Results tagged ‘ Brooklyn Cyclones ’

Mets Minor League Affiliates, by their Appearance

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Excluding the GCL Mets and other developmental leagues, the Mets have six minor league affiliates, all of which sport different, unique, colors. Those teams are the Las Vegas 51s (AAA), Binghamton Rumble Ponies (AA), St.Lucie Mets (A+), Columbia Fireflies (A), Brooklyn Cyclones (A-) and the Kingsport Mets (R).

And, while we often know that the minor leagues are known for the elaborate get-ups, I believe it’s fair to say that the Mets affiliates have some of the best uniform sets in the minors.

So, today I’m going to rank the Mets affiliates by their uniforms, caps and logos:

6. Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Double-A) 

A lot of people love to hate on the re-launch of the Binghamton Mets as the Rumble Ponies, and while it’s at the bottom of my list, I actually quite like the look as a whole. While the name was part of a general fan contest, the name is not without significance. Without going into too much context, Binghamton (and the Tri-Cities in general) was at one time the horse carousel capital of the world, so this Rumble Ponies pays homage to this little known fact.

Unfortunately, the uniforms are not the best in the world, with mostly bland colors, and four completely different caps to match four completely different uniforms. While it’s not a necessity in the minors, I believe that at some of the uniforms should have uniformity. 

5. Las Vegas 51s (Triple-A)

Las Vegas is the furthest affiliate from Queens in terms of distance, but is most important  in terms of resources. The 51s are in the Pacific Coast League, and their players are often shuffling back and forth between New York and Vegas, so their name is frequently brought up.

It might be because I’m not a fan of Las Vegas or aliens, but the whole 51s brand doesn’t connect with me. I think that their alien cap is the ugliest cap in the minors bar none, but some people like that kind of thing, so I give it a pass. The uniform tops are actually fairly nice, especially the whites with Las Vegas and the red number, but it often feels like a Dodgers look, not a Mets one.

4. Kingsport Mets (Rookie) 

The Kingsport Mets are the only Mets affiliate that I’ve never seen play in person. Images and coverage is so scarce, and they play in a stadium that is comparable to a good high school park, but that’s rookie ball in Tennessee, what did you expect?

I do think it’s interesting how their uniform follows the Mets scheme very closely, with the K in place of the famous interlocking NY on their orange and blue caps. Their primary logo is the only thing that looks well, rookie. But again, it is rookie ball.

3. Brooklyn Cyclones (Short Season A) 

The Cyclones have one of the strongest brand presences in the entire Minor Leagues, and while it isn’t orange and blue, they pay homage to their older brothers in Queens frequently, and are an all around good club.

They do have a lot of them nights, some of which cause a one-day name change, with names like the “Brooklyn Slices” and the “Coney Island Franks”. All around, this is good fun, and a good brand to root for.

2. St Lucie Mets (Single A) 

The St.Lucie Mets often fly under the radar, but their 2013 re-design really screams Mets in Florida, or “Tropical Neon Mets” which is what I think the Minor Leagues should be, a switch-up of the big club. They are relatively simplistic, with only two caps and three uniforms, and it is very warm and inviting.

Until last year, this was my favorite uniform set and brand of any of the Mets affiliates, but after the Sand Gnats left Savannah, it was Glow Time…..

 

1. Columbia Fireflies (Single A) 

Yes! The Columbia Fireflies are my pick as my best overall affiliate in terms of appearance. First, look at the primary logo, and tell me that isn’t pure genius. Perhaps the best part is the use of neon green and grey, two colors that are almost never used in any minor league city. They have four uniforms and three caps, all of which glow in the dark. For a sport deprived of new unique brands, the Fireflies one is a very, very strong one, even if you wouldn’t suspect they were the Mets affiliate.


So that’s my list. Yes, I’m a sucker for the glow of the Fireflies green uniform, but overall, there are no bad designs in the Mets minors, and there are plenty of bad designs around MiLB. Do you have a different list, share it with me @NikoMetsPlus or leave your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

 

#MetsPlus360: MCU Park Fan Experience

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Last Tuesday, I had the chance to go down to Coney Island to attend the Brooklyn Cyclones Opening Day. 

This experience, which is always a great one, was the first time I was in Brooklyn since 2015, and I was interested in what’s changed over the last two years, and give the fan experience a proper review. 


I arrived into Coney Island and immediately turned right onto Surf Avenue, which, in the last five years, has gone through a significant restoration. The sidewalks are cleaner, brighter at night, and a more welcoming atmosphere for families.

The Thunderbolt, which I had seen on my 2015 trip, looked very nice just feet from MCU Park.

Upon arrival, I quickly picked up my tickets (always go for the commemorative ticket stock), and waited on the long rope line, that wrapped around the ticket office three times.

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I was surprised to see Metal Detectors at every gate, something you don’t see at Citi Field, but due to the extreme lines, the routed me and anyone without bags to a temporary line with one guy with the Garrett Wands, which took less than five seconds.

The Cyclones, rather impressively, were waiting on the steps of the ballpark to sign autographs from eager fans, a nice touch that you can only see in the Minor Leagues!

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There was a spin to win for five dollars, similar to the set up at the Mets Spring Training Facility in Port St. Lucie.

I won a phone charger, which I’m currently putting to good use on my vacation;)

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The ballpark was cramped, which is always the case during any stadium’s opening day, so I give them a pass. What I do not give them a pass for was the state of their concessions.

All but a few of the main stands only accepted cash transactions, as their new credit machines weren’t installed in-time. This led to massive confusion for the workers, long lines, and complaints from fans who waited in the lines, only to hear that the credit/debit machine isn’t working.

I must have seen five fans throw a total fit at the employees (which one shouldn’t do, as it isn’t the kid’s fault) for the inability to use a credit card, which is troublesome in the increasingly cashless society we’ve adapted. However, one of the employees I spoke to said the machines would be ready in the not-to-distant future, so, that’s a positive.

I got  a traditional meal consisting of Chicken & Fries, with prices slightly lower than at Citi Field.

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While not everyone was glued to the game, the Cyclones always to entertainment well, and they’ve changed a few things. First, while King Henry continues to do his thing with charm, the Beach Bums have been re-named the Surf Squad, consisting of both girls and a few guys, and are a step in the right direction in the family-friendly department.

Additionally, a lot of the fans were wearing the giveaway of the day, the t-shirt schedule (a better take on the magnetic schedule that is ubiquitous on Opening Day).

And, as always, the Cyclones looked like an exciting, young bunch. I loved how they were all on the top step of the railing, ready to go at any moment’s notice. I was that mentality carried over to the major leagues.

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By and large, the Cyclones are an affordable exciting alternative to Big League baseball. It’s a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, and you can get a field level ticket and an autograph or two for under twenty bucks, which is an amazing deal.

It’s no major leagues, but in the summer time in the minors, it’s the experience that counts, and the Cyclones do that very well.