Tag Archives: Bethpage Ballpark

Mary Kate Guma: multimedia reporter (just kidding)

I sat in the same chair for about ten hours yesterday. It was an exciting time.

In the morning, Sharon and I worked on a story for the website about a 9/11 memorial at Bethpage Ballpark, and at that point, I still had quite a bit of energy, so it really wasn’t unpleasant. Then we met with Bob Herzog one last time so he could edit it, which was actually really nice.

He edited the story without losing the flavor we had created, and everything he said and reworked made sense. I was definitely glad he was a temporary Greene Team member. He was so conversational and friendly, and yet managed to teach us about sports reporting too. I was sad to see him go yesterday.

After the written piece, Sharon and I continued with the story by working on the script for our video clip, and that was and long and tortuous process, let me tell you. Script writing is not as easy as it sounds, though I believe Sharon did have fun recording it in the sound booth.

Then the real work began, sometime around six last night. We started putting the video together, which again, is more complicated than it sounds. I had never used FinalCut before, and though I got the general hang of it, anybody can just throw clips together, arranging them in a virtually pleasing, coherent, concise way is not something I have the hang of yet.

I’m still working on it, though. This morning, Sharon and I are trying to finish off the video. We need to learn how to put “lower thirds” into the video, and just get some general aid and hopefully, we should be done shortly. Fingers crossed!

(Quick update: We’re done! The story is finished and we’ve had pizza for lunch.)

Stony Brook’s Senior Associate Dean of Admissions Robert Pertusati came to speak to us about college which was actually really helpful. I don’t have any clue what I’m doing when it comes to college admissions, so any advice I can get is good advice. And I actually find it kind of exciting. It’s like a giant race, one in which hundreds of thousands of teenagers are running. I’m naturally very competitive, so the idea just kind of appeals to me. Just the idea, though—I don’t think I’ll be crazy about the process of being accepted or denied!

By the way, in case my title gets edited, I just want to make it clear I do not consider myself a skilled multimedia reporter. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just following Newsday reporter Lauren Harrison’s advice —Fake it ’til you make it.)

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The 9/11 Memorial at Bethpage Ballpark was built in 2012 in t he memory of Long Island Victims of the attacks. (Kayla Aponte)

Ballpark memorial honors Sept. 11 victims

Bethpage Ballpark is home to more than just the minor league baseball team, the Long Island Ducks.

It is also hosts a September 11th memorial, with a steel beam from the World Trade Center site and a plaque, the only one of its kind to list all 490 names of Long Islanders who perished during the attacks.


The beam was dedicated to the founder and CEO of the Ducks, Frank Boulton, as well as to the team itself, by the World Trade Center Foundation in a ceremony on Sept. 11, 2012. A year later, the plaque was added in yet another ceremony on the 2013 anniversary of the attacks.

“Our founder and CEO Frank Boulton knew folks that perished in the attacks that day, so I know it’s near and dear to his heart,” said Michael Polak, the Media Relations and Broadcasting Manager for the Ducks. “We had, for both ceremonies, a very good turnout of fans that were out on the plaza. It’s always received a positive response and fans are happy that we have some way to remember what happened that day.”

Not all fans realize the memorial is there, stationed outside the ballpark in front of the smoking area between the East and West Gates.

“I honestly didn’t even see it. Wow,” said Suzanne Cascio. “I was rushing in and I totally passed it.”

The 9/11 Memorial at Bathpage Ballpark honors the 490 Long Islanders who lost the lives in the September 11 attacks. (Kayla Aponte)
The 9/11 Memorial at Bathpage Ballpark honors the 490 Long Islanders who lost the lives in the September 11 attacks. (Kayla Aponte)

Fellow Ducks fan Jimmy Falk was also unaware of the memorial.

“I’ve been coming here for years and this is the first I’m hearing of it,” he said.

Upon learning of the memorial, though, Falk was pleased.

“I think it’s terrific,” he said. “I think especially as New Yorkers, we need to be aware of it. Everybody that lives on Long Island was touched by that event, and somebody knows somebody whose name is on that plaque, without a doubt. Now that I’m aware of it, I’m going to look for it.”

When the memorials were unveiled, the ceremonies were announced on the Ducks’ website, though since then, no additional promotion has been done.

“I didn’t even know it was outside,” said fan Laura Jensen. “If they just had a poster or something somewhere, people would probably go visit it.”

Andrew Rella is one fan that knew about the structure, and his response was positive.

“I’m a UPS driver,” Rella said, “and I’ve delivered this route before, so I saw when they were building it. You know, my uncle was a paramedic that day and was back and forth to St. Vincent’s [hospital] a thousand times. Friends of mine that drive for UPS in the city helped evacuate people out of there. So to me — my brother’s a marine – he’s been overseas. It has a lot of special meaning for me.”

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Gregory Commodore "quacking"

Ducks v. Bluefish: Real rivalry or quixotic quackery?

Long Islanders flocked to Bethpage Ballpark for Wednesday night’s Ducks game against Bridgeport, but is there a cross-Sound rivalry?

“They have one?” said Ducks fan Jonathan Softy.

“I don’t know how much of a rivalry it is, being that Bridgeport doesn’t draw much. I’d like to see it improve, but I don’t know if it will,” said Dan Erickson.

There was a limited number of Bluefish fans and a lot of cheerful Long Island kids and adults. One Bluefish fan did have an idea about why there so few in the crowd.

Dan Cunningham who was one of the few Bridgeport Bluefish fans at the game. He says it is hard to get fans to come out to the games in Long Island. (Alejandro Serrano)
Dan Cunningham, who was one of the few Bridgeport Bluefish fans at the game. He says it is hard to get fans to come out to the games in Long Island. (Alejandro Serrano)

“Getting people from Bridgeport to here is pretty tough. With the ferry it is not exactly easy,” said Dan Cunningham, a Bluefish fan.

The Ducks have not had a good season but that doesn’t take away from the crowd and energy from the ballpark. The Ducks have endured an 11-game losing streak as of July 23 and fans believe the players are feeling the pressure.

“Any time you have a losing streak you start pressing, I’m sure they feel it ,” said Erickson.

The Bluefish don’t draw at home as well as the Ducks. “Maybe half if they are lucky,” said Cunningham.

The ‘rivalry’ between the Ducks and the Bluefish is not one to break out into chaos. Ducks fans said they don’t trash talk and they like to have fun with their family and enjoy all the aspects a Ducks game has to offer.

“The atmosphere is great, the stuff they do in between innings is great, it keeps the fans involved,” said Cunningham. “The Ducks have a pretty loyal fan base, nothing but good things to say about the Ducks, they are a good organization and run very well.”


Ducks fans do come to the games for the entertainment, enjoy the team and the sport, but some have a die-hard obsession with the minor league team itself.

“I eat, sleep and breathe Ducks, so when I wake up in the morning I just think Ducks all the time, I quack randomly,” said Brian from Patchogue, who asked that his last name not to be used.

“[The Bluefish] are not our kind of team,” added another fan, Jordan Buffy of Selden, who embraced the rivalry with Bridgeport.

So did Brian. “Bluefish? I don’t like seafood,” he said.

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Madison Flotteron and Courtney Taylor anchoring at the Stony Brook University School of Journalism broadcast studio on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.

A visit to Newsday, followed by a Ducksday

The whirlwind day started in Stony Brook’s Studio B, where Prof. Conway showed us the ropes of TV news.

In a word: amazing.

a shot of Studio B!
a panorama shot of Studio B
I got to play at being an anchor, film a newsbreak, play on the soundboard and be tech director in the booth. Anchoring was a tad nerve-racking (despite my teleprompter blunders, I do know how to read, I swear), but the best job by far was tech director. Clicking buttons to switch cameras and move effects onscreen probably doesn’t sound all that fun, but you’ll have to take my word that it was a blast.

Pressing Buttons: Advanced Edition
Pressing Buttons: Advanced Edition
Next in the day’s long line-up was a talk on covering sports with Newsday Reporter and Editor Bob Herzog. While I’m certainly not a sports person, I found his to be one of the most interesting presentations of the week.

From there, it was off to Newsday to see what a real newsroom and other aspects of real-life journalism looked like. Seeing the timeline stretching around the halls was eye-opening as well – who knew that the paper on my dining room table each morning had such a rich history?

Gifts from Newsday to the Greene program
Gifts from Newsday to the Greene program
What was especially intriguing was the session after we walked the halls. In a special tour room, various Newsday professionals came in to tell about their jobs and answer questions. While each testimony was valuable, my favorite was that of Matt Clark, investigative reporter. The job sounds not only super-cool (he recounted a story he’d uncovered about a multi-state movie theater scam) but genuinely rewarding as well.

And next on the itinerary was a Ducks game at Bethpage Ballpark – Ducks v. Bluefish after the Ducks’ ten-game losing streak (pft, and I said I wasn’t a sports person). My team, Team Wasumesauce (as in “awesome sauce” with Prof. Ahmad’s name in front – I was pushing for “Wasim’s Dream Team,” but I digress) was covering the supposed rivalry between the two teams. The issue, however, was that Bluefish fans were nowhere to be found (that is, until the tail-end of the night, when a man in a Bluefish hat and shirt came to save the day).

As a reporter for that segment, my job involved asking random people if they’d like to be interviewed (or, for a large chunk of the beginning, if they were Bluefish fans – the answer a resounding “no”). Approaching people in the ballpark and asking them questions on camera ended up being a ton of fun. It felt like a real and serious job. (I even tried to speak in my best television voice, picturing the reporters on CNN.)

Behind the camera in Studio B
Behind the camera in Studio B

The team gathered useable material and some great soundbites about the rivalry between the teams (one man insisted he ate, slept, and breathed Ducks – even quacking at random).

I can’t tell much about the game itself, other than the fact that I had a great time (and got some great ballpark popcorn). I can’t wait to put the Ducks story together with my team and see how the final product comes out.

photo 5

On the ride home, after a night of reporting and laughing, Prof. Herzog regaled us with another talk on sports reporting, and the techniques he uses to tell a different story each time (even though, to a non-fan like myself, sports games don’t seem all that different from one another).

While I can’t say I plan on becoming a sports reporter, the stories about his career were incredibly interesting. Prior to his lecture, I would have written sports journalism off as something bland and monotonous. Bob Herzog’s stories, however, bring that field to life in a genuinely exciting light.


I’ve learned so much so fast – I feel like a real journalist at work!

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