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20th Anniversary Team Voting – Outfield (Week 4)

Johnson-Binick-Brodin

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 final week of outfielder voting has descended upon us! We have had three exciting weeks thus far, with fans casting hundreds of ballots each week to help determine the first three outfielders on the 20th Anniversary Team. However, any good squad needs to have depth in the outfield. Couple that with the litany of terrific outfielders that have worn the Ducks uniform, and that is why we have decided to include a fourth outfield spot among this exclusive group. Our final three nominees for the position all have won at least one Atlantic League championship with the Ducks, and two of the three were instrumental in securing Long Island’s back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. Let’s take a look at the three candidates:


Jason Johnson
Jason Johnson Action Shot 1

“Jason Johnson makes the catch! He makes the catch!” Chris King’s play-by-play call of Jason Johnson securing the final out of the Ducks 2004 Atlantic League Championship clincher is one that echoes through the annals of Ducks history. While that catch was certainly a momentous occasion in Johnson’s career, it certainly wasn’t the only highlight in his three-year stint with the Ducks. The California native debuted for the team during the 2003 season, and though he only appeared in 24 games, he made an immediate impact with a .305 batting average, 11 RBIs and 11 runs. One year later, he broke out in a big way en route to that long-awaited first playoff appearance and championship. In 100 regular season games, Johnson posted career-highs in home runs (11), RBIs (58), runs (78), triples (6) and stolen bases (36), the last of which led the Flock. The former Phillies draft pick would lead the Ducks to the postseason one more time in his final year of professional baseball, playing in 94 games during the 2005 campaign. He batted .281 with 41 RBIs, 44 runs, 20 doubles and 12 steals during that final season before hanging up the cleats. Johnson was a superb defender as well, making just seven errors in his three seasons manning right field.


Kraig Binick
Kraig Binick Action Shot

Another Long Island native makes the list of nominees! Kraig Binick, a Chaminade High School and NYIT alum, joined the Flock in 2011 among a talented group of outfielders that included Matt Esquivel, Lew Ford, Kennard Jones and John Rodriguez. He hit in the ninth spot on Opening Day, but by season’s end, he was at or near the top of the lineup daily. Binick was comfortable from the get-go and went on to win the Atlantic League batting title with a .343 average. He also led the league in on-base percentage (.429), stolen base percentage (.894) and stolen bases (42). During a year in which the club won both the first and second half as well as a Liberty Division Championship, Binick represented the Ducks at the All-Star Game in York and was an Atlantic League Post-Season All-Star. The former Orioles draft pick played in 123 games the following season with Long Island, earned another All-Star Game selection, and lifted the Flock to an Atlantic League Championship behind a .405 batting average in the postseason. One year later, after beginning the season in Mexico, Binick returned to lead the Ducks to the second half title and another Atlantic League Championship. Defensively, he committed just nine errors over three seasons in which he played all three outfield positions. His clutch performances also increased his popularity among Ducks fans, as he compiled a .352 batting average in 26 postseason games.


Joash Brodin
Joash Brodin Action Shot

The 2012 season saw the Ducks put together a dominating first half before injuries and player contract purchases took a toll on the roster. Amidst a challenging second half, the Ducks needed a bat and some versatility in the field for their playoff run. Meanwhile, Joash Brodin was dominating in the Frontier League, hitting .370. However, the team he played with folded, and Brodin needed a new home. It was a perfect match! The switch-hitter joined the team in late-July with the ability to play the corners in both the outfield and infield. He hit .282 over the season’s final 49 games and then torched the opposition to the tune of a .359 batting average in the playoffs, en route to a championship. Brodin returned to Long Island the following season and put together an All-Star campaign, batting .307 with 11 homers, 49 RBIs, 79 runs, 21 doubles and 14 stolen bases in 106 games. The performance was worthy of having his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, and although he was unable to partake in the Ducks championship run, he had certainly made his impact upon the club. 2014 was Brodin’s final year with the club, and although his batting average dipped from where it was the previous two seasons, he still chipped in with nine homers, 60 RBIs, 21 doubles and 28 stolen bases over his 133 games.


The three nominees have been revealed, and a tight race is expected to wrap up our outfielder balloting. Cast your vote for Johnson, Binick or Brodin now by clicking the button below to visit our voting page. You can vote as many times as you’d like over the next week, but you can only choose one candidate on your ballot. 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 three nominees for the designated hitter spot.

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20th Anniversary Team Voting – Outfield (Week 3)

haverbusch-ford-bailey

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:


Kevin Haverbusch
kevin haverbusch action shot

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.


Lew Ford
lew ford action shot

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.


Adam Bailey
adam bailey action shot

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!

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

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

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
mel stocker action shot

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
carl everett action shot

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.

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
dominick ambrosini action shot

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.

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