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Ducks Memorable Moment Madness: Championship Game

Ducks Moment Madness 043020II

We are down to the final two teams that will compete for the Ducks Memorable Moment Madness championship. We had hundreds of fans cast ballots this week for the two Final Four matchups, and voting was fairly close in both the Western and Eastern Brackets. In addition to votes, many fans commented with their reasoning for why they voted for the moment they did, with several acknowledging that these were the hardest matchups to vote for thus far. With that said, here are results from the semifinals of the tournament:

WESTERN BRACKET   EASTERN BRACKET
[1] “The Bunt” 59.5%   [1] Ray is Hits King 51.8%
[3] Buddy’s #3 Night 40.5% [1] Henderson’s No-No 48.2%

And so, it’s onto the Championship Game of the tournament to decide what the greatest moment in Ducks history has been over the franchise’s first 20 seasons. This is unquestionably an intriguing matchup, with two top-seeds going at it for the crown. The Western Bracket winner comes from the Playoff Moments Region and is a championship-winning play from a 20th Anniversary All-Time Team member. The Eastern Bracket winner hails from the Player Awards Region and also features a 20th Anniversary All-Time Team member who holds several franchise records, including the one that is being recognized in this instance.

For one final time, here are the details regarding the two moments vying for the championship to help you better make your ultimate selection:

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.

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.

With all the information at your disposal, which memory takes the crown as the greatest in Ducks history? Is it the walk-off bunt single that secured Long Island’s 2012 Atlantic League championship at Bethpage Ballpark? Or is it the dramatic home run that moved Ray Navarrete into sole possession of first place on the Ducks all-time hits list?

Head on over to our Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking the buttons below. Cast your votes over the next 24 hours for the moment you feel is most deserving of being the Memorable Moment Madness champion. We’ll announce the winner on Friday morning as part of the Ducks #OpeningDayatHome festivities.

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Ducks Memorable Moment Madness: Final Four

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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

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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 – Player Awards Region

Ducks Moment Madness 041620

Half of our Elite 8 bracket is now set in the Ducks Memorable Moment Madness competition following two more days of terrific voter turnout. Following the advance of “The Bunt” and Navarrete’s Homer in the Playoff Moments region, we saw another top seed advance and then an upset take place in a matchup of jersey retirements in the Special Events Region. Let’s look at the results from both head-to-head battles from the region:

[1] Inaugural Game 69.7%
[4] Davies’ #4 Night 30.3%
   
[2] Ray’s #16 Day 23.3%
[3] Buddy’s #3 Night 76.7%

That leaves us with four moments still remaining on the left side of the bracket. Now, let’s shift over to the right side and continue with our Sweet 16 voting. We move on to the Player Awards Region, where we will have four impressive honors duking it out for a spot in the Elite 8. This round of competition will highlight two of Ray Navarrete’s accomplishments – his Ducks all-time hits record and 2009 Player of the Year award. The hits record will do battle with Lew Ford’s 2014 Player of the Year honor, while his MVP award will go up against Dan Lyons’ 2015 Gold Glove. Each recognition was memorable, but only two can advance. Let’s learn more about each honor:

NavarreteHitsKing
#1 – Ray is Hits King

Justin Davies had held the record for most hits in Long Island Ducks history from the time he retired in 2005 until the 2011 season. At that point, another one of the team’s legends had closed in on this monumental record. Ray Navarrete had already become the team’s leader in home runs, RBIs, runs scored and doubles, but on May 22, 2011, he would 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

Navarrete is back at the forefront again thanks to the fact that he became the first Ducks player to win the Atlantic League’s Player of the Year award in 2009. That memorable season saw #16 set the league record for games played (139) and also set five Ducks single-season records in 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).

FordMVP
#4 – Ford 2014 MVP

Lew Ford, at the age of 37 going on 38, put together an unbelievable 2014 campaign that made him the second Duck to be named Atlantic League Player of the Year. He most notably played in all 140 games during the regular season, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat. He also amassed 189 hits during the season, breaking the previous league record held by Somerset’s Victor Rodriguez (179, 2004). Ford led the Atlantic League in doubles (40) and finished second in batting average (.347), RBIs (95), runs (100), total bases (278) and on-base percentage (.415).

LyonsGG
#7 – Lyons Gold Glove

In 2015, the Atlantic League and Rawlings entered into a partnership. Among the many benefits included a player being named the Rawlings Gold Glove Defensive Player of the Year and receiving an actual Gold Glove for his accomplishment. The first player to ever earn this honor was Ducks shortstop Dan Lyons. That year, among all other ALPB shortstops with at least 100 games played, he posted the highest fielding percentage (.976) and recorded the second-most assists (355) and putouts (183). Lyons showed impressive range all over the field, routinely making plays up the middle and to his right, showcasing a strong arm and demonstrating a consistent ability to race down shallow fly balls.

Which player awards will continue on in Memorable Moment Madness? Only you, the fans, can determine that. Cast your votes on Thursday and Friday by visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages for your favorite honors. We’ll round out the Sweet 16 next week before moving on to the Elite 8.

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Ducks Memorable Moment Madness: Player Awards Region

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Two regions down, two more to go in the first round matchups for our Ducks Memorable Moment Madness. So far, fans have done a terrific job voting for their favorite memories in Ducks history, from clutch playoff moments to truly special events that have been held at Bethpage Ballpark. This past week saw fans debating between jersey retirements and All-Star Games as well as a moment from the first season of Ducks baseball against another from the most recent campaign. It proved to be a clean sweep for the favorites in this section. Here are the results from the Special Events Region:

[1] Inaugural Game 81.4%
[8] 8 Millionth Fan 18.6%
[2] Ray’s #16 Day 63.4%
[7] 2010 All-Star Game 36.6%
[3] Buddy’s #3 Night 82.3%
[6] 2018 All-Star Game 17.7%
[4] Davies’ #4 Night 76.3%
[5] 2002 All-Star Game 23.7%

Onto the right side of the bracket we go, as we take a look at some of the great player accomplishments in franchise history. Among the eight competitors are the Ducks three Atlantic League MVP award winners (Ray Navarrete, Lew Ford and Jordany Valdespin) and Long Island’s two Pitcher of the Year recipients (John Brownell, Mike Loree). Additionally, it includes the team’s only Defensive Player of the Year (Dan Lyons), only All-Star Game MVP (Kevin Baez) and the franchise’s all-time hits leader (Navarrete).

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

NavarreteHitsKing
#1 – Ray is Hits King

Justin Davies had held the record for most hits in Long Island Ducks history from the time he retired in 2005 until the 2011 season. At that point, another one of the team’s legends had closed in on this monumental record. Ray Navarrete had already become the team’s leader in home runs, RBIs, runs scored and doubles, but on May 22, 2011, he would 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.

LoreeTC
#2 – Loree Triple Crown

2011 was a memorable year for many reasons. One big reason was because of the work Mike Loree did on the mound. At the time, only one pitcher in Atlantic League history had ever won the Triple Crown – leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts. That was Somerset’s Jim Magrane in 2009. Loree gave Magrane company on that exclusive list after totaling 14 wins, a 1.98 ERA and 131 strikeouts during that incredible year. He lost just five times in 24 games (19 starts) and walked only 28 batters in 122.2 innings of work as well. Not only was he the first Duck to win the Triple Crown, he was also the first Duck to win Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year honors.

RayMVP
#3 – Navarrete 2009 MVP

Navarrete is back at the forefront again thanks to the fact that he became the first Ducks player to win the Atlantic League’s Player of the Year award in 2009. That memorable season saw #16 set the league record for games played (139) and also set five Ducks single-season records in 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).

FordMVP
#4 – Ford 2014 MVP

Lew Ford, at the age of 37 going on 38, put together an unbelievable 2014 campaign that made him the second Duck to be named Atlantic League Player of the Year. He most notably played in all 140 games during the regular season, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat. He also amassed 189 hits during the season, breaking the previous league record held by Somerset’s Victor Rodriguez (179, 2004). Ford led the Atlantic League in doubles (40) and finished second in batting average (.347), RBIs (95), runs (100), total bases (278) and on-base percentage (.415).

ValdespinMVP
#5 – Valdespin 2018 MVP

Already a popular player from his time with the New York Mets, Jordany Valdespin made himself even more loved by fans of the Ducks in 2018. The second baseman earned Atlantic League Player of the Year honors, along with Baseball America Independent League Player of the Year honors, with an astounding campaign. Valdespin led the Atlantic League with 154 hits, 94 runs and seven triples during the 2018 season while ranking second in batting average at .3377, just .0007 behind Somerset’s Craig Massey. The four-year MLB veteran was also among the league’s Top 5 in several other categories, finishing second in on-base percentage (.399) and total bases (222), third in stolen base percentage (.857) and fifth in slugging percentage (.487).

BrownellPOY
#6 –Brownell 2015 POY

John Brownell became the second pitcher in Ducks history to garner Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year honors in 2015. Having already cemented his status in team history with his 2012 and 2013 playoff performances, the right-hander ended the year tied or in sole possession of the league lead in wins (12), innings pitched (175.2), complete games (4), shutouts (2) and strikeouts (146), the latter of which was also a single-season franchise record. In addition, Brownell was tied for the second-most starts (26) in the league and finished fifth in earned run average (3.38).

LyonsGG
#7 – Lyons Gold Glove

In 2015, the Atlantic League and Rawlings entered into a partnership. Among the many benefits included a player being named the Rawlings Gold Glove Defensive Player of the Year and receiving an actual Gold Glove for his accomplishment. The first player to ever earn this honor was Ducks shortstop Dan Lyons. That year, among all other ALPB shortstops with at least 100 games played, he posted the highest fielding percentage (.976) and recorded the second-most assists (355) and putouts (183). Lyons showed impressive range all over the field, routinely making plays up the middle and to his right, showcasing a strong arm and demonstrating a consistent ability to race down shallow fly balls.

BaezASGMVP
#8 – Baez ’04 ASG MVP

Only one Duck has been named Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game, and that was Ducks shortstop Kevin Baez. In 2004 at Campbell’s Field in Camden, N.J., #10 claimed the honor as he led the North Division to a 10-8 win over the South Division. Baez went 2-for-4 in the game, driving in a pair of runs in the process. He also went on to score the game-winning run. The game marked Baez’s third consecutive Atlantic League All-Star Game selection. He went on to help the Flock win their first-ever Atlantic League championship later that year, clinching it on the same field.

Today begins voting for the Player Awards Region of Ducks Memorable Moment Madness. Cast your ballot each weekday on our Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking the buttons below. We’ll have a different matchup each day from Tuesday through Friday!

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