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Series is canceled

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The remainder of the New York-Penn League championship series pitting the Brooklyn Cyclones against the Williamsport Crosscutters has been cancelled.

It is likely, according to a Cyclones team spokesman, that both teams will be named “co-champions” of the New York-Penn League 2001 season.

The Cyclones, who won the league’s McNamara Division playoff beating the Staten Island Yankees two games to one last week, held a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three championship series, the result of a 7-4 win over the Pinckney Division champs, the Crosscutters, Monday night in Williamsport.

At press time, the co-champion status of both teams had yet to be made official, but Cyclones spokesman Dave Campanaro said that it was “highly likely” to happen soon.

Minor League Baseball President Mike Moore said in a separate statement that the decision to cancel the remaining playoff games was made “out of respect to the families and friends of those people who lost their lives or were injured in [Tuesday’s] tragic events.”

In a subsequent statement posted on the Cyclones’ official Web site (www.brooklyncyclones.com), the team broke the news to fans.

“In the aftermath of Tuesday’s tragic events, the New York-Penn League Championship Series has been canceled,” the statement read. “The games the Brooklyn Cyclones were scheduled to play against the Williamsport Crosscutters at Keyspan Park on Wednesday and Thursday will not be made up at a future date.”

The team urged all ticketholders to wait “a few days” before inquiring about refunds — although a team spokesman promised that refunds would be provided.

Despite — or, perhaps, because of — the drama of yesterday’s terrorist attack, Cyclones fans filled the team’s unofficial fan Web site to oppose the decision to cancel the remainder of the series.

“We are dealing with cowardly, gutless sub-humans … disgusting animals [who] want nothing more than to force us to change our lifestyle,” wrote a man known to his fellow Cyclones fans only as “CoreyNyc.” “I agree that the games should be postponed today, but it saddens me to think that they are being canceled. This is exactly what those [mothers] want … The games should have gone on, as our lives have to go on.”

Others recalled the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake in 1989 — which occurred just as fans were gathering for Game 3 of the World Series between the Giants and the Oakland A’s. Then-commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti suspended the Series for a week — but insisted that the games be played.

“Playing the games, say, in two weeks or so would be a big step forward in the healing process,” Staten Island resident Jonathan Weissman, 26, posted.

As the scope and scale of Tuesday’s horrific events envelopes every American, the Cyclones’ victory over the Crosscutters Monday night recedes rapidly into irrelevance. But as these may be the last words to be written about the Cyclones for many months, it feels important to point out that the team’s wildly successful debut season closed on a successful note.

Even though the Crosscutters sent to the mound Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jose Silva, who was playing for the Class-A squad as part of a rehab assignment, the Cyclones scored four runs in the second inning on RBI doubles by John Toner and team MVP Frank Corr. Shortstop Robert McIntyre followed Toner with an RBI single and secondbaseman David Bacani finished the scoring with a single.

After the Cyclones added a run in the third on Corr’s sacrifice fly, the Crosscutters proved pesky, chipping away at the lead with single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings. But reliever Ryan Olson shut down the Crosscutters over the last three innings, including striking out the side in the ninth.

After the game, Cyclones skipper Edgar Alfonzo praised the Crosscutters in words that are now eerily obsolete.

“Obviously, it feels much better to be headed home with one win under our belts,” Alfonzo said.

“We know that Williamsport has a great team, though, and that they’ll battle us for the rest of the series.”

No, Fonzie, they won’t.

Gersh Kuntzman covered the Cyclones for The Brooklyn Papers all season. He is also a columnist with the New York Post and Newsweek.com.

Septmeber 17, 2001 Issue

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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