Since 2015, the Long Island Ducks have teamed up with the Suffolk County Office of Veteran Affairs and New York Community Bank to present the “Heroes of the Game” program. At every Ducks home game, the team publicly recognized local veterans as well as active duty service men and women with an in-game salute. Crowds that packed Bethpage Ballpark every night stood and applauded together when each military member was acknowledged over the public address system.
“Suffolk County is home to nearly 100,000 veterans, the largest veteran population in New York State. It is our obligation to provide our local heroes with the services they need once they come back home,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “The ‘Heroes of the Game’ program is a wonderful way for thousands of local baseball fans each game to learn about our heroes’ stories and as a way to say thank you to our veterans for the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedom.”
“The partnership between Suffolk County and the Long Island Ducks to honor our veterans is a home run,” Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern said. “Our veterans are not only the ‘Heroes of the Game,’ they are our heroes every day, and it is an honor for all of us to say thank you in such a meaningful way.”
After more than 125 local veterans and active military personnel were honored during the 2018 season, the Ducks are happy to announce that this program will continue once again this year. Up to two “Heroes of the Game” will be selected during all home games at Bethpage Ballpark. Each will be honored during a live, in-game tribute for their selfless and courageous service to our country. In addition, each hero will receive 10 complimentary tickets to the game at which they will be honored as well as Duck Club passes so that they may bring their family and friends along with them.
“The Ducks are pleased to be able to continue this terrific program,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “The feedback we received from fans, veterans, sponsors and the community has been tremendously positive, and we’re looking forward to another great season saluting those we owe so much to.”
“New York Community Bank is delighted to again sponsor the ‘Heroes of the Game’ for the 2019 season," stated Andrew Kaplan, Executive Vice President of NYCB. "NYCB is proud to honor those who have served our country. Not only does the recognition give these heroes and their families a lifelong memory, it reminds everyone in attendance of the sacrifice that has been made by the great men and women who defend our nation.”
Veterans and active duty personnel can register to be recognized as one of the “Heroes of the Game” by calling (631) 853-8387 or sending an e-mail to Karen.Saffari@suffolkcountyny.gov.