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Kids come out to play with Cyclones

Diamond Runner: Joseph Bruccoleri got to run the same basepaths the Cyclones do.
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It was an inside-the-park home fun.

Dozens of aspiring baseball phenoms showed up at MCU Park on July 9 for the first of a series of summer youth baseball and softball clinics sponsored by ballpark namesake Municipal Credit Union. Young ballplayers learned the finer points of the game from five Cyclone players, as well as former New York Mets pitching great and Brooklyn native John Franco.

“My lifelong dream of playing professional baseball began in Brooklyn, and the instruction and encouragement I received from coaches throughout my career allowed me to live that dream,” said Franco, a Mets reliever from 1990 to 2004 and spokesperson for Municipal Credit Union.

About 75 kids aged 7–14 stood on the same mound and rounded the same bases as the Cyclones at the first of three baseball-softball clinics this summer at MCU Park.

The Cyclones players led the youngsters in a variety of drills designed to hone their skills at base running, fielding, hitting, and pitching. The instruction did wonders for one future All-Star.

“My favorite part was learning what to do from players who actually play,” said Eamon Moogan, a 10-year-old first baseman and pitcher from Bedford-Stuyvesant. “They taught us how to run bases and how to advance if someone made a bad throw.”

Another aspiring Gold Glover was eager to put what the professionals taught him to good use.

“They showed us how to throw a change-up and a curveball,” said 11-year-old Joseph Bruccoleri of Marine Park. “Now that I know how to do that kind of stuff, I’m going to try it out.”

Each participant also got four tickets to that night’s Cyclones game against the Hudson Valley Renegades. Parents were thankful that their children were able to take part in the experience.

“It was awesome,” said mother Linden Holt. “They get to play on a professional field, hang out with the players, and meet John Franco. It was very generous.”

There will be two more clinics at the ballpark this summer.

MCU Youth Clinics at MCU Park (1904 Surf Ave. in Coney Island, brooklyncyclones.com/communitymega/kids/mcu/.) Aug. 12 and Aug. 24. Preregistration is required. Sign up online.

Reach reporter Eric Faynberg at (718) 260–2508 or by e-mail at efaynberg@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ericfaynberg.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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