Professional Baseball Returns to Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Cyclones     

     Baseball is an American sport. Although it’s early history is open to debate it bears some resemblance to a number of games such as cricket and “rounders” the latter of the two generally being thought to be closer to the current game than the former. 

     The game has spread far and wide and is very popular in a number of countries including Japan where it is virtually on the level with the Japanese national sport of Sumo - a kind of wrestling. 

     Baseball appeared as a demonstration sport for the Olympics in 1904 in St. Louis. It was also demonstrated in 1912 in Stockholm, 1936 in Berlin, 1952 in Helsinki, 1956 in Melbourse. 1964 in Tokyo. 1984 in Los Angeles and finally in 1988 in Seoul. In 1992 it became a full medal sport at the Olympics in Barcelona. The gold medal went to Cuba, the silver to Taipei China, and the bronze to Japan, which indicates something of the spread of baseball around the world. 

     This exhibit deals with baseball in general and specifically in Brooklyn. It celebrates the return of professional baseball to the Borough at the newly built KeySpan stadium on Surf Ave. and 19th Street in Coney Island. This stadium will be home to the Brooklyn Cyclones, an “A” team for the New York Mets.

     The minor league teams are rated on a scale from “A to “AAA”. Above that are the major league teams. Each major league team has a number of minor league teams associated with it. For the New York Mets, these teams are: 




Brooklyn Cyclones



Brooklyn, NY


St. Lucie Mets



Port S. Lucie, Fla

Capital City Bombers



Columbia, S.C.

Kingsport Mets



Kingsport, Tenn.

Binghamton Mets



Binghamton, NY


Norfolk Tides



Norfolk, VA.

Joe Malone (left) former high school commissioner of baseball, and Gil Bassetti, scout for the Baltimore Orioles visit the baseball exhibit at Chase Bank, Flatbush Ave. and Ave. H in Brooklyn.


THE EXHIBIT: PART I “Becoming a Cyclone” 

     The exhibit in part looks at the way in which people are selected for the team. 

     First, the exhibit shows photos of the new stadium under construction. Above the photo is the pennant for the Brooklyn Cyclones. On one side of the photo is the listing of the New York Pennsylvania League, to which the Cyclones belong. Other teams and affiliations are listed below. 



Auburn Doubledays



Batavia Muckdogs



Brooklyn Cyclones




Hudson Valley Renegades



Jamestown Jammers



Lowell Spinners



Mahonning Valley Scrappers



New Jersey Cardinals



Pittsfield Astros



Staten Island Yankees



Vermont Expos



      Scouts for the major league teams comb the country looking at ball players. They fill out reports on each player (one such is exhibited) and on the basis of these offers are made to certain players who then sign contracts with the team. At this point they become professional baseball players. 

THE EXHIBIT: Part II: “The Representation of the Group” 

     All organizations need some way to make themselves visible to the world at large. An organization in and of itself has no physical representation. As a result it “appears” through specific trademarks logos and the like. A baseball team is no different. It must have a distinctive emblem by which it makes itself known. A major part of that is the player’s uniform that shows the team affiliation. The Cyclones have a distinctive cap in which the letters “B” and “C” are interlocked. An official cap showing the logo is exhibited in the exhibit case.

     Another symbol of the team a baseball streaking across the word Cyclones which appears above a structural frame of a roller coaster making a link with the world famous Cyclone Roller Coaster in Dino’s Astroland in Coney Island.

The Exhibit: Part III: “Baseball and Popular Culture” 

     Baseball, as the American National pastime has had an impact on many aspects of American popular culture. There are many motion picture about baseball and baseball players. Poems, plays, music and toys are a few of the things that baseball has affected. 

     The bottom shelf of the case exhibits some materials that show this impact. On the bottom is the sheet music for “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Meet the Mets” In one corner a book is open to the poem “Casey at the Bat”, while the other corner shows the comedy duo of Abbot and Costello performing there famous routine “Who’s on First”.

In the center rear of the case, is a mechanical toy bank showing baseball player. The coin replaces the ball, and is thrown by a pitcher. The batter never hits the coin, but it falls safely into the bank. 

The Exhibit: Part IV: “The Stadium” 

     On the back of the case, which faces out to the lobby where the ATMs are, there is a pennant for the Brooklyn Cyclones Baseball Team. 

Below the pennant, two color photographs show the 6,000 seat KeySpan Stadium as it is being built. The stadium will be home for the Cyclones. 

     Alongside the photos are two photographs These show Peewee Reese and Jackie Robinson - two of the illustrious Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1940’s and 50’s. Jackie Robinson became, on April 15th 1947, the first black player to play in the major leagues. He often acknowledged the support he received from Harold “Peewee” Reese in those trying days. Future plans call for a statue of Reese and Robinson will be erected outside KeySpan Stadium. 

The schedule of the Cyclones games as well as a list of the teams they play are exhibited below the photos of the two Brooklyn Dodgers players. 


     The museum wishes to thank the following people for the invaluable help in preparing this exhibit: 

Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY

Gil Bassetti, Scout, Baltimore Oriolea

Brooklyn Cyclones Baseball Team

George Gmelch, Union College

Prof. Michael Hipscher, Brooklyn College

Prof. Edward Kennedy, Brooklyn College

Richard Malone

New York Mets Organization

R.C. Reuteman, Brooklyn Cyclones


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