Founded in 2001
Brooklyn, New York
|Minor league affiliations|
|Previous classes||Class A Short Season (2001–2020)|
|League||High-A East (2021–present)|
|New York–Penn League (2001–2020)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Team||New York Mets (2001–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (2)|
|Division titles (6)|
|Name||Brooklyn Cyclones (2001–present)|
|Colors||Navy, light blue, red, yellow|
|Ballpark||Maimonides Park (2001–present)|
The Brooklyn Cyclones are a Minor League Baseball team of the High-A East and the High-A affiliate of the New York Mets. They are based in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, and play at Maimonides Park, just off the Coney Island Boardwalk. From their founding in 2001 through 2020, the Cyclones competed in the Class A Short Season New York–Penn League (NYPL).
Brooklyn won six division titles and two NYPL championships. In 2001, the Cyclones were declared co-league champions with the Williamsport Crosscutters, being forced to prematurely end their championship series due to the September 11 attacks, despite the Cyclones leading the series one game to none. Their second NYPL championship came in 2019, representing the first title for a professional sports team based in Brooklyn since the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Cyclones began as the St. Catharines, Ontario, St. Catharines Blue Jays (later St. Catharines Stompers) in 1986 as a team in the New York–Penn League. They were named for their parent club, the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1995, the team was sold by the city of Toronto to a group of local investors which included former Toronto catcher Ernie Whitt.
In 1999, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced a deal that would bring two minor league baseball teams to the boroughs outside Manhattan. New ballparks would be constructed for the Staten Island Yankees and the Cyclones. Prior to the 2000 season, the team was bought and moved to Queens, becoming known as the Queens Kings. The club played its 2000 season at Jack Kaiser Stadium on the St. John's University campus in Jamaica, in the borough of Queens, remaining a Blue Jays affiliate for one last season.
A "name-the-team" contest was held to determine a new name for the franchise. The winning selection, Cyclones, refers to the famous Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster at nearby Astroland amusement park on Coney Island. The team's new park, which was then called KeySpan Park, was completed in time for the 2001 season. Brooklyn had been without professional baseball since the Brooklyn Dodgers left Ebbets Field for Los Angeles, California in 1958. After approximately three weeks of play, additional seats had to be added to the stadium to accommodate fans.
The Cyclones managed by Edgar Alfonzo played well in their opening season with the best record in the league (52–24), where they led the NY Penn-League with a 2.35 team ERA. They defeated the Staten Island Yankees in a classic NYPL opening playoff round. The deciding game won by the Cyclones 4–1 featured trickery by Catcher Brett Kay who faked giving up on a play only to receive a laser throw from John Toner to tag out a runner at the plate. advancing to the championship series against the Williamsport Crosscutters. The Cyclones traveled to Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, winning the series opener on September 10, 2001 by a score of 8–4. The potential championship clincher was scheduled for September 11 in Brooklyn. However, due to the September 11 attacks, all minor league baseball playoffs were canceled. The Cyclones and Crosscutters were declared co-champions.
The 2002 season was filled with inconsistent play and questionable pitching decisions by manager Howard Johnson leading to a .500 season. Scott Kazmir pitched to a 0.50 ERA in five starts and had 34 strikeouts in only 18 innings pitched.
In 2003, the Cyclones managed by Tim Teufel won the McNamara division title with brilliant pitching led by starters, soon to be major leaguers, Matt Lindstrom and Brian Bannister and by relievers Robert Paulk and Carlos Muñiz. Despite a drop in run production, the Cyclones pitching staff willed their way into the playoffs, beating the Oneonta Tigers 2 games to 1 only to lose in the NYPL Championship to the Williamsport Crosscutters 2 games to none.
The 2004 season brought the most complete Cyclones team ever. Managed by Tony Tijerina, three batters hit over .300 and five starting pitchers made their starts in rotation for the last 55 games of the season except one game. The Cyclones won the McNamara division title only to lose to the Tri-City ValleyCats in controversial fashion. With the series tied, the Cyclones were leading 3–0 in the 3rd inning when the games was held up and eventually cancelled by rain, which wiped out the score. After another rainout, Game 3 was played from the beginning where the Cyclones lost the deciding game 7–1. A new rule was placed by the NY-Penn League that any games suspended because of rain, if a team or teams have scored runs in the game, the suspended game will be picked from the inning when the game was called.
The 2005 season managed by Mookie Wilson was hampered by inconsistent relief pitching that hampered games in the later innings despite a good offense. The Cyclones finished third and missed the playoffs. On August 23, 2005, The Cyclones and KeySpan Park hosted the first-ever New York–Penn League All-Star Game, which was won by the National League-affiliated team. The winning pitcher was Bobby Parnell. Also that year, the Cyclones became a major partner of Brooklyn's High School of Sports Management, a small school located down the block from KeySpan Park on West 19th Street and Mermaid Ave.
The 2006 season managed by George Greer mirrored the team name. A 7-game losing streak to start the season was followed by a 10-game winning streak which led the streaky Cyclones to the NYPL Playoffs in a dramatic extra-inning victory against the Vermont Lake Monsters in the final game of the season. The Cyclones would lose to the SI Yanks in the NYPL opening playoff round 2 games to none. On July 20, 2006, the Cyclones and the Oneonta Tigers took part in the longest game in the history of the New York–Penn League, a 26-inning marathon that the Cyclones lost, 6–1. The game took 6 hours and 40 minutes to complete. The Cyclones scored their lone run in the first inning; Oneonta tied the game in the fourth and then did not score again until they scored five runs in the top of the 26th inning. Cyclones manager George Greer was ejected from the contest in the first inning for arguing an umpire's call on a force play at second base.
The 2007 season managed by Edgar Alfonzo had the second most successful season in team history with a 49–25 record. With a consistent offense, great pitching and the best defense in the league, the Cyclones powered their way to winning its fourth McNamara division title and sweeping the SI Yankees in two straight games in the NYPL opening playoff round. Game One produced the best road win in team history when the Cyclones beat the SI Yanks, 8–4. However, the Cyclones went on to getting swept in disappointing fashion by the Auburn Doubledays for the NYPL Championship. After giving up a leadoff home run to shortstop Matt Bouchard, future Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Brett Cecil pitched one hit ball in 7 innings as the Doubledays won the game 4–1. On September 7, 2007, during the final regular season game (a 5–4 victory over the Lowell Spinners), the Cyclones set an all-time single-game attendance record of 10,073—2,573 more than the stadium's seating capacity in 2001. That season, the team won its fourth McNamara division title.
The 2008 season, managed again by Edgar Alfonzo, was marred by a poor start but recovered with a torrid finish at 45–30, narrowly missing the playoffs after losing the final game of the season to the Aberdeen Ironbirds 5–3 in extra innings. The team produced major leaguers and future New York Mets Ike Davis and Jenrry Mejía. But the team was marred with an inconsistent offense with less than average results with runners in scoring position.
On August 23, 2009, Cyclones pitcher Brandon Moore threw a 7-inning no-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader against the Aberdeen IronBirds, 5–0, at Ripken Stadium. Moore walked three and hit one batter, with only one IronBird reaching second base. This came seven years to the day Miguel Pinango threw a nine-inning one-hitter for the Cyclones, pitching 8+2⁄3 innings of no-hit ball.
On February 4, 2010, the team announced that the new name of their home would be called Municipal Credit Union (MCU) Park, replacing KeySpan as the naming right sponsor, which had held the naming rights from the opening of the stadium in 2001. In addition to the naming rights, MCU and the Cyclones entered into a comprehensive 11-year marketing partnership that launches the Cyclones’ 10th season in Brooklyn. The partner agreement is scheduled to last until 2020.
The 2010 season saw the Cyclones, under the leadership of Wally Backman, lead the league with a record of 52-24, but the Cyclones fell in the Championship series to Tri-City ValleyCats. The Cyclones would make the playoffs as the wild card team in 2011 and 2012, but would not make it out of the semifinals. The Cyclones failed to make the playoffs in 2013 and lost a tie-breaker in 2014 on and missed the playoffs on the last day of the season.
Since 2014, the Cyclones have dedicated one night a year as a tribute to the popular sitcom Seinfeld, featuring various show tributes such as an "Elaine Benes dancing contest", determining if a fan had either picked or scratched their nose, the Cyclones wearing "Puffy Shirt"-styled jerseys, appearances from former actors and giveaways honoring the show. This game has since become one of the Cyclones' most popular events, regularly selling out in advance and drawing fans of both baseball and Seinfeld from near and far.
The 2015 season was the first time in franchise history the Brooklyn Cyclones finished below .500. The Cyclones would go on to have losing records in 2016 and 2017, but lost the tie-breaker and once again missed out on the playoffs on the last day of the season in 2018.
The Brooklyn Cyclones returned to the New York-Penn League playoffs in 2019, thanks to a strong finish to end the season, which included a series sweep of the Staten Island Yankees in what would be the final match-up between the longtime rivals. In the semi-finals, the Cyclones faced division rival and wild card winner in the Hudson Valley Renegades. The Cyclones fell to the Renegades 5-4 in Game 1. The Cyclones took Game 2 in Brooklyn by a score of 1-0, thanks to a solo homer from Jed Lowrie, who was on a rehab assignment from the Mets. The Cyclones won Game 3 on a walkoff double from Ranfy Adon, sending them to the New York-Penn League Championship.
The Cyclones faced the Lowell Spinners in a series that was dubbed "An MiLB Rematch of 1986", as the Spinners were a Red Sox farm team. The Cyclones took Game 1 in Lowell by a score of 2-1, before dropping game 2 in Brooklyn by a score of 3-1. Game 3 saw the Cyclones take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd, but the Spinners tied it up the next half inning. After a solo homer by Marino Campana in the Top of the 7th put Lowell up 3-2, the Cyclones staged a rally to take a 4-3 lead, en route to winning the 2019 New York-Penn League Championship. The Cyclones were managed by former Met Edgardo Alfonzo, whose brother, Edgar, managed the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2001. Other coaches on the team included Pitching Coach Josue Matos, Hitting Coach Delwyn Young and Bench Coach Endy Chavez
The Cyclones would be the final New York-Penn League champions, as the COVID-19 Pandemic cancelled the 2020 season and the ensuing MiLB realignment led to the dissolving of the New York-Penn League.
In October 2020, Steve Cohen bought the New York Mets, Syracuse Mets, St. Lucie Mets & Brooklyn Cyclones from the Wilpon family. This has led to a unique situation, as the longtime Vice President of the Brooklyn Cyclones is also named Steve Cohen, but unrelated to the new owner.
The Cyclones' main rivals prior to the 2021 restructuring of Minor League Baseball were the Staten Island Yankees, a rivalry often called the "Battle of the Boroughs", after the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, or the "Battle for the Bridge", after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which separated the two teams. Only 13 miles (21 km) apart, the two teams had the closest proximity in the Minor Leagues. The two teams generally sold out the games which pitted them against each other. A major contribution to this intense rivalry was the fact that both parent teams were also based in New York (the Mets in Queens, and the Yankees in the Bronx). Other regional rivals included the Hudson Valley Renegades and the Tri-City ValleyCats.
In conjunction with Major League Baseball's restructuring of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Cyclones were organized into the 12-team High-A East.
The first Cyclone to break into the major leagues was infielder Danny Garcia, who made his debut with the New York Mets on September 2, 2003 at Shea Stadium. Scott Kazmir, who played with Brooklyn in 2002, made his major league debut with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2004. Still with the Rays in 2008, Kazmir was tagged with the loss in Game 1 of the 2008 World Series. He is the first former Cyclone to reach the World Series, though Lenny DiNardo, who pitched with the Cyclones in 2001, won a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 while on the Disabled List.
Mike Jacobs, who was a member of the inaugural 2001 Cyclones team, made his Mets debut on August 21, 2005, hitting a three-run pinch-hit home run off Washington Nationals pitcher Esteban Loaiza. In 30 games with 100 at bats for the Mets, Jacobs hit 11 home runs and had 23 RBI before being traded to the Florida Marlins after the season.
In April 2006, Brian Bannister became the first Cyclone pitcher to make his debut with the Mets in a game against the Washington Nationals at Shea. The following April, sidearm reliever Joe Smith, who pitched for the Cyclones in 2006, made his major league debut on opening day for the Mets against the St. Louis Cardinals. Smith pitched a scoreless third of an inning in the Mets win. First baseman/outfielder Nick Evans was called up on May 24, 2008 as an injury replacement. Evans, who played with the Cyclones in 2005, had 3 doubles in his first major league game. Ike Davis played for the Cyclones in 2008. In 2012, Davis led the Mets with 32 home runs. Daniel Murphy made his Mets debut in 2008. In 2015, Murphy was the NLCS MVP in the Mets series victory against the Chicago Cubs. Juan Lagares was called up by the Mets in 2013 and won a Gold Glove in 2014. In 2015, Michael Conforto was called up by the Mets and hit two home runs in Game 4 of the 2015 World Series, becoming the third youngest player to hit two home runs in a World Series game. The Mets would lose the World Series as former Cyclone Wilmer Flores struck out to make the final out. The strike out was caught by former Cyclone Drew Butera of the Royals. Pete Alonso made his Mets debut in 2019. Alonso broke the rookie home run record with 53 home runs and won the NL Rookie of the Year.
As of 2016, the Cyclones had sent 60 players to the Major Leagues. The current major leaguers who are former Brooklyn Cyclones are:
|Year||Record||Place||Playoff Results||Manager||Pitching Coach||Hitting Coach||Assistant Coach|
|2001||52-24||1st||Defeated Staten Island Yankees (2-1)
Co-Champs with Williamsport Crosscutters
due to 9/11 Attacks
|Edgar Alfonzo||Bobby Ojeda||Howard Johnson|
|2002||38-38||4th||Howard Johnson||Bobby Ojeda||Donovan Mitchell|
|2003||47-28||1st||Defeated Oneonta Tigers (2-1)
Lost to Williamsport (2-0)
|Tim Teufel||Hector Berrios||Roger LaFrancois|
|2004||43-31||1st||Lost to Tri-City (2-1)||Tony Tijerina||Hector Berrios||Donovan Mitchell|
|2005||40-36||3rd||Mookie Wilson||Steve Merriman||Donovan Mitchell||Juan Lopez|
Wild Card Winner
|Lost to Staten Island Yankees (2-0)||George Greer||Hector Berrios||Scott Hunter||Juan Lopez|
|2007||49-25||1st||Defeated Staten Island Yankees (2-0)
Lost to Auburn Doubledays (2-0)
|Edgar Alfonzo||Hector Berrios||Guadalupe Jabalera|
|2008||45-30||2nd||Edgar Alfonzo||Hector Berrios||Guadalupe Jabalera|
Wild Card Winner
|Lost to Mahoning Valley Scrappers (2-0)||Pedro Lopez||Rick Tomlin||Jack Voigt||Joel Fuentes|
|2010||51-24||1st||Defeated Jamestown Jammers (2-1)
Lost to Tri-City ValleyCats (2-0)
|Wally Backman||Rick Tomlin||Benny Distefano||Joel Fuentes|
Wild Card Winner
|Lost to Staten Island Yankees (2-1)||Rich Donnelly||Frank Viola||Bobby Malek|
Wild Card Winner
|Lost to Hudson Valley Renegades (2-1)||Rich Donnelly||Marc Valdes||Bobby Malek|
|2013||38-37||2nd||Rich Donnelly||Marc Valdes||Bobby Malek|
|2014||42-34||2nd||Tom Gamboa||Tom Signore;
|Benny Distefano||Edgardo Alfonzo|
|2015||33-43||4th||Tom Gamboa||Dave LaRoche||Yunir Garcia||Edgardo Alfonzo|
|2016||37-39||3rd||Tom Gamboa||Billy Bryk Jr.||Sean Ratliff||Edgardo Alfonzo|
|2017||24-52||4th||Edgardo Alfonzo||Royce Ring||Sean Ratliff|
|2018||40-35||2nd||Edgardo Alfonzo||Royce Ring||Marlon Anderson||Rich Donnelly|
|2019||43-32||1st||Defeated Hudson Valley Renegades (2-1)
Defeated Lowell Spinners (2-1)
|Edgardo Alfonzo||Josue Matos||Delwyn Young||Endy Chavez|
|2020||Season cancelled (COVID-19 pandemic)||Ed Blankmeyer||Josh Towers||Rafael Fernandez||Benny Distefano|
|2021||48–70||5th||Ed Blankmeyer||Royce Ring||Nic Jackson||Mariano Duncan|
A total of 10 numbers hang on the press level of Maimonides Park.
Brooklyn Dodgers: 4: Duke Snider; 14: Joan & Gil Hodges 17: Carl Erskine; 36: Don Newcombe; 42: Jackie Robinson;
Brooklyn Cyclones: 6: Danny Garcia; 19: Brian Bannister; 20: Dillon Gee; 35: Ángel Pagán;
NOTE: A Cyclones player may still wear these numbers, with the exception of 14, & 42. Additionally, no Cyclone may wear 31 (Mike Piazza), 37 (Casey Stengel), 41 (Tom Seaver) or 36 (Jerry Koosman) due to the numbers being retired by the Mets.
On August 22, 2011, the Brooklyn Cyclones also honored Pia Toscano, who sang the anthem prior to a game in 2003 by putting a plaque on the press level.
On August 15, 2014, the Cyclones added Joan Hodges, the widow of Gil Hodges, to the ring of Honored Numbers.
The Cyclones have two mascots, Sandy the Seagull and Pee-Wee. Sandy, the primary mascot, has been with the team since the inaugural Cyclones season in 2001. Pee-wee was introduced in 2003 as Sandy's adopted son. Sandy is named for Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, while Pee-Wee was named after Brooklyn Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese. Even though Hurricane Sandy damaged MCU Park and Coney Island, the Cyclones kept the name Sandy on their mascot.
In 2006, the team introduced a new unnamed mascot: a blow-up "ZOOperstars!" type pelican. Despite a contest to name the character, it was never given an official name. The Pelican has not made an appearance since the 2006 season. In 2008, Maverick the Wonder Dog was introduced. He was a real Chocolate Labrador Retriever who was owned by one of the Cyclones staff members. The goal was to have Maverick learn tricks like picking up baseballs and bats. Like the Pelican, Maverick lasted only one season.
A Hot Dog race is held at every game at Maimonides Park, which is sponsored by Nathan's Famous. The first Nathan's store is located two blocks away from the ballpark. The three hot dogs currently racing are Ketchup, Mustard, and Relish. For many years Relish has become the loveable loser because he either wins very few races or none at all during the season.
2001–2003: "Party Marty" Haber, a member of the Cyclones front office.
2003–2019: King Henry A local entertainer. In 2013, King Henry became the main on field entertainer.
2007–2010: Jay Moran, who had served as PA Announcer in 2006.
2011: Jason Negron
2012: Dan Pecoraro, a member of the Cyclones front office.
In 2013, Bucky the Buccaneer was introduced. Every time the Brooklyn Cyclones would score a run, this pirate themed mascot would run around the field from one dugout to the next, waving his rally flags in excitement. Bucky was played by a first year intern, Daniel DePasquale. He worked with the Brooklyn Cyclones for 2 seasons.
Beach Bums and Surf Squad
The original "Cyclones Beach Bums" were a promotional team of men and women who entertained the ballpark from 2003 through 2008, were seen all over the ballpark dancing, interacting with fans, and handing out promotional items. In 2009, the team decided to hire an all women dance team to replace the Beach Bums, but still retaining the Beach Bum name. The dance team is similar to that of the New York Knicks, New York Dragons and New York Islanders.
Following the 2016 season, the all women's dance team was done away with & the team was reverted to what it was in the past. The team was rebranded as the Surf Squad.
2001–2005: Dom Alagia.
2006: Sean Howard for 1 month, replaced by Jay Moran a PA Announcer at St. John's.
2007 – July 2010: David Freeman, who had served as PA Announcer for the Queens Kings. Freeman left to become an MLB Scorer with the Mets & Yankees.
August 2010 – Present: Mark Fratto, who also serves as the PA Announcer for NYCFC, the Washington Wizards, the Westchester Knicks & Sky Blue FC.
WKRB (90.3 FM) was the official radio station of the Cyclones. It served as radio home for every Cyclones season through 2016, with the exception of 2012 when WSOU was the official radio station of the Cyclones. Cyclones games will air occasionally on BCAT & SNY.
2001–2011: Warner Fusselle served as radio voice of the Brooklyn Cyclones from their inception until his death on June 10, 2012, a week prior to the 2012 Cyclones season.
2012: David Rind, Vincent Coughlin and Chris Paizis, who all called Seton Hall baseball, split the broadcasting duties, with Rind serving as the road announcer.
2013: David Greenwald served as the radio voice of the Cyclones for 1 year on WKRB.
2014–2017: Stu Johnson. In addition to Brooklyn Cyclones games, Stu also announced Brooklyn Bolts games on WKRB. Jake Eisenberg joined Johnson in the booth for the 2017 season.
2018–Present: Keith Raad & Dom Savino took over the announcing duties after the departure of Johnson & Eisenberg.
2001–present: The Brooklyn Paper has covered every Cyclones game since the team's inception. Columnists for The Paper following the team through the years include Gersh Kuntzman and Ed Shakespeare. The Paper's Cyclones section is edited by Vince DiMiceli.