20th Anniversary Team Voting – Outfield (Week 3)
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.
Two outfield positions down; two to go! Fans have voted for the past two weeks on which outfielders they feel deserve spots on the 20th Anniversary Team. This week’s trio of nominees produces another strong crop of candidates. One is a Long Island native who spent three memorable seasons with the club. Another is the franchise’s all-time batting leader and one of the top players in Atlantic League history. The final candidate showcased impressive power during his stint on Long Island. Here is a look at the three choices for this week’s outfielder voting:
Ducks fans have always shown great affection for players that have Long Island roots. The first of our three nominees this week garnered a tremendous amount of support in his three years with the Ducks largely due to that trait. Kevin Haverbusch, a Massapequa High School product, joined the Ducks in 2006 after spending the previous two years with the Nashua Pride in the Atlantic League. He also had played in the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox organizations before his time in the ALPB. Haverbusch helped the Ducks reach the postseason in each of his three seasons with the club (2006-08) and combined to hit .271 over 273 games. Additionally, he totaled 35 home runs, 182 RBIs, 146 runs, and 74 doubles. Defensively, he committed just 14 errors with the Flock and showed versatility by playing all three outfield positions. Haverbusch earned an All-Star Game selection in 2007 and increased his batting average, home run and RBI totals in each season he’s played on Long Island.
Next up is a player that has become synonymous with the Ducks organization, especially in the current decade. Lew Ford first joined the Ducks in 2009 and made an immediate impression, posting a .330 batting average, a .407 on-base percentage, 10 homers, 55 RBIs and 117 hits in just 93 games. After a year in Mexico, the Texas native returned to Central Islip in 2011 and has been a part of the Ducks in each year since. His 2012 season saw him begin the year on Long Island, join the Baltimore Orioles organization and reach the Major Leagues, all in the same calendar year. He rejoined the Ducks late in 2013 to help lead them to their second consecutive championship. One season later, he became the first player in Atlantic League history to play all 140 games in a single season while also setting the league record for hits in a season (189), en route to being name the Atlantic League’s Player of the Year. Ford has earned three All-Star Game selections in his time with the Flock (2014, 2015 and 2018) and has played in five Atlantic League Championship Series. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in batting average at .322, and he has accrued 71 home runs, 413 RBIs, 440 runs scored, 186 doubles, and 245 walks in 675 games played.
Although our final candidate had the shortest stint with the Ducks of the three, he showcased arguably the most power among the group. Adam Bailey spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Flock and combined to launch 35 home runs in 261 games. Though his batting average suffered a little in 2013, the Lincoln, Neb. native finished the year with 15 home runs, 57 RBIs, 54 runs, 130 hits and 24 doubles. After helping the Ducks into the postseason, his warning track catch on a fly ball off the bat of Somerset’s Jonny Tucker secured Long Island’s second straight Atlantic League Championship. The grab was the final out in an epic five-game series between the clubs that fueled the rivalry which exists today. One year later, Bailey became one of the most dangerous weapons in the Ducks lineup. He increased his batting average by nearly 50 points up to .301 and dramatically rose his totals in home runs (20, which led the team and tied for third in the league) and RBIs (89, second on the team to Ford’s 95 and fourth-most in the league). Bailey also upped his totals in runs (65) and hits (147), but most notably, he increased his walks from 28 to 41 and lowered his strikeouts from 112 to 88. For his efforts, he was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game at Sugar Land’s Constellation Field and was named to the league’s Post-Season All-Star team.
Alright fans, the time has come to cast your vote. Who do you think is most deserving of this week’s outfield spot: Kevin Haverbusch, Lew Ford or Adam Bailey? Click on the button below to head to our voting page and select which of the three should have a place on our 20th Anniversary Team. 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 final three nominees for an outfield position.
Posted on January 25, 2019, in 20th Anniversary Team and tagged 20th Anniversary Season, 20th Anniversary Team, Adam Bailey, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, Kevin Haverbusch, Lew Ford, Long Island Ducks, Outfield, Voting. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.