Yeah call me a sucker but I figured I'd go since I wasn't doing much else anyway and there was a very real possibility that Labor Day might be my last chance to see the team I've been rooting for all summer. Plus, when a number of players asks you if you're coming to a game (especially the one who gave you batting gloves) you should probably go right?
The games I went to reminded me why I don't like going to Brooklyn/Coney Island. There were way too many people, not just inside the stadium but outside too. I've heard stories from fellow autograph collectors that the crowds in CI are bigger than the ones in SI. It's easy to see why since the stadium is right next to the boardwalk/beach/amusement park. Despite the fact that the Cyclones were out of contention the stadium was pretty packed. I guess the novelty of Brooklyn baseball is still strong. Or it could've been a Saturday thing, I don't know.
Either way it didn't help me though. I'm used to being practically the only guy waiting for players at SI.
Still, I made my way to the third baseline where the SI Yankees were stretching. I got to talk with guys I've come to be really big fans of like Travis Hissong, Andre Del Bosque, Junior Valera and Yoel Espinal. And some Yankees recognized me like Schaub, Estrada and Zehner.
The first game was pretty important. The SI Yankees won off the strength of Ethan Carnes' pitching, the SI Yankees' clutch hitting and the Cyclones' bad fielding by a score of 7-3. Meanwhile the two teams that were tied for second place in the McNamara division (and were only 0.5 games back) the Renegades and Ironbirds apparently matched off against each other. If the Yankees can sweep the Cyclones they'll win the division. If the Yankees lost one game but if either Renegades or Ironbirds could win at least one game, the Yankees would've win the division. It was all very exciting!
I didn't get any autographs in game one. A fellow autograph collector helped me identify a Cyclones player after the game that I could've asked to sign my card of his but I didn't like the giant crowd. Also, the SI Yankees left aprox. 10 minutes after the game. They got on their bus and probably made their way back to SI where. So yes, the players got ready in SI (they probably changed into their uniforms and had batting practice in SI) before coming to Brooklyn.
I didn't go to game two (9/6) because the start time was at 1:00 PM and I can't be bothered to wake up that early for the sake of going to CI. The SI Yankees won 4-2 though, so yay!
Game Three was really important. While the Yankees had managed to win the day before, the Ironbirds managed to chug along and beat the Renegades as well, meaning the Ironbirds were still only 0.5 games behind the Yankees. If the Yankees lost the last game and the Ironbirds won their last game, the Yankees would've lost the division and the Ironbirds would be going to the postseason.
Obviously by the title of this post (oh yeah, SPOILERS!) the SI Yankees won. The Brooklyn Cyclones were a very bad team this year. They finished dead last in the McNamara division and suffered their first losing season in franchise history, and it was pretty easy to see why. A few misplays, a lot of bad at bats and a fair number of bad pitches was their undoing. The SI Yankees won by a final score of 5-2. Apparently the SI Yankees managed to win all six games they played in Brooklyn too.
With the victory the SI Yankees locked down their 10th playoff berth (this is the 16th season for the club BTW), their 8th McNamara Division title and are now looking to go for their 7th New York-Pennsylvania League championship.
While it's sad to see the regular season come to an end, I'll be the first person to admit that it's really cool to see your favorite team in the playoffs. The players you've come to know (who in turn know who you are as well) doing really well and potentially winning it all as quite something. This has easily been one of the best seasons I've ever had as a SI Yankees fan. Where will it go from here? Who knows? But it's been one heck of a ride :).
And no I didn't get any autographs in game three either. I certainly had many chances as it was Fan Appreciation Day at Brooklyn meaning that most of the Cyclones players lined up on the stairs prior to the game to sign autographs for the Cyclones fans. Because I'm not a Cyclones fan I just zoomed up the stairs before the players even came out and made my way to the third baseline. And of course by this point I didn't need any more autographs of the SI guys.
I did get a free photograph of the Cyclones though. It got crushed in my backpack but I still got it.
As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).