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Past Ballparks of New York City
New York City (Manhattan, Queens & Brooklyn)
September 29, 2007

By Ken Schlapp

Our next journey stop was to visit the most modern of baseball stadiums in Brooklyn, which is of course, Keyspan Park (now MCU Park), the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.  The stadium is located on Surf Avenue, between 16th and 19th Streets in Coney Island.  The Coney Island Beach borders the right field wall and the old parachute ride towers over the stadium as well.  The first game at Keyspan Park was on June 25, 2001, when the Brooklyn Cyclones defeated the Mahoning Valley Scrappers 3-2 in 10 innings.  This also represented the first professional baseball game in Brooklyn since the Dodgers abandoned the borough after the 1957 season. 

Keyspan Park is one of my favorite places in the world.  I had season tickets for a few seasons, and went as much as possible.  Walking from the Stillwell Avenue train station to the ballpark is half of the fun.  You see the famous Cyclone and Wonder Wheel, which are remnants from the areas famous amusement parks and freak shows.  From there, you have to stop at the Original Nathans for a hot dog, burger, or even a beer, take a walk on the boardwalk, or try some of the candy apples, pizza, and seafood from an earlier part of Coney Island’s history that still exist on Surf Avenue.

Luckily, for us, there was a game going on in the stadium when we got there, so we were able to go inside to fully see the stadium and watch some baseball.  Before going in, we stopped to see the statue in front of Pee Wee Reese with his arm around Jackie Robinson, which has come to symbolize Robinson’s acceptance on the Dodgers.  The Dodgers Hall of Fame is also located within the stadium.  What may still be the best aspect of the stadium is the view of the current amusement park beyond the left field walls and the old Parachute ride beyond right field, which almost acts as a distant foul pole.  The scoreboard also takes on a local flair with the design of the famous Cyclone roller coaster on top.  At the end of  each row of green seats is the old “B” emblem of the Dodgers and the current “NY” of the Mets, but I would like to think it also represents the New York Giants, which had the same “NY” emblem.

Actually catching a game here is a great experience.  The very Brooklyn fans, accent and all, are as much a part of the fun as the game itself.  They love this team as much as they loved the Dodgers.  I have been to many minor league games across the country, but no place compares to Keyspan Park at Coney Island.

From Keyspan, we drove back to the past and to David’s Park Slope Neighborhood, to catch our last two sites; The Washington Parks that the Dodgers played in prior to Ebbets Field, and the wall of the Washington Park that the Federal League’s Tip Tops played in.

NYC Ballparks Part VI

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