Today’s news:

The mayor greets the mayor

Popcorn panel

The Brooklyn Paper

Arriving at Williamsport’s historic Bowman Field, I was cheered by dozens of Crosscutter fans who remembered my boisterous rooting for the Cyclones at that very park on Sept. 10, 2001 — and, more importantly, remember what happened the day after.

They remembered that I worked in a financial services job right next to the World Trade Center and they remembered that they hadn’t heard from me since I was in their stadium.

So they greeted me — the Mayor of Keyspan Park’s Section 14, a man who should be their sworn enemy — with hugs, slaps on the back and even a few beers. They cast their eyes down when they mentioned the day, and their quiet spoke volumes.

And then I saw the mayor.

I had first met Mayor Mike Rafferty during that triumphant Cyclones win two years ago and told him that he and his wife would be my dinner guests when the series resumed the next night in Brooklyn.

But, of course, there would be no dinner, there would be no resumption. The world had changed forever.

“How are you, Mark?” the mayor said, lunging towards me for an embrace. “I have been thinking about you for two years! I am so happy to see you.”

We talked for a while and I found myself getting overwhelmed by all the emotions — the emotions of the great Cyclones win two years ago, the emotions of the day after, and all the distance from then to Tuesday night, when we all gathered in the same place to do the same thing, yet everything was different. It made me think of the greatness of this country and how a silly little thing like baseball has connected me to wonderful, caring people in a small town like Williamsport, Pa.

So I again offered Mayor Mike dinner in Brooklyn, on me, when the series resumed. And, thank God, it did.

— Mark Lazarus

Popcorn panel

After winning Game 1 of their semi-final series in Oneonta, members of the Brooklyn Cyclones kicked back (actually, “squeezed tightly” is more accurate) on the team bus and took in two movies during the six-hour-drive back to Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Papers solicited several Cyclones to give their capsule reviews of the two films, “The Bourne Identity” and “American Pie 2.”

Jonathan Slack: “Everyone was so into ‘American Pie 2.’ It was the fourth time I’d seen it, and I still think it’s great. Thumbs up. Way up. I really didn’t think much of ‘The Bourne Identity.’”

Brett Harper: “I’ve seen ‘The Bourne Identity’ about 100 times. And it still rocks. And I really enjoyed ‘American Pie 2.’ It was a witty diversion.”

Evan MacLane: “To be honest, ‘The Bourne Identity’ did not hold my interest. But I was riveted to ‘American Pie 2.’ It’s just a classic — even at 2:30 in the morning crammed on the bus.”

— Gersh Kuntzman

Kazmir eyed

According to the Web site, former Cyclones hurler and Mets No. 1 draft pick Scott Kazmir is being sought to pitch for Team USA in the Olympics next summer.

In November, the U.S. squad will be playing in the Americas Qualifying Event in Panama, with the top two teams in the 12-team event qualifying for next year’s Olympics in Athens.

In order to play, the Mets would have to grant permission to Kazmir who, in his first full season of professional ball, has thrown 113-1/3 innings this year.

While the Mets may OK the move, they would probably keep Kazmir on a strict pitch count, the Web site reported.

— Vince DiMiceli

Shutter bug

Cyclones pitcher Brian Bannister spent his last day off of the season working — on his photography skills.

Bannister, son of former major league pitcher Floyd Bannister, was in the photo booth at Shea Stadium Monday night shooting with the help of Mets chief photographer Marc Levine.

Bannister studied photography in college and is a dedicated amateur photographer.

“I’ve taken a camera to some of my team’s special games before and shot from the dugout,” Bannister said, “but never a big-league game.”

— Vince DiMiceli

September 15, 2003 issue


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