Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Base Ball and Hot Dogs - Together at Coney Island

Due to a family conflict, I was unable to attend the Neshanock - Atlantic game at Coney Island this past Sunday.  More than ably filling in was contributing photographer Mark "Gaslight" Granieri who took on the dual role of photographer and author - thanks "Gaslight."

MCU Park

Flemington followed up their Saturday exhibition in Princeton with another exhibition on Sunday in Coney Island. As guests of the Brooklyn Atlantics, the Neshanock played at MCU Park which is home to the Brooklyn Cyclones, a N.Y. Mets Single-A farm club. Although not the traditional environment for a 19th Century Base Ball game, the opportunity to play in a stadium and show the game’s roots is always an exciting event.

The Neshanock survey the field

Coney Island by itself is never short on excitement during the summer. The beach and boardwalk provide a backdrop for a dizzying array of sights, sounds and smells. Within a short distance one can eat at Nathan’s, ride the Cyclone or Wonder Wheel and visit the New York Aquarium while the Parachute Drop stands sentinel over the area.

Nathan’s celebrates 100 years

Since the match had a time limit, both sides played at a brisk pace in order to maximize innings. Time was not wasted switching sides or strolling to the plate. The Park also contributed to the speed of the game because of the artificial turf which was installed after damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.  Ground balls followed a predictable path into defensive hands instead of a roller coaster ride due to furrows on a farm field. Also impressive clouts over outfielder’s heads turned into meek outs after a high bound bounce much to the frustration of more than one striker.

Rene “Mango” Marrero and Gregg “Burner” Wiseburn

In the game, Flemington played three muffins along with a helping of Gothams, most notably Charles “Bugs” Klansman who handled most of the pitching duties. It was a family affair as two of the muffins were the brothers of the Neshanock’s own Brad “Brooklyn” Shaw and Rene ”Mango” Marrero. For “Brooklyn” the match was a homecoming, hence the nickname, as he reminisced about time spent growing up in the surrounding neighborhood.

“Brooklyn” versus Brooklyn where else but in Brooklyn

The game saw Flemington hold an early 2-1 lead. But alas nothing could have cooled the Atlantic attack, neither the Neshanock nor the kitschy palm tree sprinklers on the beach. Brooklyn staged a comeback resulting in a 7 inning 6-2 victory. Meanwhile the cranks split their cheers between the exhibition and the broadcasting of Mike Piazza’s HOF induction speech on the video board.  No matter as both clubs enjoyed the competition and being able to give the Coney Island crowd a taste of base ball.

Postcard from Coney Island, Thanks to the Atlantics and Cyclones!

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