Celebrating 20 years of home runs and family fun

The Long Island Ducks play against the New Britain Bees at Bethpage Ballpark on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 during their 20th anniversary season. Fans came out in teal to support the team. Photo by Candace Morgan.
The Long Island Ducks play against the New Britain Bees at Bethpage Ballpark on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 during their 20th anniversary season. Fans came out in teal to support the team. (Photo by Candace Morgan)

It’s a hot and humid day at the end of July. A young child dances in the stands, enjoying her cotton candy. A man in a Ducks jersey waits eagerly for a hot dog. A group of young friends enjoy drinks as they cheer on their favorite players. Moments like these have been the hallmarks of Ducks baseball as an institution on Long Island for 20 years.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Long Island Ducks’ inception. This baseball season is not only about celebrating the Ducks’ history here on their home turf of Long Island, but also keeping in mind what the Ducks were and always will be about.

“We continue to be very much the same thing that we were since we opened,” says Michael Polak, director of Ducks media relations and broadcasting. “We’re all about affordable family entertainment. The baseball is exciting, but the other aspect is that we continue to be one of the most affordable options on Long Island for families to spend their discretionary dollars.”

The Ducks have long been a staple of many Long Island families’ summer traditions. The team has been home to hard working Long Islanders for years, who have enjoyed countless nights watching the Ducks and experiencing quality entertainment. That’s probably why the Ducks are never shy when it comes to improving the fans’ recreational experience. They have recently extended its beer and wine selection, for adult enthusiasts, while always keeping fun for the kids high on the list of priorities. The bounce house is a staple of the ballpark and a favorite with the kids.

QuackerJack, The Long Island Ducks mascot hypes up the fans at the Bethpage Ballpark as they play against the New Britain Bees at on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 during their 20th anniversary season. Photo by Candace Morgan.
QuackerJack, the Long Island Ducks mascot, hypes up the fans in the stands on Wednesday during their 20th-anniversary season. (Photo by Candace Morgan)

“The Ducks are all about bringing people together,” said fan Mike Tricarico.

The Ducks do live up to that praise, as they have a history of being affiliated with local causes and charities.

A Ducks fan named Leeanthony Garrison, associated with Long Island Community Hospital, said, “This is our third year here. We support the Long Island Ducks, of course.”

The hospital presented a firework spectacular, at the July 24 game. The team has also donated to local charities, including Long Island Cares,  an organization that strives to end hunger on Long Island.

The Duck festivities in honor of the 20th season will be going on all summer long. Thursday, July 24, was “teal T-shirt night” at the ballpark and Aug. 2 will be the culmination of the team’s celebrations. According to Michael Polak, 20 fan-favorite players from the team’s 20-year history will play an all-star game. The Jumbotron will play a highlight reel of some of the team’s best moments and, later, a thank you ceremony for the Ducks’ longtime supporters and sponsors.

Stop by Bethpage Ballpark during this special season and watch some baseball, and pick up a hot dog and cold beer. After all, the Ducks are all about making family and friends flock together.

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