Category Archives: 20th Anniversary Team

20th Anniversary Team Voting – Outfield (Week 2)

davies-stocker-everett

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:


Justin Davies
justin davies retirement shot

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.


Mel Stocker
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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.


Carl Everett
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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!

20th-anniversary-team-voting-button-outfield

Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our next three nominees for an outfield position.

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20th Anniversary Team Voting – Outfield (Week 1)

bartee-ambrosini-esquivel

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.

The infield has been set on the 20th Anniversary Team thanks to a brilliant first five weeks of voting. Thousands of fans have been casting their ballots weekly, and from catcher to third base, five outstanding players have emerged based upon fan voting. Our focus now shifts to the outfield, where some more Long Island Ducks greats await their fate with regards to being among this select group. The final team will feature four outfield spots, and fans will be able to select one of three nominees each week over the next four rounds of voting to help determine the outfielders. With that in mind, let’s find out our first three outfield nominees:


Kimera Bartee
kimera bartee action shot

Long Island’s first-ever Atlantic League championship, which came in 2004, was due in large part to Kimera Bartee. One need only look back to arguably the most famous game in franchise history, on August 9, 2004 at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. Bartee’s two-run blast in the fifth inning tied their game with the Bluefish at four, and the Ducks would go on to win the game by a run, clinching the first postseason berth in franchise history. Without that homer, who knows if the Ducks become champions that year? Bartee spent two memorable seasons on Long Island, with the first coming a year prior in 2003. The six-year MLB veteran played 116 games that year, totaling a .328 average and finishing second on the team in RBIs (87), runs (86) and hits (147). One year later, those numbers skyrocketed. He led that magical 2004 squad in several offensive categories, including home runs (27), RBIs (88), runs (103) and hits (142). Bartee was a defensive whiz as well, committing just one error in his two seasons with the Flock, a total of 217 games spent in the outfield. Bartee earned an Atlantic League All-Star Game selection that year as well before going on to earn a ring in his final season of pro baseball. Currently, he serves as the Pittsburgh Pirates first base coach.


Dominick Ambrosini
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Ducks fans have always seemed to gravitate towards Long Island natives who have come to play for the team. In three seasons with the club, Smithtown native Dominick Ambrosini was certainly beloved among the Faithful Flock. A sixth round draft pick out of Connetquot High School in 1999, the versatile outfielder came back to play for his hometown team in 2005 and immediately made an impact. He hit .288 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs over 108 games played with the Ducks, helping the franchise to a second consecutive playoff berth. One year later, Ambrosini again led the Ducks to the playoffs, totaling 79 hits in 64 games played along with a .317 batting average, eight homers and 48 RBIs. He made just six errors over those two seasons as well. Ambrosini struggled at the outset of the 2007 season before eventually finishing his career with the Lancaster Barnstormers that year. However his time with the Ducks was certainly memorable for the fans who watched him play and for the scrappy outfielder who got to live out the dream of playing in front of family and friends on a nightly basis.


Matt Esquivel
matt esquivel action shot

Another fan favorite rounds out our three nominees for the week. After narrowly missing out on a Championship Series appearance in 2009, the Ducks fortified their outfield heading into 2010 with Matt Esquivel, who had impressed offensively over his two previous seasons while with the York Revolution. His prowess with the bat continued in 2010, as he led the Flock with 17 home runs, 132 hits, 85 runs and 28 doubles in a team-high 127 games played. After hitting .281 during his first season with the Ducks, the number ballooned up to .328 in 2011 on a team loaded with offensive talent. Esquivel accrued a .420 on-base percentage, 15 homers, 69 RBIs, 65 runs and 109 hits while leading the Ducks to a Liberty Division Championship. That same season, he was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game and won the pre-game Home Run Derby in front of his former fan base in York. Injuries limited Esquivel to just 64 games in 2012, but he scored one of the most important runs in team history. After drawing a one-out walk in the ninth inning of Game Five during the Atlantic League Championship Series, Esquivel later scampered home from third base with the winning run on Dan Lyons’ famous bunt down the third base line. Not a bad way to end your professional career!


The first three of ultimately 12 outfield nominees have been revealed. Now, it’s time for you, the fans, to help determine whether Bartee, Ambrosini or Esquivel will get a spot on the 20th Anniversary Team. Visit our voting page by clicking the link below and selecting one of the three candidates; You can vote as often as you’d like over the next week. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!

20th-anniversary-team-voting-button-outfield

Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our next three nominees for an outfield position.

20th Anniversary Team Voting – Third Base

baerga-nelson-puckett

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.

We’ve made our way “around the horn” on the infield and have arrived at our final position there: third base. Ducks fans have been able to watch several outstanding players man the hot corner for the Flock over the past 19 seasons. Third base has seen its share of sluggers, stout defenders, former Major Leaguers and those seeking to reach “The Show” for the first time. Our three nominees for the coveted third base slot on the 20th Anniversary Team account for a mixture of all those attributes. While there are many deserving candidates for the role, here is the trio eligible for selection:


Carlos Baerga
carlos baerga action shot

Throughout the history of the Long Island Ducks, a total of 18 players have reached the Major Leagues after playing with the Flock. The first-ever to accomplish the feat was third baseman Carlos Baerga. His time on Long Island was short, as he played with the Ducks only in 2001. Prior to that, he had spent 10 seasons in the big leagues, making him one of the most experienced and well-known players to sign with the club to that point. The veteran made an immediate impact in his 53 games played, compiling a .315 batting average and a .383 on-base percentage. Baerga totaled nine homers, 44 RBIs, 38 runs, 64 hits, and 19 walks to just 24 strikeouts in that span. His numbers were worthy of an Atlantic League All-Star Game selection. MLB teams took notice of his performance, and by December of 2001, he had signed with the Boston Red Sox with the chance to make the club in spring training. Sure enough, he spent all of 2002 with the Boston Red Sox and would go on to play three additional seasons in “The Show” after that.


Bryant Nelson
bryant nelson action shot

Our second nominee for third base came to the Ducks with just one year of MLB experience, playing with the Red Sox in 2002. However, he had a pair of stints with the Ducks and forged a brilliant Atlantic League career. Bryant Nelson first joined the Flock in 2007 after beginning the year in the Mexican League and after making his ALPB debut with Bridgeport in 2006. He would bat .268 with eight homers and 39 RBIs in 77 games, earning another opportunity in Mexico to begin 2008. “Nellie” returned to the Ducks to play 14 games at the end of the 2008 regular season. After going on to spend time over the next three years with three separate Atlantic League teams (Camden, Lancaster and York), he rejoined the Flock for their back-to-back championship seasons of 2012 and 2013. Nelson was a big part of both titles, playing over 120 games, collecting over 70 RBIs, totaling over 135 hits, scoring 72 runs, and hitting 30 doubles in each season. One of the most clutch players in team history, his biggest moment came in Game Five of the 2012 Liberty Division Championship Series when his eighth inning two-run homer sent Bethpage Ballpark into a frenzy and sent the Ducks to the Atlantic League Championship Series for a second consecutive season. Nelson earned an All-Star Game selection in 2013 as well before hitting .278 during the Ducks championship run that year.


Cody Puckett
cody puckett action shot

Though his Ducks career began at second base, Cody Puckett shifted over to the hot corner shortly thereafter and went on to forge a five-year career thus far with the Flock. Puckett manned second base while Chris McClendon and Brendan Harris played third in 2014, but a year later, he became the full-time third baseman and has been there since. The California native’s first three seasons were a model of consistency in a Ducks uniform, as he played over 120 games, hit over .270 and scored over 60 runs in each. Puckett was selected as an Atlantic League All-Star in 2015 and helped lead Long Island to a postseason berth that same year as well as a Liberty Division championship in 2016. His career took a hit though in 2017 after suffering a season-ending knee injury in late-May, but his work ethic and never-give-up attitude came into the spotlight thereafter. Through a dedication to rehab and training, Puckett was able to earn a spot on the 2018 Ducks roster out of spring training and spent a full, healthy season on Long Island that year. In his five seasons with the Flock, Puckett has totaled 529 hits, 252 RBIs, 238 runs, 79 doubles, and a .270 batting average in 514 games.


You’ve learned all about our nominees, and now you get to make your voice heard. Head on over to our voting page to make your pick for the third baseman on our 20th Anniversary Team. Vote early and vote often over the course of this next week to help determine the player that is a cut above the rest. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!

20th-anniversary-team-voting-button-third-base

Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our three nominees for the left field position.

20th Anniversary Team Voting – Shortstop

Baez-Alfonzo-Lyons

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 infielders down; two to go! We’ve covered the right side of the infield in our voting thus far, with the first base and second base positions being voted upon over the past two weeks, respectively. Let’s head over to the left side now and start off our fourth week of voting with the shortstop spot. The nominees for the position feature some of the most notable players to ever wear the Long Island Ducks uniform. All three account for 11 of Long Island’s 13 postseason appearances in franchise history during their time playing with the Ducks, with 2006 and 2009 being the only two seasons in which none of the three took the field with the Flock. Two of the three shortstop nominees also account for all three Ducks championships. It’s a talented trio to say the least, but it will be up to you to help decide which one gets the spot. Here are the nominees for the 20th Anniversary Team shortstop:


Kevin Baez
Kevin-Baez-20th-Voting

While Kevin Baez has become synonymous with the Ducks managerial role over the past eight years, he endeared himself to fans much earlier when he played for the orange and black. The former New York Mets infielder joined the Ducks in 2002 and proved to be a versatile option in the field. He would play second base, shortstop and third base during parts of four seasons in a Ducks uniform, though most of that time was spent at short. After playing 115 games during his first season with the Flock, Baez truly broke out in 2003. He compiled a .293 batting average and a .370 on-base percentage in 92 games that season and played well enough that the Cincinnati Reds purchased his contract during the year. Some of his signature moments with the Ducks came in 2004. He earned Atlantic League All-Star Game MVP honors that season (the final of three consecutive ALPB All-Star selections), connected for the sac fly during the famous August 9th game in Bridgeport that helped clinch the Ducks their first postseason berth ever, and was part of Long Island’s magical run to their first Atlantic League championship. After beginning the 2005 season as a player, he converted to a coaching role during the year. However, his legacy as a shortstop for the Ducks was cemented forever.


Edgardo Alfonzo
Edgardo-Alfonzo-20th-Voting

Another former New York Mets infielder is also among the nominees for the shortstop position. After enjoying a 12-year Major League career, eight of which was spent in Flushing, Edgardo Alfonzo joined the Ducks for a pair of seasons in 2007 and 2008. He played 105 games with the Ducks during the first of those two years and hit .266 with five homers, 56 RBIs, 53 runs and 23 doubles. The performance with the Flock as well as in the Venezuelan Winter League helped “Fonzie” garner an opportunity with Tigres de Quintana Roo in the Mexican League to start 2008. Following a solid season south of the border, Alfonzo returned to Long Island and continued to sizzle. In 59 games with the Ducks to end ’08, he batted .329 with eight home runs, 27 RBIs, 76 hits, 13 doubles and a .395 on-base percentage. Alfonzo, who played all four infield positions with the Flock but spent most of his time at short, was also a superb defender, combining to make just 16 errors over his two seasons with Long Island. Not to mention, the Ducks earned postseason berths in both of those years as well.


Dan Lyons
Dan-Lyons-20th-Voting

Although our third and final nominee does not have any Major League experience, he has played more games than any other player in franchise history. Dan Lyons has played 888 regular season games as a member of the Ducks, surpassing Ray Navarrete’s 863-game record this past season, a mark that had stood since he retired in 2013. The feat is even more admirable when you consider that Lyons first joined the Ducks in 2011 as a utility infielder on a team that would win more games than any other in the Atlantic League that year. However, “Shorty” greatly impressed during his 86 games that year, hitting .283 and posting a .971 fielding percentage. The Ducks made him their starting shortstop in 2012, and he proceeded to earn an Atlantic League All-Star Game selection. By season’s end, his spot in Ducks history was written in stone when he laid down a walk-off bunt single in the ninth inning of Game Five in the Atlantic League Championship Series to give the Ducks their first title since 2004. His performance in the series was worthy of earning Championship Series MVP honors. Since that point, Lyons has gone on to collect another Championship ring (2013), be named the first-ever winner of the Rawlings Gold Glove Defensive Player of the Year Award in the Atlantic League (2015) and garner two more All-Star Game nods (2015, 2016). Through eight seasons, he has totaled 40 homers, 353 RBIs, 423 runs and 755 hits. Not to mention, he has proven time and time again to be one of the top defenders in the league.


The choices have been revealed, and the time is now to vote! Simply click the button below to head to the balloting page and select your choice for the 20th Anniversary Team’s shortstop. Vote as often as you’d like over the next week, but only one candidate can be chosen when you do. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!

20th-Anniversary-Team-Voting-Button-Shortstop

Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our three nominees for the third base position.

20th Anniversary Team Voting – Second Base

Harrison-Navarrete-Valdespin

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 weeks have come and gone, and fans have had their say on who should represent the catcher and first baseman positions on the 20th Anniversary Team. With hundreds of ballots being cast each week, those voting have shown that it hasn’t been easy determining a clear cut winner at each position. Now, we move on to the first of our two middle infielder positions with the second basemen. This week’s candidates feature a trio of different experiences with the Flock. One spent eight seasons with the club, another donned a Ducks uniform for three years and the third has only played one year on Long Island. However, all three certainly have made strong cases for their spot among this exclusive group. Here are the nominees:


Adonis Harrison
Adonis-Harrison-20th-Voting

The first three seasons of Ducks baseball saw Adonis Harrison man second base primarily. In those three seasons, the California native made a big impact in helping the franchise get off to a strong start. The 2000 season saw him play 87 games with Long Island and register 97 hits, totaling a .307 batting average and a .379 on-base percentage by season’s end. After helping the Ducks to an 82-58 record that still stands as the best regular season in team history, he followed that up by increasing his playing time in 2001 to 110 games. Harrison posted a 100-hit season and played a superb second base as well. Following his final year with the Ducks in 2002, the former Seattle Mariners draft pick had totaled 271 games with the Flock, a .286 batting average, 102 RBIs, 156 runs scored, 36 doubles and 55 stolen bases. Harrison would play four more seasons of professional baseball before retiring, including time in the Angels and Rockies organizations.


Ray Navarrete
Ray-Navarrete-20th-Voting

Our second nominee’s resume certainly speaks for itself. Ray Navarrete, who played multiple positions throughout his Ducks career but spent the most time at second base, enjoyed an eight-year stint on Long Island. In that time, he earned five Atlantic League All-Star Game selections and a host of other accolades. He became the first player in franchise history to be named Atlantic League Player of the Year in 2009. He set the league record for doubles in a single season with 50 in 2012. Navarrete slugged 25 or more home runs, totaled 90 or more RBIs, and scored 100 or more runs in three seasons apiece. By the end of his time with the Ducks, he had set franchise records in hits (963), home runs (137), RBIs (548), runs scored (599), doubles (245) and games played (863), though that last one has since been surpassed by Dan Lyons. Navarrete’s career ended with him being carried on the shoulders of his teammates after winning the second of back-to-back Atlantic League championships, after he went the six previous seasons without a title despite reaching the playoffs in five of them. He then was bestowed with the greatest honor any player can receive from a team, as he had his #16 jersey retired in a pre-game ceremony, fittingly on the 16th of August in 2015.


Jordany Valdespin
Jordany-Valdespin-20th-Voting

Our final candidate has just one season of experience with the Ducks, but the amount of honores accrued in that single campaign certainly make him worthy for this spot. Jordany Valdespin joined the Ducks in 2018 following a four-year MLB career, two of which were spent nearby in Flushing with the Mets. He came out of the gates swinging a hot bat, launching the team’s first home run of the year and earning Atlantic League Player of the Month honors for April/May after leading the league in hits (45), runs (29), total bases (73), extra-base hits (17), and at bats (131). Valdespin represented the Ducks at the Atlantic League All-Star Game, played on Long Island, and proved to be a consistent offensive force throughout the 126-game regular season. The Dominican Republic native ended the year with league-best totals in hits (154), runs scored (94), and triples (7) while ranking second in batting average (.3377), just .0007 behind the league leader. After helping lead the Ducks to a third consecutive Liberty Division Championship, Valdespin became the third player in team history to be named the Atlantic League Player of the Year. He also was chosen as the first Ducks player ever to win Baseball America’s Independent Leagues Player of the Year award.


Three candidates with three outstanding cases, but only one can garner the second base spot on the 20th Anniversary Team. Cast your vote from now through Thursday, December 27th by clicking the button allow. Fans can vote as many time as they would like, but you can only choose one candidate. The winner, along with the remainder of the 20th Anniversary Team, will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2019 season!

20th-Anniversary-Team-Voting-Button-Second-Base

Be sure to check back again next week, as we’ll reveal our three nominees for the shortstop position.

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