Long Island Ducks

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  • League titles: (1) 2004
  • Division titles: (1) 2004 

The Long Island Ducks are an American professional baseball team based in Central Islip, New York. They are a member of the Liberty Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Since the 2000 season, the Ducks have played their home games at Bethpage Ballpark - formerly known as EAB Park, Citibank Park, and Suffolk County Sports Park.

The "Ducks" name refers to Long Island's duck-farming heritage, which is further represented by the Big Duck ferrocement. The Big Duck is in Suffolk County, in which Central Islip is also located.[1]

The Ducks currently own the independent league baseball single-season attendance record of 443,142 fans. They reached this total in the summer of 2001, surpassing the previous record of 436,361 fans which the team had also set in 2000. The Ducks reached the 3 million mark in attendance in September 2006.

Bud Harrelson, a 1971 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, is a part-owner of the Ducks. He was the first manager of the team following a stint as the New York Mets manager.

Contents

History

Residents of Long Island anticipated the arrival of professional baseball for many years, until the Ducks' inaugural 2000 season. The New York Mets and the New York Yankees own the territorial rights to keep an affiliated team, Major or Minor League, from moving within 75 miles of their respective ballparks. The last attempt by any team to move to Long Island was made by the Albany-Colonie Yankees. The Albany-Colonie team hoped to reestablish themselves in Suffolk County, home to the Ducks, but the Mets prevented the move. The Yankees later moved to Norwich, Connecticut, becoming the Connecticut Defenders (now the Richmond Flying Squirrels) .[2] Baseball fans on Long Island enthusiastically support the Ducks and have led the Atlantic League's attendance since its beginning. In 2007, team owner Frank Boulton expressed his contentment with the Ducks to Baseball America saying, "The Long Island Ducks are the best thing I've ever done in baseball."[3] Despite their success at the gate, the Ducks did not field a championship team until the 2004 season, when they defeated the Camden Riversharks in a three-game sweep to capture the Atlantic League Championship Series.

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