The Brooklyn Cyclones: Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island

The Brooklyn Cyclones: Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island

The Brooklyn Cyclones: Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island

The Brooklyn Cyclones: Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island


When professional baseball returned to Brooklyn in 2001, fans were jubilant and the media swarmed. After losing the Brooklyn Dodgers to California 44 years ago, Brooklyn baseball fans could once again claim a team of their own: the Cyclones, a Class A affiliate of the New York Mets.

The Brooklyn Cyclones: Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island recounts that first season of the Cyclones. From the construction of the incredible Keyspan Park at Coney Island to their improbable successes on the field, Ben Osborne tells the story of the Cyclones' delicate first year of operation. We see the story up close and personal through the eyes of two very different young men. The first is Anthony Otero, who was raised in a Coney Island housing project and loves baseball, but has never seen a game in person until the Cyclones land in his neighborhood. The second is Brett Kay, a young man from California who has never been to New York, until he becomes the catcher for the Brooklyn Cyclones.

From the plans of politicians like Rudy Giuliani and Howard Golden, to the poverty of Coney Island's citizens, The Brooklyn Cyclones reveals the stories behind the headlines to show that the reality of creating a new sports team often involves broken promises and shattered dreams. Osborne includes chapters on the Cyclones' rivalry with the Staten Island Yankees, the Cyclones' chances of capturing the New York-Penn League title, and an epilogue updating Kay's, Otero's, and the Cyclones' progress through the 2003 season.

Ultimately, Ben Osborne shows how, for these two young men, the Brooklyn Cyclones created dreams the same way the Brooklyn Dodgers allowed the boys of Flatbush to dream about one day playing in the Big Leagues.


When I realized, as the hype started to build at the beginning of 2001, that there was really going to be a professional baseball team in Brooklyn, I was ecstatic. a lifelong baseball fan and, more specifically, a Los Angeles Dodger fan, I’d harbored a pride in Brooklyn baseball my whole life. the truth was, however, that my connection to Brooklyn baseball felt pretty faint. Now there was more than talk. the Brooklyn Cyclones were about to become reality.

My grandfather, Ashton Osborne, was born in Brooklyn in 1914 and lived in the Flatbush area until 1933, when he left to attend Wesleyan University in Connecticut. At that point his family moved to Plainfield, New Jersey, and his Brooklyn days were over. His passion for the Dodgers, however, had been ingrained.

Even though he moved to Chicago in 1946, my grandfather stayed devoted to the Dodgers. and when my father, Jeffrey, was born there the following year, Tommy Lasorda’s metaphorical “Dodger Blue blood” was apparently injected into his veins. By the time my grandfather allowed my father to stay home from school to watch Game 7 of the 1955 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees (which the Dodgers actually won!), my dad was as hooked on his team as a young fan could be. Surely there was some sadness in the Osborne household when the Dodgers left Brooklyn for Los Angeles in 1957, but the family ties to Brooklyn were no longer strong. My father and grandfather were . . .

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