Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Green-Wood Volunteers go to Cyclones Baseball

(Click on all photos to enlarge)
We had the opportunity to go to a minor league baseball game this past weekend as part of a free promotion through Green -Wood Cemetery, where my husband and I volunteer as Civil War Veteran Research Volunteers. You can read about the 6 year research project here.
The magnificent Victorian front gate of this historical cemetery can be seen in the photo above.

Below is the view of Manhattan over Brooklyn rooftops from one of the hills in Green-Wood. I love the vistas from certain areas of the cemetery!

This is the view of the Statue of Liberty from the same hill, with some of the Brooklyn docks in the foreground.

We gathered by the front gate as we were all going to ride together to the baseball game on the Green -Wood Cemetery "Trolley." The trolley takes visitors on scheduled tours of Green-Wood Cemetery which is now a National Historic Landmark, and has long been considered one of the world's most beautiful cemeteries. It is the final resting place of nearly 600,000 people, including some of history's most memorable figures. It has 478 acres filled with thousands of trees, flowering shrubs and four lakes.

Henry Chadwick, the "Father of Baseball" is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, so in a way baseball has been a part of Brooklyn for a very long time!

We were going to attend a Cyclone game, a minor league baseball team who are affiliated with the New York Mets. The Brooklyn Cyclones, named after the famous Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island, are Brooklyn's first professional baseball team since 1957, when the Dodgers left Ebbets Field for Los Angeles.

The sculpture seen below, which is located outside the park entrance, commemorates a turning point in baseball history when then Brooklyn Dodgers team captain Harold Henry "Pee Wee" Reese showed his support for Jackie Robinson, the first Major League black baseball player, while Robinson was being heckled during a game at the Cincinnati Reds ball park in 1947.

KeySpan Park, home to the Brooklyn Cyclones, opened in June 2001. Located on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, it was built on the old site of Steeplechase Park, an amusement park that closed in the 1960's. It's a beautiful modern stadium with neon lights, a boardwalk connecting the infield and outfield seats, and the Atlantic Ocean is visible over the right field fence.

On December 15, 2002, a 9/11 tribute was unveiled on the outside walls of Keyspan Park called The Wall of Remembrance ,which honors the 116 fallen firefighters from Brooklyn and Brooklyn firehouses, including Father Mychal Judge, the Fire Department Chaplin, who gave the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001

Each of the 116 firefighters' faces are laser engraved on black granite, their names, ranks and firehouses also appears. The design also includes a six-foot bronze sculptured statue of two surviving firefighters holding the helmet of a fallen firefighter.

Ultimately the names of Brooklyn Police and PAPD officers who also lost their lives on 9/11 were added. (photo above)

Inside, the ballpark's scoreboard features a silhouette of the Cyclone roller coaster in honor of the home team.

KeySpan Park opened with a capacity of 6,500, but the Cyclones were so popular that additional seats were added and the capacity is now approximately 8,000. The evening we attended the game they played the Hudson Valley Renegades.

Keyspan features a party deck for groups, skyboxes, and a two-story Cyclones team souvenir store, plus many food and drink concessions

Many fun and lively competitions, songs and dances and tee shirt give aways are held between innings, which makes the game fun for children to attend. Below we can see the end of a hot-dog race where fans root for the dogs topped with mustard, ketchup or relish. Guess who won?

Sandy The Seagull is the mascot of the Cyclones. In the photo below we can see him lead the crowd in a chant.

A close up of the score board with the actual historical Coney Island Cyclone Roller Coaster in the background.

The Cyclones won the game 3 to 1! It was a lot of fun and we all rode back to the cemetery to pick up our cars to go home.

It was a nice way to end the Labor Day weekend and to say goodbye to summer.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend too!


sonia a.m. said...

Wow! What a great reportage! Love all photos! I would love to know New York. My husband, many years ago, studied in NYU, for eight months. But in this time I did not know him yet.

Thanks for your visiting and for the link to my blog. I also link your beautiful blog.

Picket said...

Man...I always leave your post feeling alittle smarter! lol You give the best details & pictures!!! Good to hear from you sweetie...hope you are having a great week!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Sounds like a fun and exciting way to spend the long weekend. I love the picture of the Statue of Liberty. That is one place I want to go someday!

Lavinia said...

Oh my. You can literally never ever run out of things to see and do in New York. It's impossible. Your blog brings home the truth that New York is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, city in the world. That memorial wall is magnificent..what a tribute to the fallen firemen...

Lavinia said...

Pat, my post yesterday, entitled "Lost Love" is a tale of New York!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I just clicked through to your post about your volunteer project. How cool is that?!? That may be my favorite post of yours yet, and that's saying something!

I haven't been to a Cyclones game and this is the first time I've seen pictures of it. I think my mom is still mourning the loss of the Dodger. :-) What's the status of the "real" Cyclone? They're not really still talking eminent domain/tear down, are they??

steviewren said...

That is the most fabulous gate I have ever seen!

Joanne Kennedy said...

Well for the life of my I can never figure out why the Dodgers ever left NY. But, to me they have always been the LA Dodgers as they were here before I was born.

My dad used to love the NY Dodgers and went to see them play often so he was happy when they moved out here as he was living here then. It was like having his "home town team" again.

Looks like you had a great time.


Anonymous said...

Great photos! Thanks for posting them. I love 'em!
Maryann xox

Camille said...

I love all your photos! When we lived in NC we were not to far from a "farm" league baseball stadium. We loved going to the minor league games. (Although I'd prefer to see my Yankees play despite how poorly they did this year...but hey, there might be hope for the Jets...I can wish.)

My dad is a big civil war buff and we just went to Gettysburg this past weekend. (The volunteer project is very interesting!) Gettysburg isn't too far for us and I think we'll try to go the anniversary of the Address in November.

Mrs. B said...

How nice that you were all rewarded for the hard work you put in at the cemetary! That looks like fun. The memorial to the firefighters is so beautiful and very moving!

Donna said...

When we visited Coney Island last year, we saw the park, no game though. Looks like so much fun! I would love to see Green-Wood Cemetery too. Wonderful photos and great info!


Strider said...

Got to appreciate the effort the minor leaguers put in. Great intertainment. Nice pics.

Lisa B. said...

What a fun day! I love the entrance to the cemetery...just beautiful. I love seeing the sights of Brooklyn thru your eyes!!

Junie Moon said...

Your ballpark is much more interesting than ours. The gothic spires contrasted against the more modern skyline makes for an interesting picture. I love that tribute to the fallen from 9/11. The idea of using lasered pictures of these brave people is a good reminder that real people died quite tragically and needlessly.

Cori G. said...

HI Pat,
What a perfect way to end the summer.When I lived in San Diego I loved to go to the Padre games, but haven't kept up with any of it since I moved.
How's your packing and preping going...hopefully well.
I'm looking forward to wednesday.
Talk to you soon. XO Cori

Mel said...

Hi Pat -

Two of my hubby's favorite things, history and baseball. Den is researching a book on an Irish Actor that was prominent in NYC in the mid 1800's and is buried in Greenwood. A friend of ours who lives in Brooklyn found and photographed his headstone for us. The veterans project is amazing and it must be so rewarding to work with it.

You always amaze me!

Talk to you soon,