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2015 SEASON IN REVIEW: GOOD TIMES, EVERY TIME!


2015 - - What a season! On the field and off, the Ducks had a history making, fun filled and highly attended campaign that featured "Good Times Every Time" at each of the club's 70 regular season home games and two playoff games. Included in the highlights were:

* A regular season record of 80-59. The 80 victories are the second-most in franchise history, trailing only the mark set during the inaugural 2000 season (82-58). In addition, Long Island’s 46 wins in the first half of the season were the most in any half of a season in club annals.

* Sean Burroughs finishing the season with a .3403 batting average to win the Atlantic League batting title. The former big leaguer beat out Bridgeport’s Welington Dotel, who ended the season with a .3396 batting average.

* A 10th playoff berth in the past 12 seasons via the Wild Card and a hard fought battle that went the distance with their longtime rivals, the Somerset Patriots, in the Liberty Division Championship Series.

* 11 players being signed by Major League or foreign organizations. They included Bobby Blevins, Taiwan; Kevin Vance, Diamondbacks; Trayvon Robinson, Diamondbacks; Mike Blanke, Red Sox; Hector Ambriz, Nationals; Mickey Jannis, Mets; Andrew Barbosa, Braves; Lew Ford, Mexico; Reegie Corona, Nationals; Rich Hill, Red Sox and Ryan Gebhardt, Braves. In addition, Hill became the 15th player in franchise history to return to the Major Leagues after playing for the Ducks, earning a call-up by the Red Sox in September. After being called up, Hill proceeded to dominate the Majors, going 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA and 30 strikeouts while allowing only 10 hits and two walks in 23 innings of work.

* Long Island finishing the season as the Atlantic League leaders in attendance, welcoming a total of 358,317 fans through the gates of Bethpage Ballpark and averaging 5,269 fans per game. Both totals were increases from the 2014 season when the Ducks hosted 344,543 total fans and averaged 5,067 fans per game. 2015 marked the 13th time the club has led the Atlantic League in attendance, a league record. Sugar Land is second in the circuit, having led in attendance 3 times.

* The Ducks featuring a brand new lineup of daily promotions during every home game at Bethpage Ballpark, including a night where a fan won $10,000 as part of a "Winning Inning Wednesday" promotion. The team also hosted a record 17 Pyrotecnico Fireworks Extravaganzas, including one that welcomed the second-largest attendance in franchise history (7,443 on July 4 against Somerset).

* The Ducks hosting pre-game food drives in conjunction with Island Harvest Food Bank at each and every home playoff game and promoting the postseason with the slogan "Drive to the Title". Fans were encouraged to donate non-perishable food items by dropping them off in the collection bins located on the plaza outside the ballpark. Ultimately, 500 pounds of food was collected! Additionally, $1 of each ticket purchased online went to Island Harvest when fans entered the code "drive" at checkout.

* A pair of jersey number retirement ceremonies at Bethpage Ballpark, marking the first two numbers ever to be retired by the Ducks. 2004 Atlantic League champion Justin Davies (#4) was the first to receive this exclusive honor on Friday, June 19, and two-time Atlantic League champion Ray Navarrete (#16) became the second on Sunday, August 16. Both had their jersey numbers permanently affixed to the DuckVision video board in left-center field at Bethpage Ballpark in stirring pre-game ceremonies.

* Honoring local veterans and active duty service men and women at every home game with a special “Heroes of the Game” ceremony. In conjunction with the Suffolk County Office of Veteran Affairs and New York Community Bank, this new program was able to create a special memory for the friends and families of each hero recognized, as well as for each and every Ducks fan at the ballpark. Two “Heroes of the Game” were selected for each home game to be honored during a live, in-game tribute for their selfless and courageous service to our country. In addition, each hero received ten complimentary tickets to the game at which they were honored as well as access to the Duck Club Restaurant/Bar.

* Shortstop Dan Lyons being selected by fans as the team’s Most Valuable Player this season. In his fifth year with the Ducks, he compiled his best season on Long Island. Lyons finished with a .301 batting average and a career-high 11 home runs. In addition, he led the team with 73 runs batted in, 74 runs scored, 28 doubles, seven triples, 48 walks and nine sacrifice flies. In addition, the Minnesota native ranked second in the Atlantic League in slugging percentage (.462), third in runs, total bases (215) and on-base percentage (.368), and fourth in RBI, triples, extra-base hits (46) and batting average (.301). Lyons was selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star Game in July and compiled a 17-game hitting streak from August 8-24.

* Starting pitcher John Brownell turning in his best regular season with the Ducks. He ended the year tied or in sole possession of the Atlantic League lead in wins (12), strikeouts (146), innings pitched (175.2), complete games (4) and shutouts (2). In addition, he was tied for the second-most starts in the league (26) and finished fifth in ERA (3.38), which was the best total of his professional career.

From all of us at the Long Island Ducks, we would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the team all season long. We have the best fans in the Atlantic League and appreciate everyone cheering us on day in and day out, from the first pitch to the last out. We look forward to seeing you all back at the Duck Pond in 2016, which will be the 17th season of Ducks baseball on Long Island!

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