The Third Best League: Long Island Ducks

Long Island Ducks
Central Islip, NY
Atlantic League
Fairfield Properties Ballpark (6,002)

I hate the Long Island Ducks. I remember when I visited their ballpark, several thousand years ago, it was one of my least enjoyable baseball experiences ever.  I will never go back. The Ducks could call me up and offer me the GM position right now.  They could call me up and sell me the franchise for a dollar.  You will NEVER catch me in Central Islip at a Fairfield Properties Ballpark. It was a miserable walk to from the train station to get to the field.  And I’m pretty sure I walked past dog shit to get to my seat (it was not bark in the park night).  And those were the highlights of the evening.

I want you to know just how deeply my hate for this franchise runs.  Then you will understand just how impressive their longevity in the Atlantic League, and the things they’ve accomplished have been in order to qualify for our ad hoc 3rd Major League.

With the recent league jump of the Somerset Patriots, the Ducks are the longest tenured team in the league. And while they were founded in 1998, they first played ball in 2000. They outlasted the Bridgeport Bluefish, an Atlantic League “Original 6” team that survived, unaltered, until their dissolution in 2017 (sadly, despite driving past the stadium a handful of times as I transitioned from Philly to New England, I never got a chance to visit the ballpark in Bridgeport before it was razed in 2018).

The Ducks, however, since 2000 have been steady-eddie.  They haven’t changed their name, they haven’t changed their league, they haven’t even moved.  They’re still in the same terrible, awful, ugly ass, poorly staffed stadium since 2000.  Same ownership group, too, lead by Frank Boulton, Jr.

Criteria Scores
Stability: 10/10 – Les Capitales got a 10/10 for surviving through the coming and going of 3 leagues.  The only way to do better than that is to have a long run (coming up quickly on 25 years) in the same league, which the Ducks have done.  In addition to the stability, the team “thrived” to the point of having a local cable broadcast deal for a short time.

On Field Success: 8/10 – The Ducks are lifetime 180 games over .500 with 4 league championships and an additional 5 division championships.  The team has sent a pile of players up to the majors, including a bounce-back Carlos Baerga, and was one of the later homes to Pat Mahomes (father of Kansas City’s QB, Patrick Mahomes).

Geography: 9/10 – Proximity to New York City, which does fancy itself the center of the colonized universe, gives the Ducks the edge over the Caps.  But, if you’re not driving to the stadium, it was (at last check), a ridiculous walk from the nearest LIRR station. Plenty of parking available, but as any urbanist will tell you, homogenizing into a community and being accessible by a variety of transit options is far preferable to being in the middle of a parking lot sea.

Stadium: 7/10 – It is grass, and it is seat backs. That is the extent to which I have positive things to say of this stripmall of a stadium.  The day the park is razed will be a day I celebrate.

Logo & Look: 7/10 – Big points for originality (I can only think of the University of Oregon for another team named “Ducks”.  But the duckhead D I feel is lacking, the swoopy “comb over” bit on top of the duck’s head doesn’t make sense, and I think the orange strays too deep into red tones while the green is just an awkward and unlikable forest green.  Points for not being a red & blue baseball team, but I feel like there is a nicer palette to compliment this team.

Overall Score: 41/50

The Ducks join Les Capitales de Quebec in our 3BL Eastern Division

Author: paul

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *