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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 – Special Events Region

Ducks Moment Madness 041420

Our first set of matchups have come and gone in the Sweet 16, and we are down to just two playoff moments left vying for a spot in the Final Four of Ducks Memorable Moment Madness. While all four of the memories in the Sweet 16 were tremendous in franchise history, the voting showed that fans truly believed that two were far and away supreme. Here are the results from the Playoff Moments Region:

[1] “The Bunt” 83.8%
[5] Davies Walk-Offs 16.2%
[2] Navarrete’s Homer 69.8%
[3] Johnson’s Catch 30.2%

That sets up for an epic battle in the Elite 8 to decide which incredible Atlantic League Championship Series moment will represent the region in the Final Four. Before we get to that point though, we must continue our Sweet 16 voting in the Notable Events region. All four favorites advanced in the first round of the competition, with the franchise’s inaugural game and all three jersey retirements surviving. As we get ready to begin the matchups, here is a refresher about each of the four events:

FirstGame
#1 – Inaugural Game

It is fitting that the first-ever game in Long Island Ducks history would also be the number one seed in this region of the bracket. 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! Additionally, residents of the Island had a wonderful new way to enjoy affordable, family-friendly entertainment for years to come. Though the Ducks lost the game to the Nashua Pride, the night will forever be remembered for much more than the final score.

RayDay
#2 – Ray’s #16 Day

Though his jersey was the second to be retired in franchise history, the significance of Ray Navarrete being arguably the greatest player in franchise history puts him as the second-seed. His #16 jersey was affixed to the scoreboard forever on August 16, 2015, prior to the Ducks game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The lengthy pre-game ceremony saw Navarrete joined by friends and family along with several of his former teammates. The day was also made even more special, as the first 1,500 fans in attendance received a bobblehead of Ray that immortalized his memorable Game Five home run in the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series.

BuddyNight
#3 – Buddy’s #3 Night

August 3, 2018, will be a date that no Ducks fan, player, coach or staff member will ever forget. That was the night the Ducks celebrated the legendary #3, Bud Harrelson. Bud Harrelson Appreciation Night saw a delightful pre-game ceremony in which Buddy’s famous #3 was retired by the organization. A stirring pre-game ceremony saw speeches from Ducks Founder/CEO Frank Boulton, Manager Kevin Baez (who was brought to tears), and Buddy’s daughter, Kassie, on behalf of his family. Many other “thank you” messages played on the scoreboard. 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 course of their game, with each featuring number three on the back.

DaviesNight
#4 – Davies’ #4 Night

Another fitting moment in this region, as our fourth seed features the night that Justin Davies had his #4 retired. Davies became the first Duck to receive this great honor on June 19, 2015, before the Ducks faced the Bridgeport Bluefish. It was also fitting that Bridgeport was Long Island’s opponent, given Davies’ involvement in the famous August 9, 2004, game between the two cross-sound rivals. Davies thanked all of the fans that supported him during his six seasons with Long Island in a special pre-game ceremony that night, with friends and family joining him on the field. The first 1,500 fans through the gates that night also received commemorative number four t-shirts.

Now that you’ve been reminded about these four momentous occasions, it’s time to determine which two will move on to the Elite 8. The Inaugural Game will face Davies’ #4 Night on Tuesday, while Ray’s #16 Day will battle Buddy’s #3 Night on Wednesday. Vote each day on our Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking the buttons below for which moment you feel deserves to advance.

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Ducks Memorable Moment Madness: Special Events Region

Ducks Moment Madness 032520

We have completed the matchups from our first region of games in the Ducks Memorable Moment Madness Tournament – the Playoff Moments Region. Hundreds of Ducks fans chimed in and voted in the four games that took place over the past week, and three of the four favorites have advanced to the Sweet 16. The only upset that took place came in the region’s final matchup, when five-seed Davies Walk-Offs upended four-seed Simas Seals Deal, doing so quite convincingly. Here are the results from the Playoff Moments Region:

[1] The Bunt 74.3%
[8] Four in a Row 25.7%
[2] Navarrete’s Homer 72.3%
[7] 0-2 Comeback 27.7%
[3] Johnson’s Catch 60.4%
[6] Romero’s Dagger 39.6%
[4] Simas Seals Deal 16.3%
[5] Davies Walk-Offs 83.7%

With those results in place, we move on to the Special Events Region of the 32-moment bracket. This section features eight events that have taken place over the course of the Ducks 20-year history whose focus is not specific to a Ducks game. The region features all three All-Star Games to be held on Long Island as well as all three jersey retirement ceremonies that have taken place in team history. The other two moments include the opening of the ballpark for the first time and the welcoming of the franchise’s Atlantic League record 8 Millionth fan.

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

FirstGame
#1 – Inaugural Game

It is fitting that the first-ever game in Long Island Ducks history would also be the number one seed in this region of the bracket. 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! Additionally, residents of the Island had a wonderful new way to enjoy affordable, family-friendly entertainment for years to come. Though the Ducks lost the game to the Nashua Pride, the night will forever be remembered for much more than the final score.

RayDay
#2 – Ray’s #16 Day

Though his jersey was the second to be retired in franchise history, the significance of Ray Navarrete being arguably the greatest player in franchise history puts him as the second-seed. His #16 jersey was affixed to the scoreboard forever on August 16, 2015, prior to the Ducks game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The lengthy pre-game ceremony saw Navarrete joined by friends and family along with several of his former teammates. The day was also made even more special, as the first 1,500 fans in attendance received a bobblehead of Ray that immortalized his memorable Game Five home run in the 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series.

BuddyNight
#3 – Buddy’s #3 Night

August 3, 2018, will be a date that no Ducks fan, player, coach or staff member will ever forget. That was the night the Ducks celebrated the legendary #3, Bud Harrelson. Bud Harrelson Appreciation Night saw a delightful pre-game ceremony in which Buddy’s famous #3 was retired by the organization. A stirring pre-game ceremony saw speeches from Ducks Founder/CEO Frank Boulton, Manager Kevin Baez (who was brought to tears), and Buddy’s daughter, Kassie, on behalf of his family. Many other “thank you” messages played on the scoreboard. 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 course of their game, with each featuring number three on the back.

DaviesNight
#4 – Davies’ #4 Night

Another fitting moment in this region, as our fourth seed features the night that Justin Davies had his #4 retired. Davies became the first Duck to receive this great honor on June 19, 2015, before the Ducks faced the Bridgeport Bluefish. It was also fitting that Bridgeport was Long Island’s opponent, given Davies’ involvement in the famous August 9, 2004, game between the two cross-sound rivals. Davies thanked all of the fans that supported him during his six seasons with Long Island in a special pre-game ceremony that night, with friends and family joining him on the field. The first 1,500 fans through the gates that night also received commemorative number four t-shirts.

2002ASG
#5 – 2002 All-Star Game

The highest-seeded All-Star Game of the three hosted by the Ducks was also the first one ever to be played on Long Island. The 2002 Atlantic League All-Star Game came to then-Citibank Park on July 10, 2002. Six members of the Ducks represented the North Division in the game, including team all-time greats Francisco Morales, Kevin Baez and Patrick Lennon. A crowd of 6,406 packed the ballpark for the star-studded affair, but it was the South Division who came away with a 4-1 win. Atlantic City’s Steve Hine earned All-Star Game MVP honors.

SPAtlanticLeague11
#6 –2018 All-Star Game

While we go slightly out of chronological order here, the most recent All-Star Game on Long Island earns the sixth seed by virtue of just how incredible the game actually was. Many All-Star Games tend to be blowouts or less-competitive affairs. 2018 was completely different. A total of 6,414 fans filled Bethpage Ballpark on July 11, 2018, for a night that began with future-Duck Deibinson Romero winning the Digmi Home Run Derby prior to the All-Star Game, defeating Lew Ford and David Washington in the process. The game itself saw seven Ducks represented, including eventual 2018 Baseball America Independent Player of the Year Jordany Valdespin. In the end though, it was a Ducks rival that stole the show. Somerset Patriots shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez put in an MVP performance, recording a walk and three hits, including an RBI double in the ninth inning that gave the Liberty Division a 4-3 walkoff victory.

2010ASG
#7 – 2010 All-Star Game

The second of Long Island’s three Atlantic League All-Star Games took place on July 6, 2010, at Suffolk County Sports Park, as it was then known. That night saw an all-time classic Home Run Derby prior to the game itself, as Long Island’s Ray Navarrete and Somerset’s Josh Pressley needed two tiebreakers to determine a champion. A sellout crowd of 6,436 saw Pressley come away with the title, but they did get to see hometown hero Randy Leek pitch two perfect innings to start the game. Leek and Navarrete were two of six Ducks to take part in the game, and the Liberty Division would ultimately win the contest 7-1. Bridgeport’s Steve Moss earned MVP honors, going 2-for-2 with a homer, two RBIs, two runs and a walk.

8Million
#8 – 8 Millionth Fan

Last, but certainly not least, is the most recent of these notable events to take place. On August 28, 2019, six-year-old Declan McCann of Yaphank entered through the gates of Bethpage Ballpark to watch the Ducks face the Blue Crabs with his family. Well, luckily for Declan, he came to the ballpark at the right time. The youngster was the 8 Millionth Fan to attend a Ducks game, making Long Island the first team in league history to reach the attendance milestone. The following night, the Ducks honored Declan with a special jersey featuring “8 Million” across the back. Among other prizes he won were a ceremonial first pitch, a photo op with team members on the field pregame, a team-signed baseball, and the opportunity to enjoy the game from a luxury suite, complete with food and beverage.

The eight seeds have all been selected and explained. Now, it’s up to you to help determine which four will move on to the Sweet 16 of the Ducks Memorable Moment Madness. Cast your votes each weekday on our Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking the buttons below.

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