Friday, November 03, 2017

Road Trips 2017 Part IV: Binghamton Rumble Ponies

I'm glad to finally present you with Road Trips, Part IV.  This chronicles my Labor Day weekend adventure through my home state of New York.  The wife and I made stops in Hudson Valley/Fishkill, Troy/Tri-City, Cooperstown, and Binghamton.  I took 1,062 pictures, so it took some time for me to get them properly filed way.

If you've been following along, the wife and I fled the city and headed straight for Dutchess Stadium where we watched the Hudson Valley Renegades defeat the Vermont Lake Monsters.  We then continued our drive up to Cooperstown and finally checked-in ending day one.  After spending the next half day touring the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, it was off to Troy where I first stopped to visit a monument commemorating the 19th century Troy Haymakers BBC, and Troy baseball history.  We capped off the evening a few miles up the road watching the Tri-City Valley Cats hosting the Aberdeen Ironbirds, followed by an easy drive back to Cooperstown ending day two.

After a fine breakfast, the hotel accommodated us with a late check-out, allowing us to spend another half-day in the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and still have time for freshening up before leaving.  We sat for lunch along Main Street, checked out, then hit the road in time to catch an early evening game in Binghamton.

Ninety minutes and 82 miles later, I pull up to NYSEG Stadium only to find out, to my dismay, that evening's game against the Hartford Yard Goats has been called (which is nothing new in Binghamton).  The decision to postpone the game came somewhere around 2pm, but who knew.

It made little difference, though.  My plan was to catch that evening's game, stay overnight in Binghamton, then stop in Trenton on Labor Day (Monday) for the final leg home.  We went out for dinner instead, watched baseball at the hotel bar, caught Sunday's 2pm game, then drove straight home ending another great trip.

NOTE:  I've been withholding Cooperstown for last.  There's obviously a ton of items worthy of show and tell.  Make sure to check back soon.

Part IV 

Double-A Affiliate of the New York Mets
Established in Binghamton 1992

Formerly affiliated with the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners, the team was originally founded in 1987 as the Williamsport Bills.  The team was purchased by the Mets and relocated to Binghamton in 1992 where they've served as an affiliate for the last 26 years.  The club has since changed hands several times, and at one point almost relocated to Delaware.

Opened 1992


The team was previously known as the
Binghamton Mets / B-Mets / Binghamton Bees

Upon purchasing ownership of the club in 2015, John Hughes recommitted the team to the city of Binghamton, and in 2016 initiated a re-branding, along with refurbishments to NYSE Stadium.  After a fan vote, the name Rumble Ponies won out, commemorating the local area's carousel history.

I arrived early for Monday's game, and was allowed to 
wander freely throughout the park for about 40-minutes or so.

Hartford Yard Goats
Binghamton Rumble Ponies

I was hoping to see Mets third base prospect David Thompson. but that line-up (left) got scrubbed due to Sunday's rain-out.  I had no problem, however, settling for Monday's line-up (right) featuring first base prospect Peter Alonso.

1B - Peter Alonso

Despite a stellar 85-54 record, Binghamton finished the 2017 regular season in second place behind the Trenton Thunder.  The two teams then faced off in the Eastern Division playoffs.  Binghamton took the series opener, but Threnton reeled off three straight victories to take the series.  After posting the Eastern League's best regular season record, however, the Thunder were swept in the Eastern League championship series in three straight by the Altoona Curve.

After capturing championships in 1992 and 1994, Binghamton went 20 years without winning another, until finally clinching their third Eastern League title in 2014.

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