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Sep. 3 2009 - 12:18 pm | 13 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Brooklyn again knows suffering as inescapable facet of the human condition

KeySpan Park at Coney Island

Image via Wikipedia

The Hudson Valley Renegades beat the Brooklyn Cyclones 4-2 Wednesday night at KeySpan Park in Coney Island.

At least I think so. I left in the eighth inning.

A big Hudson Valley right hander whose name I didn’t catch stymied the Cyclones’ offense for much of the game. They did hit a prodigious number of pop-ups, however.

Carlos Beltran was a big letdown. He got a hit and an RBI in the first inning, according to a guy sitting behind me. I missed it because I was at Nathan’s, two blocks away, having a hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut and a small root beer.

But later, Beltran got tagged out diving back to first when the batter fanned. And in the eighth inning, he comes up with a man on and strikes out on a bad pitch. Big play of the game, it turns out. Air goes out of the balloon. Cyclones die.

My friend Steve gets up and yells, “Send him back to the majors!”

Beltran has knee trouble and is rehabbing with the Cyclones. He’s a Met. The Cyclones are a Mets farm team. They’re in the New York-Penn League, Class Short Season A. The short season’s almost over.

It is said that the Cyclones are leading the league. They didn’t look like it this night.

But there were other things to look at.

A full moon hung prettily over the center field wall, shading to left. Beyond right field (in foul territory) you could see the old Coney Island parachute jump. Beyond left, the Cyclone, which is a roller-coaster ride. That’s what the team was named for, not storms in the Pacific. The Cyclones are a few feet away from the Atlantic.

The crowd was large and mellow, maybe five thousand. I don’t know. I’m not great on facts. It was a beautiful night, just about perfect weather. A light jacket or sweater and you’re fine.

There were cheerleaders on top of the visitors’ dugout. There was a mascot in a purple outfit, another in a monkey costume and an annoying guy in monarchial garb designated, for no discernible thematic reason, King Henry. He gave out prizes, he danced, he presented an award to some local benefactor of the human race. There was also a juggler riding a unicycle. There was a race from left field to home pitting a mustard guy against a ketchup guy and a relish guy. There was a group of young black dancers.

The announcer informed us it was Wiener Wednesday, which entitled anyone who bought one hot dog to get another free.

The mascot in purple, whom the announcer introduced as Reggie the Purple Party Guy, did one routine involving an umpire. I have to say I thought this was terribly wrong. The umpire’s dignity should not be compromised.

The game program noted that fans can follow the Cyclones on their official website as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

The program contained many ads but the one that perhaps most bespoke Brooklyn past and present extolled Rabbi Harry Hertzberg, (www.rabbiharry.com) “A Rabbi who can re-connect you to your Judaism.” Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Simchas, Counseling, Funerals, Religious Services: all of these were offered. The ad continued: “Rabbi Harry is a modern Rabbi who believes ALL Jews belong in the community of Israel. He will work with you and help you achieve your goals—for any occasion.”

But when the Cyclones needed Rabbi Harry, he was nowhere to be found


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