(Long Island, NY) I wrote an earlier article about the Long Island Ducks’ fan-voted list of “The Flock Top 15.” At the time it was written, numbers 15 through five were named. The team has since released the top names on the list.
Number 5- Bill Pulsipher, P- The leader of ‘The Band.’ Ex-Met Pulse was the face of the Long Island Ducks in their championship season. He was their opening day starter and pitched in all the big games down the stretch. The left-hander was with the St. Louis Cardinals last season.
Number 4- Carlos Baerga, IF- Another former Met, Carlos had an outstanding start to his big league career with the Cleveland Indians. He hit a bump in the road in his stay at Shea, but has rebounded nicely with some productive seasons as a part-time player and pinch hitter since then. Was with the Washington Nationals last year. Played only part of one season (2001) on Long Island and made the Atlantic League All-Star team as the starting third baseman. Signed to play in Korea after the mid-summer break. Was the first Duck to make it back to the major leagues.
Number 3- Kimera Bartee, OF- Spent two very productive seasons with the Ducks, 2003 and 2004. Former major leaguer with the Detroit Tigers. A team leader that was a major force for Long Island in their playoff run and championship.
Number 2- Doug Jennings, 1B- Another former major leaguer, Doug appeared in the 1989 World Series with the Oakland Athletics. Signed with the Ducks in their inaugural season in 2000. Had a few tenures on Long Island, including 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005 (player/coach). Came up big in 2004, especially after returning from a shoulder injury.
Number 1- Justin Davies, OF- It should come as no surprise that ‘the Mayor’ took the top vote. Davies has been with the Ducks since day one. The former Toronto Blue Jay farmhand and West Babylon native is by far the team’s most recognizable face, although Bud Harrelson and Quackerjack may have something to say about that. Had so many big hits in the championship run. Is always at every function the Ducks are a part of all year round. Well deserved recognition.
Although there were no bad choices on this list, personally I was surprised that a few names were omitted and did not make the cut.
Cole Liniak may have not been with the team for long, but he was instrumental in 2004 offensively and defensively. Without him, the Ducks would not have been where they were that season.
Rod Henderson threw the only no-hitter in team history in 2000. His gem was voted as the top moment at Citibank (E.A.B.) Park in the teams’ official magazine, “The Duck Call”, in a 2004 edition.
Joe Cotton, aka Cotton Eye Joe of The Cotton Club, was also a big arm out of the bullpen for the 2004 team.
As far as players that did make the list, I felt that Baerga was not here long enough to warrant a spot, especially in the top five. One half of a season does not entitle someone to be honored among players with much more seniority. I would be more understanding if his presence led them to a first-half division title. Mark Whiten played only parts of two seasons with the Ducks and did not make the postseason. Perhaps some of the voters were taking their MLB experience into consideration.
Regardless, the list was a great idea by an organization that keeps coming up with them. Judging by the line to purchase tickets on March 25th, it will be another season of filled seats at our ballpark in Central Islip.