By Grace Anne McKenna
Wantagh Senior High School
and Janet Song
Ward Melville High School
A week after they learned they would host next year’s Atlantic League All-Star game, the Long Island Ducks are making plans for the big event.
“Prior to the 2017 season, several ballpark improvements were announced by the club, including new LED field lighting, installation of a new playing field, suite level enhancements and more,” reported the Atlantic League in an official statement.
The league made the decision through their Board of Directors at their annual meeting. Following the meeting, the Central Islip-based team accepted the invitation to host next year’s game.
“The Ducks were chosen for 2018, which we happily accepted,” said Michael Polak, director of media relations and broadcasting for the Ducks, at a press conference with the Greene Team.
The Ducks have hosted the All-Star Game two times, once in 2002 and later in 2010. The team has also led the Atlantic League in attendance for 14 out of the last 17 seasons and are currently in the lead this season, Polak said.
Polak admitted that the Ducks have not released information on all 2018 ticket packages to their fans yet and that more details will be revealed on a weekly basis. However, Polak did mention that tickets will be available for sale soon and are going to be included in all 2018 season-ticket holder packages.
Plans to further modify Bethpage Ballpark are still being determined. “We actually haven’t released all the details yet,” Polak admitted. He explained that these details will be reported, “in the coming months especially as the off-season progresses and all the plans start taking place.”
The Long Island Ducks took home a win on Tuesday, July 25 against the defending champions, the Sugarland Skeeters. This was a big win for the Ducks, who were defeated by the Skeeters in last year’s Atlantic League Championship. The Ducks held their own and achieved victory at the top of the ninth inning with a final score of 6-1.
According to Newsday, five Ducks players will qualify for the 2018 All-Star Game. These include pitchers John Brownell and Amalio Diaz, catcher Alex Burg, infielder Elmer Reyes and outfielder Angelo Songco.
“It would be pretty cool to have [the All-Star Game] here,” said Axel Ayala, a Ducks fan. “It’s a great stadium. You can see everything from any angle.”
The Long Island Ducks will continue on until their season ends on September 17.