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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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15th Anniversary Team: Final Vote

Opening day is upon us, Ducks fans! At long last, April 25 is finally here and the Ducks are ready to begin their quest to become the first team in Atlantic League history to win three straight league championships. While six other ALPB teams got started last night, Long Island opens up tonight in the most fitting of settings: TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J. It was at this very same ballpark some six-plus months ago that the Ducks hoisted the Atlantic League Championship trophy for the second consecutive year. Tonight, John Brownell, last year’s championship series MVP, toes the rubber for Long Island against Somerset Patriot righty Erik Arnesen. Coverage of tonight’s game begins at 6:50 p.m. on 103.9-FM, LI News Radio, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Live streaming audio will also be available at liducks.com.

With it being Opening Day, voting for the Ducks 15th Anniversary Team concludes with the “Final Vote.” Similar to the final vote for the MLB All-Star Game, this week we are taking the second place finishers in each previous position, and pinning them against each other for one final chance to make the “Flock 15” team. Fans can vote for one player, regardless of position, to represent the final member of the 15th Anniversary Team. Here are the nominees:

J.R. House
JR House

House might have been the best hitter and one of the best all-around players Long Island has seen. While he only spent one year with the Ducks in 2011, he certainly made it count. House proved to be an iron man and a defensive stalwart, playing 113 games and not committing a single error. In addition, he threw out 20% of baserunners trying to steal and helped lead the league’s best pitching staff which posted a 4.17 ERA. Offensively though was where House truly shined. He batted .305 with 19 home runs, 81 RBI, 73 runs, 128 hits and 22 doubles. House also rarely swung and missed. His 37 strikeouts were astronomically low for any batter. Not only did he lead the Ducks to the playoffs, but he brought the team all the way to the Atlantic League Championship Series for the first time since 2004. Following the season, House retired and is about to begin his first season as a professional baseball manager, serving as the skipper for the Single-A Hillsboro Hops in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

Brandon Sing
Brandon-Sing

Sing, who had an outstanding year with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2009, was able to put together another impressive season in 2012 with the Ducks and helped Long Island end an eight-year title drought. The durable Illinois native played 119 games, and while his .284 average was slightly lower than normal, he crushed 26 home runs, drove in 78 runs, scored 78 times and added 31 doubles. He would’ve led the team in two-baggers if not for Ray Navarrete’s record-setting 50 that season. Then, he put together one of the best postseasons in Ducks history,  batting .333 (13-for-39) with three home runs (all in the Liberty Division Championship Series) and eight RBI (including a game-tying single in the ninth inning of Game Two in the Atlantic League Championship Series). Sing was outstanding at the plate and provided some of the most clutch hits in franchise history. He now lives at home in Mississippi with his wife and son and provides youth baseball lessons.

Adonis Harrison
Adonis Harrison

Harrison donned a Ducks uniform for the franchise’s first three seasons (2000-02). He played 271 games in his career on Long Island, combining for a .286 batting average. While he wasn’t as much of a power threat, he drove in 102 runs and scored 156 during his tenure with the Flock. The California native also showed good speed on the basepaths, stealing 35 bases in 2000 and 17 the following year while combining for nine triples in his Ducks career. He never made more than 11 errors in a season at second base and provided some versatility as well with his ability to play well at shortstop when needed. Harrison played four more seasons of pro ball after his time on Long Island, reaching Triple-A with the Angels in 2003 and Double-A with the Rockies in 2004. He ended his career by spending two seasons with Long Beach in the Golden Baseball League.

Edgardo Alfonzo
Edgardo-Alfonzo

When Alfonzo was signed prior to the 2007 season, Ducks fans were immediately excited. “Fonzie” had spent eight years with the New York Mets, earning a Silver Slugger Award, an All-Star appearance and a National League championship in the process. After spending the previous year with the Blue Jays and Angels, he came to the Ducks looking to finish out his career in one of the most respected leagues in baseball. In two seasons on Long Island, Alfonzo batted .289 with 13 home runs, 83 RBI, 90 runs and 36 doubles in 164 games. He played solid defense at shortstop as well but also showed some versatility by spending time at second and third base too. In terms of success, Alfonzo helped the Ducks to a pair of playoff appearances, including an outstanding 72-54 record in 2007. The Venezuela native resurfaced in the Atlantic League with the Newark Bears in 2010 before deciding to retire.

Carlos Baerga
Carlos-Baerga

Prior to  joining Long Island in 2001, Carlos Baerga had already been a 10-year Major League veteran, three-time All Star (1992-93, ‘95), and two-time Silver Slugger (1993-94). After spending 2000 out of baseball, Baerga started his road back to ‘The Show’ with Long Island in 2001. Although his time with the Ducks was short, Baerga was able to use the organization (and the Atlantic League) to help reignite his career. In 53 games that season, Baerga posted a .315 batting average, nine home runs, 44 RBI and three triples. These numbers earned Baerga a selection to play in the All-Star Game held in Newark, New Jersey. The Puerto Rico native also earned himself an opportunity to play in the Korean Baseball Organization where he would further impress Major League scouts. The following season, he became the first player in franchise history to make it back to the Major Leagues after playing on Long Island when he took the field for the Boston Red Sox. Baerga would go on to play 350 games with the Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Nationals over four seasons before retiring from the game in 2005.

Joash Brodin
Joash-Brodin-Running

Unlike all of the other outfield nominees, Brodin had never played in affiliated baseball before coming to Long Island. It was not until he parlayed his impressive 2013 season with the Ducks into a contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, making him the fifth Duck to be signed by an MLB team that season. Acquired by Long Island in July of 2012, Brodin made his presence known, batting .369 with seven RBI in the 2012 postseason, earning a hit in all five games during the Atlantic League Championship Series. The Washington native returned for the 2013 season and hit .307 over 106 games with 11 home runs, 48 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. That earned the College of Charlestown alum an All-Star game selection. Brodin hit .300 over 155 games in his two years with the Ducks.

Carl Everett
Carl-Everett

Arguably the most well-known name among designated hitter nominees, Everett had two monster years with Long Island. Playing in 219 games over the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Everett led all DH nominees in batting (.320) and home runs (54) while ranking second in RBI (197). The 14-year Major League veteran finished third in the league in home runs (25) and RBI (97) during his first season with the Ducks. Everett then improved on those numbers in 2008, batting .327 with 100 RBI and 29 home runs, a Ducks single-season record. The Florida native and former 10th overall pick in the 1990 draft retired from professional baseball in 2010 with 1,304 hits, 202 home runs and 792 RBI combined in the Major and Minor Leagues along with two MLB All-Star selections.

Bill Pulsipher
Bill-Pulsipher

A name that resonated well among Ducks fans, Pulsipher certainly made an impact in his time with the Flock. The former ‘Generation K’ member of the New York Mets spent parts of four seasons with the Ducks (2004-07). His first season was where the southpaw truly made made his mark. In 2004, Pulsipher started 17 games (18 appearances) and posted a 9-5 record with a 3.67 ERA. His efforts earned him an Atlantic League All-Star Game selection as well as a midseason contract with the Seattle Mariners organization. Like Davis though, Pulsipher finished the year in championship-fashion with the Ducks, leading Long Island down the stretch and in the playoffs. Overall, the six-year Major League veteran was 17-10 as a Duck with a 4.17 ERA, and the team reached the playoffs each and every one of his four years.

Mike Loree
Mike-Loree

Loree spent two seasons on Long Island (2011-12), but his first year with the Flock was without a doubt the best the franchise has ever seen. That year, the New Jersey native won a team-record 14 games while losing only five, posted a microscopic 1.98 ERA and struck out a league-leading 131 batters, which was also a Ducks record at the time. He also set a Ducks record for most strikeouts in a game with 14 on September 15 against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. That magical year was more than enough to earn Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year honors and the starting pitcher spot at the Atlantic League All-Star Game in York. Loree excelled in the 2011 postseason as well, leading the Ducks staff with a 2-0 record in three starts and allowing just three runs over 19 innings (1.10 ERA) with 17 strikeouts and two walks. The righty began the 2012 championship season with Long Island and made 18 starts before he was signed by the Lamigo Monkeys of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. In 42 regular season appearances (37 starts) with the Flock, Loree tallied a 19-12 record with a 3.69 ERA, and 220 strikeouts in 227.0 innings. Those wins, strikeouts and innings pitched totals led all right-handed starter nominees.

Jared Lansford
Jared-Lansford

Lansford represented the only reliever nominee that is currently on the Ducks roster. Brother of teammate Josh Lansford, Jared now enters his third season with the Flock. While his regular season numbers are impressive, it’s his postseason statistics that signify Lansford as a premier reliever in Ducks history. Over two championship runs in the postseason, the California native is 3-0 and has allowed just one run over 12 and one-third innings of work (0.73 ERA). In addition, Lansford has 13 strikeouts compared to just nine hits and one walk in 11 postseason appearances. During the regular season, Lansford is a combined 5-3 with a 3.61 ERA, nine saves and 88 strikeouts in 94 games (104 and two-thirds innings pitched). That includes a 2.98 ERA over 54 and one-third innings of work in 2012 and an All-Star Game selection in 2013.

Leo Rosales
Leo-Rosales-Dealing

Rosales was the only closer nominee that is currently on the Ducks active roster and has been a part of back-to-back championship teams on Long Island. He came to the Ducks in a late-season trade during the 2012 season and immediately filled a closer role the team needed. After tossing three scoreless innings in the regular season, he pitched six more games in the postseason, earning saves in all three victories over Southern Maryland in the Liberty Division Championship Series. The righty went on to earn the win in Game Five of the Atlantic League Championship Series to clinch the Ducks first title since 2004. The Los Angeles native returned again in 2013 and put together an All-Star season, going 2-2 with a 2.34 ERA, 18 saves and 45 strikeouts in 38 and one-third innings. He was even better in the playoffs, earning four saves total, three of which came in the ALCS against Somerset. The last of those saves came in Game Five against the Patriots to seal another championship for the Ducks.

There are your final vote nominees, Ducks fans. We understand that this is quite possibly the toughest decision yet. It is very important, however, as this will be the final player voted onto the 15th Anniversary Team. The official “Flock 15” team will be made available to fans in the Ducks Official 2014 Commemorative Yearbook at the home opener on Friday, May 2 at Bethpage Ballpark. Until then, Ducks fans; let’s play ball!

15th Anniversary Team: Second Base

This past week once again saw hundreds of Ducks fans head to the blog and cast their ballots for who they believe should be the first baseman on the franchise’s 15th Anniversary Team. There were a few lead changes among the voting, but there’s no doubt that the winner among the five candidates certainly deserves a spot on the team. Just as a reminder, the winners from each week of voting will be unveiled on Friday, May 2 when the “Flock 15” is revealed on the blog.

For our next round of voting, we move on to the “4” position in your scorecards, otherwise known as the second basemen. The Ducks have been fortunate to have strong second basemen throughout their history, and this list covers from the franchise’s beginning in 2000 to their most recent season of 2013. From All-Stars to a former Major Leaguer to an Atlantic League Player of the Year, this list features quite an assortment of talent.  The five nominees for the second base position on the “Flock 15” are:

Ray Navarrete
Ray Navarrete

For the first six seasons of Ducks baseball (2000-05) on Long Island, Justin Davies had become the team’s most recognizable face and held several team records. For the next eight seasons (2006-13), Ray Navarrete was that guy. One of the greatest players to wear a Ducks uniform and a member of the Ducks All-Time Team in 2009, he was the longest-tenured Duck in team history. His career in the black and orange began after helping the Somerset Patriots to the 2005 Atlantic League championship and ended by lifting that same trophy at the Patriots’ ballpark following a Game Five win over Somerset in the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series. His career included five All-Star selections, seven half-season Liberty Division titles, three Liberty Division championships, two Atlantic League championships and the Player of the Year Award in 2009. Not to mention, he holds the franchise record in games played (863), hits (963), home runs (137), RBI (548), runs scored (599) and doubles (245). He also holds the Atlantic League record for doubles in a single season (50) and games played (139, tied with Wayne Lydon of Camden in 2009), and the Port Washington resident is the only player in Ducks history to hit three home runs in a single game. Finally, he has been named “Best Long Island Duck” four times in the Long Island Press “Best of Long Island” awards. The 35-year-old retired from professional baseball after winning the 2013 championship and now focuses his career on the clothing company he founded, Digmi.

Juan Francia
Francia, Juan 2

Francia was a Duck for three straight years from 2008-2010 and provided great speed and an all-around strong bat. After starting the ’08 season with the Lancaster Barnstormers, he hit .333 with 22 runs scored in 26 games with the Ducks to close out the regular season and enter the playoffs. The performance was good enough to earn a contract for 2009, and he would put together one of the best seasons of his career. Francia hit .310 in 125 games, compiling 88 runs, 140 hits, 14 doubles and a then-franchise record 10 triples in one season. Not to mention, he stole 29 bases and drew 32 walks while striking out just 32 times. Though he was not an All-Star selection, his performance was outstanding and overshadowed only by Navarrete’s MVP year. He would play 74 more games with the Flock in 2010 but hit just .247 and ultimately ended the year with the Camden Riversharks. He would play the 2011 season with Camden as well before ending his 12-year playing career.

Carlos Hernandez
Hernandez good fielding shot - daly

Hernandez helped the Ducks to a pair of postseason berths while manning second base in 2005 and 2006. He was a steady presence at the position, playing 122 games in ’05 and 106 games the following season, earning All-Star selections in both years. The former Major Leaguer combined to hit .301 with 14 home runs, 124 RBI, 140 runs and 49 doubles. He was also a huge stolen base threat, swiping 71 bases and being caught just 22 times in two seasons. Defensively, he played a strong second base, committing just 19 errors over two seasons to round out his career fielding percentage at .969. The Venezuela native retired after his 2006 campaign with Long Island.

Rusty McNamara
rustymcnamara_2003_liducks

McNamara’s two seasons with the Ducks were highlighted by an All-Star Game selection in 2003 and an Atlantic League championship in 2004. The former Phillies draft pick posted a .299 batting average in 118 games during the ’03 season and totaled 53 RBI, 138 hits, 26 doubles and five triples. He also rarely ever struck out, going down just 31 times in 502 plate appearances. McNamara joined the Ducks late in the 2004 season and played just 15 regular season games, but he posted a .281 average, six RBI, nine runs and six doubles. He was solid defensively as well, primarily at second base but at third as well, making him another all-around strong player in a Long Island uniform. Following his time with the Flock, McNamara played three more seasons of pro ball, spending time in 2005 in the Northern and Golden Leagues before playing two years in the Italian Baseball League.

Adonis Harrison
Adonis Harrison

Harrison donned a Ducks uniform for the franchise’s first three seasons (2000-02). He played 271 games in his career on Long Island, combining for a .286 batting average. While he wasn’t as much of a power threat, he drove in 102 runs and scored 156 during his tenure with the Flock. The California native also showed good speed on the basepaths, stealing 35 bases in 2000 and 17 the following year while combining for nine triples in his Ducks career. He never made more than 11 errors in a season at second base and provided some versatility as well with his ability to play well at shortstop when needed. Harrison played four more seasons of pro ball after his time on Long Island, reaching Triple-A with the Angels in 2003 and Double-A with the Rockies in 2004. He ended his career by spending two seasons with Long Beach in the Golden Baseball League.

Now fans, the choice is yours. Which second baseman do you feel deserves the spot on the Ducks 15th Anniversary Team? Navarrete has arguably been the greatest player in franchise history, but perhaps one of the other nominees holds a closer place to your heart. There have already been some heated debates among the first two positions on the team. Will second base be another close contest? Place your vote in the ballot below and leave your comments as to why you think your choice deserves the spot. Remember, you can always write in a candidate if you feel he is more worthy of any of the five nominees.

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