The Brooklyn Cyclones
Hardball Dreams and the New Coney Island
Published by: NYU Press
256 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- ISBN: 9780814762059
- Published: April 2004
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.
"Here, thanks to a sparkling lineup of characters, vivid writing, and a veteran scout's eye for detail, a single season comes alive with far more than just wins and losses; with the power, politics, and people dead center in a book as much about hopes and dreams as it is about baseball."-Armen Keteyian,CBS and HBO Sports
"Osborne...actually lives in Brooklyn. This lends both weight and depth to his account of the Cyclones' birth, and a reality, rather than nostalgic sentimentalism, to his Brooklyn."-Nine
"The Dodgers will likely never return to Brooklyn, but The Brooklyn Cyclones makes it possible for the old-time fan to feel passionate again."-Jeff Pearlman,Newsday staff writer and author of The Bad Guys Won: A Season with the 1986 Mets
"Love Brooklyn or love baseball or love both, you are sure to love Ben Osborne's tale of the birth of the only team ever named after a roller coaster. The perfect off-season read; in season, the book will make you wonder what you are doing reading when you should be down at Keyspan Park, rooting for those Cyclones."-Michael Daly,New York Daily News columnist and author of Under Ground: A Novel
"If there's more fun than attending a Cyclones' game, it's reading Ben Osborne's warm-hearted, historically observant take on Coney Island's new and very old pastime."-Rick Telander,author of Heaven Is a Playground