On June 29, Derran Watts rocketed a double that hit the Garage Clothing “Hit this sign, win a suit” advertisement in left center field at Keyspan. It was only the second time the sign had ever been hit and the first time since the park’s inaugural 2001 season, when Jay Caligiuri earned the new duds.
When Caligiuri went to pick up his suit, he had it measured and tailored, but there was some miscalculation. Still, he had a date for the theater that night, so he pinned up his suit pants with safety pins. Nevertheless, he proudly wore the suit to see “The Lion King” on Broadway.
In old Ebbets Field, clothier and future borough president, Abe Stark, had an advertisement sign on the bottom of the right field wall that featured a ‘Hit Sign, Win Suit” promise. But that sign was not hit often.
The Stark sign was low to the ground and one of the best right fielders of all time, Carl Furillo, usually patrolled right in front of it. Not too many balls hit the Abe Stark sign, but some did. Furillo himself said he hit it once, and according to “The Baseball Almanac,” by Dan Schlossberg, Woody English of the Cubs actually hit the sign twice in the same game to win two free suits.
The Cyclones will not only be wearing high socks for all their games, but they will add traditional baseball stirrups to the uniform for all Sunday home games. The Brooks inaugurated the “old is new” look on Sunday, June 27, and the effect brought a 1950s look to their uniforms.
A Giant among Cyclones
James Burt has been added to the Cyclones roster, and he made his debut against Hudson Valley on June 30, going 0-3 with a walk. Burt is the son of former New York Giant and San Francisco 49er nose tackle Jim Burt, who won two Super Bowl titles in his career.
The younger Burt is a 5-foot-11, 230-pound first baseman who was named this season as a third team All-American by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. Burt hit .371 with 14 home runs and 74 RBIs this year as he led Miami University to a fifth-place finish in the College World Series.
I love a Parade Grounds
On Saturday, June 26 the Prospect Park Alliance, in partnership with the Cyclones, held Family Day at the Prospect Park Parade Grounds. The team, staff and fans attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the reopening of the Parade Grounds following a reconstruction that began with $12.5 million in funding from the borough president’s office. Numerous big-league players, such as Sandy Koufax, Joe and Frank Torre, Joe Pepitone, Willie Randolph, Lee Mazzilli, Shawon Dunston, Manny Ramirez and John Franco honed their skills at the Parade Grounds fields, which opened 135 years ago.
The Parade Grounds were also considered as a temporary home for the Cyclones in 2000, but community opposition forced the team to play in Queens at St. John’s University as the Queens Kings.
The Cyclones released second baseman David Housel and first baseman Justin Wendt.
Housel was in his fourth minor league season, and was in his second season with Brooklyn. He hit .258 with the Cyclones last year and was 0-3 this year. Wendt missed 2003 season because of an injury. He was 1-8 for the Clones this season.
July 3, 2004 issue
©2004 Community News Group
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