Meet the Flock for the first time in 2015
The three-time Atlantic League champion Long Island Ducks will host their Third Annual Fan Fest at Bethpage Ballpark tomorrow (Saturday, April 18). The festivities are scheduled to get underway at 10:30 a.m. and the forecast looks fantastic, so don't miss out on your chance to see the Ducks for the first time this year!
“Spring has officially sprung, which means it’s time for baseball,” says Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “Our fans have continued to express their enjoyment with Fan Fest, and we look forward to giving them another fun-filled day at the ballpark.”
The Fan Fest is free of charge and features something for every fan to enjoy. Fans should enter through the West Gate of the ballpark, with VIP Season Ticket Holders entering on the left, the general public entering through the middle, and Bethpage Federal Credit Union/Long Island Ducks Kids Club members entering on the right. As the gates open, fans will be able to watch the entire team taking batting practice on the field.
At the same time, a host of fun activities will also be available for the general public to enjoy along the concourse at Bethpage Ballpark. Kids will have a blast bouncing around in the Long Island Ducks Bounce House, zooming down the Duck Tail Inflatable Slide, testing their arm at the Ducks Speed Pitch or making an everlasting memory of their visit to the ballpark at the Ducks Photo Booth. In addition, Ducks fans will be able to enjoy samples from Roscoe Beer Company, a brand new beer vendor and sponsor of the new Trout Town Fan Can.
The Waddle In Shop will be open for fans to browse a wide selection of Ducks merchandise, including some brand new items for 2015. Among the new items that fans can purchase are official Ducks Spring Training apparel, including dry-fit hoodies and t-shirts, pullovers, and shorts, as well as official on-field headwear, including the new Sunday cap for this season. These items were provided by TGI/Alleson and Outdoor Cap and quantities are limited, so be sure to arrive early for the best selection! Be sure to stop in the Waddle In Shop again between 2:00 and 4:00, as two-time Atlantic League champion Ray Navarrete, who is having his #16 retired on August 16, will be on hand to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
As previously announced, the day will be highlighted by the Ducks taking the field for a spring training game against the cross-sound rival Bridgeport Bluefish at 1:00 p.m. The exhibition contest will feature a pair of (one game only) rule changes that will serve as a trial to see their impact on the pace and excitement of a baseball game. The changes include a player being ruled out if they foul off a pitch with two strikes and a player earning a walk after three balls, rather than four.
“While these rules are not under consideration by the Atlantic League, we continue to serve as an experimental laboratory for ways to improve the pace of games,” says ALPB President Rick White. “The changes should spice things up for fans as the 2015 season approaches.”
Both rule changes were proposed by 68-year-old author Paul Auster, a lifelong baseball fan who has published works such as “The New York Trilogy,” “The Brooklyn Follies,” “Leviathan,” “Sunset Park,” and other modern classics. Auster originally suggested the idea in a letter to the New York Times and later described his reasoning in a phone conversation with the New York Daily News.
Along with the spring training game, season ticket holders will be treated to their annual season ticket holder barbecue, which will take place in the Hebrew National Picnic Area. Those attending will get to enjoy an all-you-can-eat picnic and receive visits from Ducks players and coaches after the team takes batting practice. Season ticket holders will also be able to pick up their VIP gifts during Fan Fest by visiting the Customer Service Center, located on the main concourse near the West Gate.
Members of the Bethpage Federal Credit Union/Long Island Ducks Kids Club will have the opportunity to celebrate QuackerJack’s birthday party at the ballpark. The celebration will be hosted in the exclusive Smokin’ Al’s Party Deck right next to the field along the left field line. Members will be able to hang out with Long Island’s favorite mascot, take pictures, enjoy food and beverages, and of course, sing “Happy Birthday” to QJ.
For more information about Fan Fest, please call the Ducks at (631) 940-3825 or chat with a Ducks representative on the team's official website.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit www.liducks.com.