The 2004 Brooklyn Cyclones baseball cards came out recently, and this Choice Sportscard set is pretty nice. They’re sold at Keyspan Park, and, like most baseball cards, they have a photo of a player on the front and his biography — albeit brief in these Cyclones’ case— on the back.
The dimensions of the cards, again, like most, are 3 inches tall, by 2-1/2 inches wide, by 1/50 of an inch thick. And as for this last dimension, well, there’s the rub. In a figurative sense, the narrowness of the cards precludes any in-depth understanding of the person behind the picture.
We all know there’s much more to any player than the information on his baseball card, but the brevity of the Cyclones season often means that sometimes fans don’t get to know the other side of the players’ lives. So the plan here was to talk to some of the women involved in the Brooklyn Cyclone experience. We talked with these women — moms and girlfriends — before and during the Aug. 16 game against Aberdeen at Keyspan.
“I was working out in the weight room when I met Tyler,” said Shermin Peredo, the girlfriend of Tyler Davidson, the Cyclones first baseman.
Peredo is from Mukilteo, Wash., and she and Davidson were attending the University of Washington, where she was a cheerleader and he was — you guessed it — a baseball player.
Peredo didn’t know much about baseball at the time, but she was soon attending Davidson’s games. His interest in baseball , though, didn’t involve just playing. He was also a fan, and soon so was Peredo.
“Tyler took me to my first professional baseball game, at the Seattle Mariners ballpark,” said the petite former high school athlete.
What is it like for her to visit Brooklyn and see Tyler play?
“It feels good to see the crowd reaction when he plays, and to see him do something that he’s wanted to do since he was young,” explained Peredo.
But Shermin doesn’t just follow Davidson’s play when she visits Brooklyn. Thanks to the Cyclones broadcasts on the Internet, Shermin can hear the Cyclones games on her computer when she is home in Seattle.
As an executive with a professional cheerleading company, Peredo has an office in her home.
“Usually, Tyler’s games are on the radio at around 4 pm Seattle time,” said Peredo. “I make sure to listen, and so does his family.”
The Cyclones have only three scheduled off-days, and the next day was the final off-day of the season. Would Peredo and Davidson’s plans include more baseball?
“We’re going to Great Adventure [Amusement Park],” mentioned Peredo. “I’ve never been there, and we’ll be going there tomorrow.”
It was Davidson’s turn at bat in the ball game. Peredo did some impromptu personal cheerleading from her seat near the Cyclones dugout. He cracked a hard single as she cheered some more.
While Peredo rooted from the first base side for Tyler and the Cyclones, on the third base side sat Linda Tijerina, the wife of the Cyclones’ manager.
Having her own career in sales for a publishing company means that Linda, like Tony, must often be on the road. She manages to take care of their 4-year-old daughter, Lauren, with some help from her parents, who live near Tony and Linda’s home in Newark Valley, N.Y. Linda and Lauren were making a visit to Brooklyn to see Tony.
Linda grew up in the Binghamton area and she lived there when Tijerina was in the Mets organization as a catcher for Binghamton. So, how did Linda meet Tony?
“My brother was a big fan of the Binghamton Mets, when Tony played for them,” said Linda.
“Soon, Tony and my brother became friends, and they would go fishing together, and that’s how I met Tony. We started to date and now we’ve been married for seven years.”
So what’s it like being married to a minor league manager?
“Many people don’t realize the hours that a manager puts in. He’s at the ballpark from morning until well after the game,” explained Linda.
The ballpark hours aren’t the only thing with which a manager’s wife must contend. There’s the lack of certainty about where a member of a professional baseball organization will be each year. Tijerina’s resume includes stops as a player, coach or manager with Pittsfield, Capital City, St. Lucie, Binghamton, and — for one game — Norfolk.
How does Linda deal with that?
“You get used to it. Tony’s doing what he loves, and I enjoy seeing him pursue what makes him happy,” added Linda.
There’s a lot of fun involved for Linda as well. Just one example happened when Tony was with the Pittsfield Mets, and he arranged for the team to stop at the hunting cabin that Linda’s dad has near the Tijerina’s home. The team bus pulled up and the whole club had a barbeque — a great change of routine.
The Cyclones game was moving towards the middle innings and Linda and Lauren moved upstairs to seats near the luxury boxes.
Not long after that, Tony was coaching at third base when a rocket-like foul ball took one bounce and hit him on the hip. Tony wasn’t injured, but he was bruised more than he let on. Linda, taking care of daughter Lauren, missed seeing it.
In the meantime, Davidson came out of the game because of some pain in his back.
Before the game, I had spoken with catcher Aaron Hathaway. I wanted to call his mother back in Washington State to see if she would provide some prospective on the Cyclones experience from the point of view of a player’s mother. Aaron was agreeable with the idea, and he was left alone to concentrate on his pre-game preparation.
Later in the game, Hathaway was catching when a runner was bearing down on the plate. Hathaway, who has suffered six concussions in his sports careers (three each in baseball and football) blocked the plate. The runner slammed into Hathaway, who dropped the ball. Later, Hathaway was removed from the game and sent to a hospital for treatment.
Two days later, at the Cyclones next game at Staten Island, the health reports filtered in.
Tijerina was in fine shape.
Davidson had aggravated some minor soreness in his back from a few games ago. Trainer Ruben Barrera told Davidson to take it easy, so Davidson had to cancel the outing to Great Adventure in New Jersey, and he and Peredo settled instead for some nearby beach time. He missed the game in Staten Island, but was expected to be back in the line-up soon.
There was concern from the Cyclones staff that Aaron Hathaway’s injury might rule him out for the season. The catcher had suffered a grade-B sprain to ligaments in his left thumb. Hathaway was in the dugout at Staten Island.
“When it happened, my mother heard about it back home, and when I was at the hospital I had three messages from her on my phone. She worries about me,” said Hathaway.
We’ll be talking to Mrs. Hathaway in the future, when she has less to worry about.
“It feels better already,” said the receiver about his injured thumb, and the club now believes he may be back near the end of the season, or for any possible playoff games.
There’s a saying that goes, “Life is what happens when you’re planning something else.”
Fortunately, for the women involved with the Cyclones, the unexpected happened, but the prognosis looks good for all involved.
As Hathaway said about his injury, “It’s part of the game.”