20th Anniversary Team Voting – Outfield (Week 2)
19 seasons of Long Island Ducks baseball have come and gone. Players from all around the world and of all varieties of baseball experience have worn the Ducks uniform since the first pitch on April 28, 2000. In that time, they have played in front of nearly 8 million fans in Central Islip, and millions more around the rest of the country. Those players and coaches have also earned three Atlantic League Championships, seven Division Championships, 13 half-season Division Championships and over 1,300 victories. As the Ducks 20th Anniversary Season, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, approaches, it is time to determine which members of the Flock have stood above the rest.
Our first set of outfielder voting proved to be our closest competition yet! After hundreds of ballots were submitted, the leading vote-getter of the trio finished with just 23 more votes than the nominee that finished second last week. It proves just how tough it can be for fans to determine a clear-cut winner and how many great players there have been in Ducks history. This week, we have three more tremendous candidates for another outfield spot. One was a true fan-favorite on Long Island, another turned his Ducks career into a Major League opportunity, and the final nominee came to the Ducks after a lengthy big league career and posted astounding offensive numbers. With that being said, it’s time to reveal our three candidates:
Our first nominee this week is coincidentally also the first Ducks player ever to have his jersey number retired. That, of course, is Justin Davies, who had his #4 jersey retired on June 19, 2005 at Bethpage Ballpark. After growing up in West Babylon native and Queens College alum came to the Flock for the inaugural 2000 season after spending a couple of seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Fans quickly developed an admiration for Davies’ passion for the game, hustle and clutch performances. The speedster spent six seasons in a Ducks uniform, compiling a .273 batting average, a .375 on-base percentage and 426 runs over 637 games. His 149 stolen bases in a Ducks uniform still stands as the franchise’s all-time record, and his 85 walks in 2002 still stand as the club’s single-season record. Davies was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game in both 2003 and 2005, but it was in between where he cemented his legacy. In 2004, he collected back-to-back walk-off hits in Games One and Two of the Atlantic League Championship Series against the Camden Riversharks. He was later named the Championship Series MVP after the Ducks completed the series sweep in New Jersey, earning the franchise’s first-ever title.
Our second outfield candidate of the week was also among the fastest players to ever wear a Ducks uniform. Mel Stocker only spent one year on Long Island, but his 2006 season was one of the most meaningful of his professional career. After playing five seasons in the Kansas City Royals organization, never advancing past Double-A, the Tucson, Ariz. native played in 110 games for a Ducks team that won the First Half Championship to secure a postseason berth. He turned in a .303 batting average and finished the year second in the Atlantic League with 87 runs (Raul Marval, 88) and fourth in the league with 134 hits. He also stole 56 bases that season, which still stands as the Ducks single-season record and ranked second in the league behind only Demetrius Heath (71). Stocker was also superb defensively, committing just three errors and making several eye-popping catches in center field. He was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game that summer in Bridgeport as well. The impressive season paid off, as he was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers in January of 2007 and made his Major League debut that September. It made Stocker the sixth player in franchise history to reach The Show after playing on Long Island.
Last, but certainly not least this week, is one of the most prolific power hitters in team history. Prior to his time with the Ducks, Carl Everett enjoyed a 14-year Major League career that was highlighted by a pair of American League All-Star selections (2000, 2003). He also was a member of the Chicago White Sox time that won it all in 2005, and he hit .444 during their World Series triumph over the Houston Astros. At 36 years old and after a disappointing year with the Mariners in 2006, the Ducks gave Everett the opportunity to continue playing the game and show that he could still be a productive player. The Tampa native led the Ducks to the postseason in both 2007 and 2008 and compiled some of the best offensive numbers of any Ducks player. In 2007, Everett ranked third in the Atlantic League in home runs (25), RBIs (97) and slugging percentage (.565) over 104 games played. The following year, those totals went up even higher. He set a franchise single-season record that still stands with 29 home runs, drove in 100 runs, and posted the fourth-best slugging percentage in the Atlantic League that year (.592). The former first round draft pick wasn’t just a power hitter either; He hit over .310 in each season, totaling a .320 batting average with the Flock.
We’ve revealed our three outstanding nominees for this week’s voting. Now, it’s up to you folks to help choose who will secure the coveted spot on the 20th Anniversary Team. Based on the resumes of these three, we could have another very tight race among the balloting. Cast your vote as often as you would like over the next week by clicking the voting button below. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!
Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our next three nominees for an outfield position.
Posted on January 18, 2019, in 20th Anniversary Team and tagged 20th Anniversary Season, 20th Anniversary Team, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Carl Everett, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, Justin Davies, Long Island Ducks, Mel Stocker, Outfield, Voting. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.