I was talking about the Parachute Jump on Coney Island yesterday because it was on my mind. Why? Because the Northeast Chapter of the APT organized a night out on Friday, to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones. And the Cyclones ballpark is right next door to the Jump.
As of 2001 (or so…these things always get a little blurry with baseball teams moving and changing their names) the Cyclones have been an A-level minor-league baseball team affiliated with the Mets and playing in Coney Island. Their Yankees equivalent played in Staten Island until 2020, when that team moved out an independent team moved in. For people unfamiliar with minor-league baseball, the stadiums are much smaller than the big leagues, the players mostly younger and much less experienced, and the general game-day atmosphere closer to being at a carnival. They’re great for organizational outings because the outcome of the game is less fraught than major-league games.
On to the important stuff… APTNE got us great seats, directly behind home plate and close in. Here’s the view about an hour before game time:
It was warmer than I like yesterday, but the stadium is just off the beach, and the breeze off the lower bay was great. The sky is not pixellated: you’re seeing the mesh netting that keeps fans in this area from getting hit by foul balls. The roller-coaster off left and center field is not the Cyclone, which is further east down Surf Avenue, it’s the much newer Thunderbolt. Here’s the view down the right-field foul line:
When I said the stadium is next door to the Parachute Jump, I mean that close. This photo also gives a good sense of the limited extent of the mesh compared to the enclosures at big-league stadiums. And, sure enough, one hard-hit foul ball went over the top of the mesh, over our heads, bounced off the upper deck behind us, and down to our row, two seats to my left.
Of course, this being Coney Island, everything gets lit up at night:
The Cyclones won on a walk-off single in the 9th, after the game having been tied since the 2nd. You know you’re watching the minors when the players are happier about a win than the fans. After the game, it being Friday night, fireworks out over the water:
The header image from 1881 was the best I could find for combining Coney Island and baseball without having the Cyclones directly mentioned. The explanation is supposedly that the dog swallowed the boys’ ball.