at only $6. If u call the Brooklyn Cyclones at 718449-8497, ask for Ricky or Greg and mention the term "Rockaway Chamber", people can receive a discount on their tickets.

The September 7 home game starting at 7 p.m. will be the final game of

the regular season as an overall part of Fan Appreciation Night. Hero of Flushing

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