Showing posts with label Long Island Ducks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Long Island Ducks. Show all posts

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Harrelson continues to nuture the Long Island Ducks at Hofstra seminar

Thursday morning, Bud Harrelson presided over the Hofstra University Club as part of the Operation Downtown Seminar entitled, The Birth of Long Island Ducks Baseball. The presentation, which was sponsored by the Scott Skodnek Business Development Center and Astoria Federal Savings, was attended by over 100 leaders in a variety of Long Island businesses.

Bud Harrelson / N. Diunte
Harrelson has been part of the ownership groups of the Long Island Ducks since their inception in 2000. Despite his two World Series rings with the New York Mets during his major league tenure (one as a player in 1969 and one as a coach in 1986), Harrelson cited this chapter of his baseball life as the most fulfilling.

“I’m often asked about my best accomplishment in baseball and I answer, ‘The Long Island Ducks.’ I say it is the best thing I’ve ever done because the fans know me, and I know them.”

Now that the Ducks are firmly entrenched in the community, fan support hasn’t wavered. “We have affordable family entertainment, less than the cost of a movie. We are approaching six million fans in career attendance, and stand in the upper ten percent in minor league attendance,” said Harrelson.

The Ducks are an independent team in the Atlantic League, which means that they aren’t tethered to any major league club. As they have grown, the Ducks have become a magnet for high caliber talent.

“We look at those players who are the non-roster invitees to spring training," he said. "Those are the guys we want. When we started, we really had to go after ex-major league players, now their agents are calling us.”

Despite a league maximum salary of $3,000 per month, former major leaguers are willing to play with the Ducks because of their reputation of getting players back into a major league organization.

“In the last ten years, we’ve had over 50 contracts purchased by MLB organizations. We are warehousing players, but every time one leaves, another one comes.”

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jose Offerman throws a punch at an umpire

ESPN.com reports that Jose Offerman threw a punch at an umpire during a Dominican winter league game Saturday night, the second time in 2½ years he has assaulted someone on a baseball field.

Offerman, who is the manager of the Licey Tigers, took a swing at the first base umpire during a heated exchange in the game against the Cibao Giants. Offerman came out onto the field after Ronny Paulino was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. He went to argue with the home plate umpire, but got entangled with the first base umpire Daniel Rayburn instead.

Offerman's previous fighting incident on the field occurred during the 2007 season when he was a member of the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. During the August 14, 2007 game against the Bridgeport Bluefish, pitcher Matt Beech hit him with a fastball. Offerman charged the mound with his bat and swung at least twice, striking Beech and Bluefish catcher John Nathans.

In February 2009, Nathans sued Offerman in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, seeking $4.8 million in damages. Nathans said the attack left him with permanent, career-ending injuries.