(Not) On the Road: Rained Out In the Playground of the World

aerial.jpgI live in NYC, and this week the thought occurred to me that I should patronize the ballparks that exist within city limits: MCU Park in Brooklyn and Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island. 

While I semi-regularly attend these facilities as a fan, I wanted to give them the “On the Road” treatment that I have been able to lavish upon a dozen ballparks thus far this season (with more to come!)

But you know what they say about plans, even those of the best-laid variety: They often go awry. For I went to MCU Park on Tuesday, only to discover that the evening’s game had been rained out. Even more frustratingly, Staten Island played that evening. The situation then reversed itself on Wednesday, with the game on in Brooklyn and canceled in SI (still feeling wary, I stayed in the office and watched Jeopardy! on mute). 

So all that I have at this juncture is pictures of a rainy night with no baseball in Coney Island. What follows is my attempt to make some sweet, sweet, lemonade.

One can take the subway to MCU Park, on the D, N, F, or Q lines. Coney Island is the last stop, at which point I was all by my lonesome. I should have taken this as a sign that it wasn’t going to be a good night for baseball:


Upon exiting the station, one is greeted with one of the most iconic sights in New York: The original Nathan’s Hot Dogs:


The stadium light towers are visible in the above picture, ringed with florescent circles. Here’s a somewhat closer look:


To get there, one must resist the lure of equally florescent confections:


As well as clams, oysters, and all manner of food on a stick:


Upon passing this devastating 1-2 of fine comestibles, I was met by the disconcerting sight of Cyclones fans walking away from the ballpark.

“Something is wrong here!,” I muttered into a walkie-talkie that was in fact just my clenched fist. But doggedly I soldiered on.

In front of the ticket window was a queue of fans. Utilizing the fine reportorial skill of “eavesdropping”, I learned that the game had in fact been canceled. These individuals were exchanging their ducats, hoping to come again on a less precipitous evening:


The front entrance, filled with aimlessly wandering fans attempting to salvage their evening plans:


This woman was sporting the t-shirt given away as part of the team’s “Jersey? Sure!” extravaganza. She looks to be explaining the concept of a rainout to that dog, who was no doubt dismayed that he would not be able to participate in that evening’s scheduled “Bark in the Park” festivities:


Brooklyn baseball legends Pee-Wee and Jackie, their countenances unchanged despite the foul weather:


Also immortalized are those who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11:


A bit further down, one could find the team bus of the visiting Hudson Valley Renegades. The rainout afforded an early exit from Brooklyn, and the players were piling in with pizza in hand:


The “back” of the stadium (ie, the outfield) juts up against the Coney boardwalk. Here’s the view through a hole in a locked fence (who else provides this kind of access?):


I kept havi
ng to remind myself it was still August, as Coney Island on this particular evening had a thoroughly autumnal vibe, melancholy and somnambulant.

The Parachute Jump ride, which hasn’t been in operation since 1968:


Tumbleweed not pictured:


The only areas that seemed to possess any life at all were the business located alongside the stadium:


And, of course, Nathan’s.


All told, I actually enjoyed my unsuccessful trip to MCU Park. Visiting Coney Island is always memorable, no matter what the circumstances, and the long subway rides provide plenty of time to read (the theological musings of C.S. Lewis, in this particular case).

So, yeah, I’ll be back.


It just might be a while:



One comment

  1. d.bird@shaw.ca

    Love this site Ben! You’ve inspired us to seek out a minor league game wherever we are in our travels. I had to miss last night out in Vancouver BC where my family took in a game while I ran a drive-in movie on the other end of the country, and various other family members have missed some of these games. My son however, is a budding Ben Hill. This season he has attended games in Missoula MT, Syracuse NY, Albany NY, Vancouver BC (Pioneer, Int’l, NY-Penn, Northwest) as well as two independent games in Calgary AB (Golden, the only “other” pro league without a DH) and Ottawa ON (Can-Am – neutral site home game for the Quebec City club). Last night they ate sushi and watched fireworks after the home club dropped a close one to the Salem-Kaiser Volcanoes. I cleaned toilets. Love the site Ben!

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