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Ducks Memorable Moment Madness: Final Four

Ducks Moment Madness 042820

And then there were four! After beginning with four outstanding memories from the first 20 season of Long Island Ducks baseball, just four remain in their bid to conquer Memorable Moment Madness. We have held three rounds of voting in each of the four regions: Playoff Moments, Special Events, Player Awards and Notable Games. Thanks to thousands of fan votes since the tournament began on March 19, we have now determined the four regional champions. Here are the voting results from the Elite 8:

WESTERN BRACKET

 

EASTERN BRACKET

[1] “The Bunt”

78.6%

  [1] Ray is Hits King

56.9%

[2] Navarrete’s HR

21.4%

  [3] Navarrete ’09 MVP

43.1%

         
[1] Inaugural Game

31.3%

  [1] Henderson’s No-No

66.7%

[3] Buddy’s #3 Night

68.7%

  [7] 18-Inning Game

33.3%

Congratulations to each of the four regional champions! As has been the case throughout the competition, voting in some of the matchups was fairly close while others were no contest. Each of the four remaining moments certainly has a case for why it should be dubbed the greatest in franchise history. However, just one will hold that title, and we’ll find out which over the next three days.

The Final Four will feature the regional champs from the left side of the bracket (a.k.a. the Western Bracket) facing one another while the winners from the right side (a.k.a. the Eastern Bracket) doing the same. The top-seed from the Playoff Moments Region, “The Bunt”, will battle the three-seed from the Special Events Region, Buddy’s #3 Night, in the Western Bracket. Then, in a match-up of two top-seeds, Ray is Hits King of the Player Awards Region takes on Henderson’s No-No of the Notable Games Region. Before voting begins, here are the details on each of the remaining competitors:


WESTERN BRACKET

Lyons2
#1 – “The Bunt”

In Game Five of the 2012 Atlantic League Championship Series at Bethpage Ballpark, Ducks shortstop Dan Lyons ended the team’s eight-year title drought in the most unfathomable way possible: A bunt single up the third base line. The perfectly-placed bunt scored Matt Esquivel with the winning run. It remains the only one of Long Island’s four championships to be clinched on their home playing field. Lyons earned Championship Series MVP honors for his heroics.

BuddyNight
#3 – Buddy’s #3 Night

On August 3, 2018, the Ducks celebrated Bud Harrelson Appreciation Night. Buddy’s famous #3 was retired by the organization in a special pre-game ceremony. Speeches were made by Boulton, Manager Kevin Baez, and Buddy’s daughter, Kassie, on behalf of his family. Ducks players and coaches also paid tribute while helping raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, which Harrelson was recently diagnosed with, by donning special purple jerseys throughout the game, each featuring number three on the back.


EASTERN BRACKET

NavarreteHitsKing
#1 – Ray is Hits King

Justin Davies held the record for most hits in Ducks history from the time he retired in 2005 until the 2011 season. At that point, Ray Navarrete had already become the team’s leader in home runs, RBIs, runs scored and doubles. However, on May 22, 2011, he would also become the hits king in dramatic fashion. His go-ahead three-run home run in the ninth inning at York gave him 616 hits in his Ducks career, officially surpassing Davies.

HendersonNoNo
#1 – Henderson’s No-No

Rod Henderson threw the first, and only, no-hitter in Ducks history on May 25, 2001. In a 3-0 win over the Atlantic City Surf at EAB Park, the right-hander went the distance, allowing just two walks while striking out 10 batters. He faced just one batter over the minimum and needed just 108 pitches to seal the deal. The two-year MLB veteran was also the first Atlantic League pitcher to throw a no-hitter.

It’s time to find out which two moments will meet up in the Championship Game of Memorable Moment Madness. Cast your votes on Tuesday and Wednesday for the moments you feel should advance by visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages. Simply click the buttons below to visit them! Once the two have been decided, Thursday’s tournament finale will decide the ultimate champion.

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Ducks Memorable Moment Madness: Elite 8

Ducks Moment Madness 042220

Two rounds have come and gone in the inaugural Ducks Memorable Moment Madness competition. We have seen thousands of votes cast since the beginning, and 32 of the most historic moments in the franchise’s 20-year existence have been whittled down to eight. Voting in the Sweet 16 wrapped up this week, as we saw two first round favorite match up with two first round underdogs. The final matchup came down to the very end, with the two separated by just one vote. Here were the results:

[1] Henderson’s No-No 67.0%
[5] 27-Run Opener 33.0%
   
[3] Ray’s 3-HR Game 49.5%
[7] 18-Inning Game 50.5%

The Cinderella story of the 18-Inning Game in 2006 has continued on in the tournament, marking the lowest seed remaining in the bracket. All four top-seeds have advanced, as well as one two-seed and two three-seeds. Let’s take a look at the field that remains and the match-ups for the Elite 8:

PLAYOFF MOMENTS SPECIAL EVENTS PLAYER AWARDS NOTABLE GAMES
[1] “The Bunt” [1] Inaugural Game [1] Ray is Hits King [1] Henderson’s No-No
[2] Navarrete’s HR [3] Buddy’s #3 Night [3] Navarrete ’09 MVP [7] 18-Inning Game

Each of these incredible memories has built a strong case for why it is the greatest in franchise history. However, only one will be able to hold that honor when the tournament is complete. To get there, we first need to determine the best moment in each region to make up the Final Four of the tournament. Before we begin voting in the Elite 8, which will take place over the next four days, here is some further detail about each moment vying for a regional championship:


PLAYOFF MOMENTS

Lyons2
#1 – “The Bunt”

In Game Five of the 2012 Atlantic League Championship Series at Bethpage Ballpark, Ducks shortstop Dan Lyons ended the team’s eight-year title drought in the most unfathomable way possible: A bunt single up the third base line. The perfectly-placed bunt scored Matt Esquivel with the winning run. It remains the only one of Long Island’s four championships to be clinched on their home playing field. Lyons earned Championship Series MVP honors for his heroics.

Navarrete
#2 – Navarrete’s Homer

Ray Navarrete always had a flair for the dramatic. No moment of his career though was bigger than his go-ahead three-run home run in Game Five of the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series. In what would be the final game of his pro career, Navarrete’s blast against the Somerset Patriots put the Ducks ahead for good. Long Island would win the game 6-4 and win their second consecutive championship, sending Navarrete off in style.


SPECIAL EVENTS

FirstGame
#1 – Inaugural Game

April 28, 2000, is a date that is so important, not to just the Ducks franchise, but to Long Island in general. From Founder Frank Boulton opening the gates to the first customers at then-EAB Park, to the lineup card exchange between managers Bud Harrelson (LI) and Butch Hobson (NA), to the first pitch being thrown by Eddy Ramos to Milt Culyer, a challenging mission had been accomplished – professional baseball had finally arrived on Long Island!

BuddyNight
#3 – Buddy’s #3 Night

On August 3, 2018, the Ducks celebrated Bud Harrelson Appreciation Night. Buddy’s famous #3 was retired by the organization in a special pre-game ceremony. Speeches were made by Boulton, Manager Kevin Baez, and Buddy’s daughter, Kassie, on behalf of his family. Ducks players and coaches also paid tribute while helping raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, which Harrelson was recently diagnosed with, by donning special purple jerseys throughout the game, each featuring number three on the back.


PLAYER AWARDS

NavarreteHitsKing
#1 – Ray is Hits King

Justin Davies held the record for most hits in Ducks history from the time he retired in 2005 until the 2011 season. At that point, Ray Navarrete had already become the team’s leader in home runs, RBIs, runs scored and doubles. However, on May 22, 2011, he would also become the hits king in dramatic fashion. His go-ahead three-run home run in the ninth inning at York gave him 616 hits in his Ducks career, officially surpassing Davies.

RayMVP
#3 – Navarrete 2009 MVP

In 2009, Navarrete became the first Ducks player to win the Atlantic League’s Player of the Year award. That memorable season saw #16 set the league record for games played (139) and set five Ducks single-season records: games, at-bats (531), runs (106), hits (164) and extra-base hits (66). Navarrete led the league in RBIs (96), hits, runs, extra-base hits and doubles (39), while finishing second in home runs (25), fifth in on-base percentage (.403) and third in slugging percentage (.531).


NOTABLE GAMES

HendersonNoNo
#1 – Henderson’s No-No

Rod Henderson threw the first, and only, no-hitter in Ducks history on May 25, 2001. In a 3-0 win over the Atlantic City Surf at EAB Park, the right-hander went the distance, allowing just two walks while striking out 10 batters. He faced just one batter over the minimum and needed just 108 pitches to seal the deal. The two-year MLB veteran was also the first Atlantic League pitcher to throw a no-hitter.

18Inning
#7 – 18-Inning Game

The longest game in franchise history took place on September 12, 2006, when the Ducks matched up with the Camden Riversharks at Citibank Park. By night’s end, the game had lasted 18 innings in total and took a league-record six hours, 20 minutes to complete, with Camden eventually earning the win. The game took so long that Ducks front office staff members had to fill in for the bat boys, who needed to get home because it was a school night.

With all of the matchups and information now in place, it’s time to begin formulating the Final Four of Ducks Memorable Moment Madness. Cast your vote each weekday on our Facebook and Twitter pages for which memory you feel deserves to be that region’s champion. You can simply click the buttons below to visit both pages. Voting for the Elite 8 will wrap up next Monday, with the semifinals taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday and the championship game wrapping up the tournament on Thursday, April 30.

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Ducks Memorable Moment Madness: Sweet 16 – Notable Games Region

Ducks Moment Madness 042020

We’re down to one last region of voting in the Sweet 16 of Ducks Memorable Moment Madness. We saw two matchups go down to the wire in the Player Awards Region, with voting the closest its been in this round of the tournament. When push came to shove though, a pair of achievements by Ray Navarrete have both advanced on to the Elite 8. Here are the results from this past round in the region:

[1] Ray is Hits King 59.5%
[4] Ford 2014 MVP 40.5%
   
[3] Navarrete ’09 MVP 63.3%
[7] Lyons Gold Glove 36.7%

Thus far, all three top-seeds have advanced to the Elite 8, along with one two-seed and two three-seeds. The final region of Sweet 16 action is that of Notable Games, an area in which two favorites advanced while two others were upset in the first round of action. This round will feature the top-seed, Rod Henderson’s No-No going up against the five-seed, 27-Run Opener. The other matchup pits the three-seed, Ray’s 3-Homer Game, against the seven-seed, 18-Inning Game. All four games featured occurrences that have only happened once in franchise history, so it’s anyone’s game. Here are further details about each moment to help you when voting.

HendersonNoNo
#1 – Henderson’s No-No

Only one player in franchise history has ever thrown a no-hitter. Many have come close, but only one has reached the summit. That was Rod Henderson, who accomplished the feat on May 25, 2001, when the Ducks topped the Atlantic City Surf 3-0 at EAB Park. The right-hander went the distance, allowing just two walks while striking out 10 batters. He faced just one batter over the minimum as well and needed just 108 pitches to seal the deal. The two-year MLB veteran was also the first Atlantic League pitcher to throw a no-hitter.

Nav3HR
#3 – Ray’s 3-HR Game

Continuing along the line of events to only happen once, there has been only one player in Ducks history to launch three home runs in a single game. The great Ray Navarrete is the lone man to do so. On June 8, 2008, against the Newark Bears at Citibank Park, #16 set the franchise single-game homer record in a 13-6 win before a sellout crowd of 6,051. After going deep in two of his first three at bats, Navarrete would drive a 3-2 pitch over the fence for his third home run of the day. The day also saw him collect eight RBIs, which remains tied for the franchise single-game record to this day.

27Run
#5 – 27-Run Opener

Home openers don’t get much more exciting than the one the Ducks put together in 2018. On May 4, the Ducks opened their home slate against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and put together a performance for the ages. Long Island scored at least one run in every inning except the first and ended the night with a 27-9 win, breaking the franchise record for most runs in a single game. The Ducks put together seven-run innings in the second and eighth to lead the way. David Washington led the Flock with four hits, including a pair of homers, and tied a franchise record with six runs scored. Cody Puckett also homered and collected six RBIs along with five runs.

18Inning
#7 – 18-Inning Game

The longest game in franchise history takes the seventh seed in the region. That game took place on September 12, 2006, when the Ducks matched up with the Riversharks at Citibank Park. By night’s end, the game had lasted 18 innings in total and took a league-record six hours, 20 minutes to complete, with Camden eventually earning the win. The teams combined to use 15 pitchers in the game, while there were a grand total of 159 plate appearances in the affair. Long Island dramatically came back to tie the game with a five-run eighth inning and did so again with two runs in the 15th. The game took so long that Ducks front office staff members had to fill in for the bat boys, who needed to get home because it was a school night.

It’s time to finalize the last two spots in the Elite 8 of Ducks Memorable Moment Madness. Voting for our first matchup will be held on Monday, while the second head-to-head battle takes place on Tuesday. At that point, just eight of the original 32 moments will remain in the competition. Place your votes on our Facebook and Twitter pages each day by clicking the buttons below to access.

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Ducks Memorable Moment Madness: Notable Games Region

Ducks Moment Madness 040620

We have now completed the first round of voting in three different regions in the Ducks Memorable Moment Madness competition. Fans have made their voice heard in regard to Playoff Moments, Special Events and Player Awards, with the Sweet 16 matchups now locked in for all three regions. This past week of voting saw the biggest upset of the tournament thus far. Here are the results from the Player Awards Region:

[1] Ray is Hits King 68.2%
[8] Baez ’04 ASG MVP 31.8%
[2] Loree Triple Crown 47.6%
[7] Lyons Gold Glove 52.4%
[3] Navarrete 2009 MVP 77.5%
[6] Brownell 2015 POY 22.5%
[4] Ford 2014 MVP 64.6%
[5] Valdespin 2018 MVP 35.4%

We have now arrived at the final region of voting for the first round of Memorable Moment Madness: The Notable Games Region. In this section, we highlight some of the games that Ducks fans remember to this day for a variety of reasons. Whether they were games that saw a player accomplish something special or featured a record performance by the team, each of the eight contestants is a game that will forever be etched in Ducks history.

Here is a bit more detail on each of the eight moments in the region to help you when voting:

HendersonNoNo
#1 – Henderson’s No-No

Only one player in franchise history has ever thrown a no-hitter. Many have come close, but only one has reached the summit. That was Rod Henderson, who accomplished the feat on May 25, 2001, when the Ducks topped the Atlantic City Surf 3-0 at EAB Park. The right-hander went the distance, allowing just two walks while striking out 10 batters. He faced just one batter over the minimum as well and needed just 108 pitches to seal the deal. The two-year MLB veteran was also the first Atlantic League pitcher to throw a no-hitter.

MacheteCycle
#2 – Machete’s Cycle

In addition to there being just one no-hitter in team history, there has also been only one player ever to hit for the cycle. That feat was accomplished on July 2, 2004, when Luis Rodriguez did so in a road game against the Somerset Patriots. Nicknamed “Machete” for his ability to cut down runners on the basepaths, the Ducks catcher stepped into the spotlight that day for his accomplishments at the plate. In front of a sold out crowd, Rodriguez collected a double, a triple and a home run in his first three at bats. In the seventh inning, needing just a single, he homered again. Fortunately, his teammates rallied to get him another at bat in the ninth, and he singled to complete the cycle. Fun fact: All five of his hits went the opposite way to right field.

Nav3HR
#3 – Ray’s 3-HR Game

Continuing along the line of events to only happen once, there has been only one player in Ducks history to launch three home runs in a single game. The great Ray Navarrete is the lone man to do so. On June 8, 2008, against the Newark Bears at Citibank Park, #16 set the franchise single-game homer record in a 13-6 win before a sellout crowd of 6,051. After going deep in two of his first three at bats, Navarrete would drive a 3-2 pitch over the fence for his third home run of the day. The day also saw him collect eight RBIs, which remains tied for the franchise single-game record to this day.

BrownellLyons
#4 – Brownell/Lyons Show

History is so nice that sometimes, it’s made twice. That was the case on August 4, 2018, when the Ducks shut out the Road Warriors 10-0 at Bethpage Ballpark. John Brownell took the mound for the Ducks that night and struck out four batters over seven scoreless innings. Most notable was his strikeout of Daniel Aldrich to begin the third inning, which was the 738th of his Ducks career. That moved him past Tim Cain for the Atlantic League’s all-time strikeouts record. In addition, Dan Lyons started the game at shortstop for the Flock, marking his 863rd game played with the Ducks. That number tied him with Navarrete for first place on the franchise’s all-time game played list.

27Run
#5 – 27-Run Opener

Home openers don’t get much more exciting than the one the Ducks put together in 2018. On May 4, the Ducks opened their home slate against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and put together a performance for the ages. Long Island scored at least one run in every inning except the first and ended the night with a 27-9 win, breaking the franchise record for most runs in a single game. The Ducks put together seven-run innings in the second and eighth to lead the way. David Washington led the Flock with four hits, including a pair of homers, and tied a franchise record with six runs scored. Cody Puckett also homered and collected six RBIs along with five runs.

Hill14Ks
#6 – Rich Hill’s 14 K’s

It’s not often that a franchise will remember a loss as a notable game. However, August 9, 2015, will certainly be remembered by the Ducks and their fans forever. On that afternoon, former Major Leaguer Rich Hill took the mound in his second start with the Flock. In six innings of work, the southpaw would strike out 14 batters, tying the franchise single-game record set by Mike Loree in 2011. Hill allowed just two hits and two walks, did not give up a run, and threw 63 of his 89 pitches for strikes. It was as dominant a performance as you’ll ever see. Unfortunately, a late rally by the Camden Riversharks denied Hill a win, but he did parlay the performance into five seasons of MLB time since.

18Inning
#7 – ’06 18-Inning Game

The longest game in franchise history takes the seventh seed in the region. That game took place on September 12, 2006, when the Ducks matched up with the Riversharks at Citibank Park. By night’s end, the game had lasted 18 innings in total and took a league-record six hours, 20 minutes to complete, with Camden eventually earning the win. The teams combined to use 15 pitchers in the game, while there were a grand total of 159 plate appearances in the affair. Long Island dramatically came back to tie the game with a five-run eighth inning and did so again with two runs in the 15th. The game took so long that Ducks front office staff members had to fill in for the bat boys, who needed to get home because it was a school night.

11RunRally
#8 – 11-Run Rally

Our final notable game also took place most recently among all the competitors. On June 21 of this past year, the Ducks were just four outs away from being swept in a home doubleheader against the Lancaster Barnstormers. Trailing 8-1 in the sixth inning of game two in a single admission doubleheader, the Flock put together a rally for the ages. Long Island went on to score 11 runs in the inning, all of them with two outs, to come away with a 12-8 victory. Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove in four runs in the inning with a two-run homer and a two-run single. Rando Moreno also picked up a two-run single, while Vladimir Frias, Hector Sanchez and David Washington each added RBI singles.

Voting in the Notable Games Region of Ducks Memorable Moment Madness gets underway today. Select which game you feel should advance each weekday on our Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking the buttons below. After this, it’s on to the Sweet 16!

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