Baseball is the same in virtually every ballpark in America: 9 innings to a game, 90 feet between the bases, 3 strikes and you’re out. But the experience of watching a game can change dramatically — especially when your ballparks is next to a perpetual carnival.
Along Surf Avenue in Coney Island is the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league baseball team founded in 1986 and playing here out of MCU Park since 2001. The team is affiliated with the MLB’s New York Mets, but the game is unlike anything you’d see at Citi Field or anywhere else in the majors.
There’s King Henry, an unofficial mascot of sorts and the “king of all things silly.” There’s the Nathan’s Famous hot dog race between Ketchup, Mustard and Relish. (Relish is often the crowd favorite.) And then there’s Mark Fratto, the team’s announcer, and Kevin “KJ” Jimenez, the team DJ, two guys who keep thousands of Cyclones fans into the game while perched high above the park.
Earlier this summer, we went behind-the-scenes with them to see how they do it.