Angry Ward Wednesday: Seinfeld Night, Brooklyn Cyclones and Coney Island Insanity

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Belt buckle courtesy of N Train Accessories.

Belt buckle courtesy of N Train Accessories.

CONEY ISLAND (BROOKLYN), NY - I seriously haven’t a clue as to where to begin this tale, so I’m just going to jump right in and take my chances. I’ll try to keep below a 1,000 word limit, but I could easily go 5,000 and more. I make no promises.

For starters, the reason I put Brooklyn in parentheses is that Coney Island should truly be a nation, make that a planet, unto itself. You want to secede, Staten Island? Get to the back of the line! Anyway, a while back my brother Chris scored eight tickets to a minor league baseball game and everyone wanted in. Seems the Mets Single A team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, were hosting something called Seinfeld Night in recognition of that storied sitcom’s 25th Anniversary. We quickly threw together a roster of miscreants, including a bunch of guys from the Staten Island Ferry, a current Circle Line Tour Guide, a hard-partying-and-still-hungover Korean-American-by-way-of-Houston, and me. Basically, it was a Murderer’s Row of Rejects.

DrvanNostrand

Dr. Van Nostrand, I presume?

Chris and I decided to take the subway out in the likely event we were over-served. Coming down from the Bronx, it was the mass transit equivalent of a trip to Australia. We boarded the #1 Local at 225th and Broadway where we were quickly flash-mobbed by a family of vociferous evangelists. Things only got better from there. Boarding the N train at 42nd, some yokel with a sideways Yankee cap pulling a luggage carrier containing a giant speaker hooked up to a car battery and his iPhone, treated every lucky passenger in our car to a cavalcade of obnoxiously loud and horrifically horrendous hip hop to the end of the line.

Cheerleaders in baseball? Sure, why not.

Cheerleaders in baseball? Why not?

Speaking of “the end of the line,” each subway stop we passed as we approached Coney was more dilapidated than the one before. It was like something out of Beneath the Planet of the Apes and the remaining passengers looked like extras from The Omega Man. As I remarked to my brother, “This trip would even scare the Sweathogs sh*tless.”

Disembarking at Stillwell and Surf, we had successfully bopped our way back to Coney, the way The Warriors once had. We poured out of the station and into a sea of sweaty humanity that absolutely defied description. I’ll take a shot, though.

Soup Nazi (actor, Larry Thomas), in the flesh.

Soup Nazi (actor, Larry Thomas) in the flesh.

It was like someone took Fordham Road in the Bronx, threw it into a nuclear reactor, sprinkled in the patrons from the alien bar scene in Star Wars and spilled the whole disoriented mess out by the Atlantic.

We made a beeline for Nathan’s, grabbed a couple of dogs, two Mermaid Pilsners (not bad), found my pal Gus and headed towards what for this night was being called Vandelay Industries Park.

Upon entering the Park, we encountered immediate disappointment. They were all out of the “Keith Hernandez ‘Magic Loogie’ Bobbleheads” they were giving away. Turned out to be no big deal. My brother and his friend (the two guys who wanted them most) managed to each get one anyway. And I received a sweet Bobby Parnell Bobblehead that my daughter immediately turned into a Christlike, heavens-gazing religious icon when she tried to pull its head off. It was a win all the way around. Anyway, once inside, there was no escaping the rampant Seinfeld mania.

Puddy

David Puddy out supporting the team.

On the field there was an Elaine Benes dance contest, ceremonial first pitches by everyone from letter carriers to latex salesmen, and puffy shirts aplenty. And in the stands there was just about every Seinfeld character you can imagine, including at least one genuine article.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…

I wasn't drunk. This was the score!

I wasn’t drunk. This was the score!

Like Seinfeld, the game itself was a laugher. In the 5th the Cyclones were down 15-0, had one hit, and four errors. Never before had I been concerned about beer sales staying open too late. At this rate, the bottom of the seventh would happen sometime around sun up. Nevertheless, everything else in and around the game was pitch perfect: well-behaved fans, courteous vendors, helpful stadium employees, reasonable prices, and great views everywhere you turned. In short, everything the parent company in Queens gets wrong, the Brooklyn Cyclones get right. There wasn’t a person in our group, or just about anywhere in sight, that didn’t have a great time.

parnel

“Wilpons, why hast thou morons forsaken me?”

I don’t recall what time it was when we loaded back onto the electric sewer for the long ride home, but we were pretty much worn out from sun and suds and Seinfeld and, generally, some of the best people-watching around. Was there actually a baseball game? It all seemed a bit hazy now, but in the best possible way. So if your kids turn to you this summer and tell you they’re bored, as they all inevitably do, take them out to Coney Island for a Cyclones game and enough stimuli to fill their tanks until Labor Day.

Come back tomorrow for Big Al Sternberg/Fake Sandy Alderson, a man destined to have his head bobble.

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Wednesday: Angry Ward, who has admirers at the NY Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way conservatives embrace Mitt Romney. While the Vikings tease him incessantly with flirtations of success, the Golden State Warriors, "Don't have a enough short, white angry guys but I don't dislike them... that much." A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, The Franchise.
  • Linda

    Newman show up? lol

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      Newman!!!

  • toby12

    Very funny. Coney Island is the land of the living dead. Brad Pitt should have shot his zombie movie there in November.

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      Good point. They’d have saved a ton of cash spent on makeup, wardrobe and actors acting half-dead.

    • AngryWard

      Zombieland came close to portraying what a zombie apocalypse would look like in Coney. There would be many mistakes made killing actual living humans as opposed to zombies.

  • FakeSandyAlderson

    AW-I made the horrendous mistake of taking the kids to the Parent company game in Flushing instead. I searched for some Mulligatawny but Bob Sacamano hooked us up with some floppy Hats instead. I love that little stadium in Coney Island-once you step inside you’re back in 1957. Good story AW. Your subway travels-must have been nearly the northern most tip of the system to the most Southern in Coney Island, no? Had to be two hours each way.

    • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

      Hey… 4 out of 5… 8 games back… Win 4 of the next 5 and BOOM! They’ll be 45-50 and on their way to a 49-23 finish, which will get them the 90 wins #Sandy said they’d get!

      By the by, here’s an interesting piece by Ken Davidoff:
      http://nypost.com/2014/07/09/its-time-for-the-mets-to-let-fans-dream-big/

      • FakeSandyAlderson

        Hard to get excited abut being 8 games back when they’re 8 games below .500 And Davidoff is a douche…I’ve had many Twitter battles with the Sandy Sycophant

        • vinny from brooklyn

          mike francesa said they could be a playoff team next year and will trade murphy and colon. and coney island can go. we dont want them!

      • Dude

        great, they will put together enough of a streak that alderson can point to as “about to turn the corner” trade whatever young starter you want (the one that will invariably become a perennial cy young candidate) for an alleged missing final offensive piece who will bat .180 the rest of the way once he’s spooked by citifield and mets fans. finish in 4th place, have a middling draft pick and not do anything to better the team in the offseason… sound about right?

        • Dude

          and oh yeah, great article ward

        • SAF

          I enjoyed last night’s game, but now after reading Dude’s all too prophetic comment I’m depressed again. Thank god for Knob Creek!

    • AngryWard

      Absolutely, Fake Sandy. That was one long haul. Not quite two hours but close.

  • GrindingAxWalter

    Was Joey Chestnut in Nathans by chance? I heard he takes EP(eating practice) there sometimes.

    • AngryWard

      Word has it that the recently-engaged Chestnut and recently-engaged Short Matt are planning a double-wedding in Coney Island. Stay tuned.

  • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

    We read this to Short Matt’s Mommy in the hospital and she was simply astounded at how excellent it is. She asked for parts to be read again… Like this:
    “We poured out of the station and into a sea of sweaty humanity that absolutely defied description.”
    Mama Short Matt couldn’t help but wonder, however, why in blazes is such a talented man voluntarily anchors the MTM Staff… That earned her an “accidental” nudge of her bed by Short Matt.

    • TRS99

      The mom is right. This is very very good.

    • GrindingAxWalter

      Why do I actually believe that Shorty would do that?

      • AngryWard

        Thanks to Mom McCarthy and no nudging, Matt!

  • Cheesybruin

    Ward, Brooklyn is a tiny nation unto itself and is far enough away to be considered the 51st state. Never much cared for the place and that was before all the hipsters started migrating there.

    • AngryWard

      Coney Island is not part of the world of which you speak.

  • Big Blue 56

    Coney Island is full of freaks and Russians. Very weird place. But people go to the games. Not like Staten Island for the Yankees. Those fans suck with support and it’s a great park.

    • AngryWard

      That’s terrible that the folks in SI don’t support their minor league team. It’s not like they have anything else to do out there aside from weddings and wakes. What gives? We’ll take a minor league club up by me. I’ll get season tix!

      • WestCoastCraig

        The Staten Island Yankees, nee the O-Yanks.

        My favorite kind of post, Ward! I was thinking of a pithy Warriors line and then saw you were way ahead of me. There should be a Warriors themed night, actually! The Baseball Furies alone would make it worthwhile.

  • buffalobilly84

    If Mccarthy told me about this i would have driven down. That sounds hilarious!

  • SAF

    I hope that before you started this odyssey you checked in with George Costanza as to where all the best public toilets on your route and near the game would be. I’d hate to think of you having to beg a square off some bizzarro creature in the next stall.

    I also Hope Momma 100′ Tall Matt feels better soon!

    • AngryWard

      Sam, believe me, I always make sure I know where the public toilets are. Costanza’s ex-in-laws-to-be (Susan’s parents) didn’t believe I was going to Coney and took the trip all the way out there with me.

  • jgclancy

    “I seriously haven’t a clue as to where to begin this tale” –I wondered how July 5th went then completely forgot about your Seinfeld Night. I’ve come out of retirement to just say this article was Real & Spectacular!

    • AngryWard

      Well struck, with a Teri Hatcher quote. Now back into retirement, JG.

  • Junoir Blaber

    Sounds like a blast but man did you take the long way. Transfer at 59th for the D would have been easier.

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