Ducks host “Bud Harrelson Appreciation Night” to honor baseball legend who helped bring baseball to Long Island
(Central Islip, N.Y., Aug. 3, 2018) – The Long Island Ducks hosted “Bud Harrelson Appreciation Night” at Bethpage Ballpark, presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, on Friday, August 3rd during their game against the Road Warriors.
The night was highlighted by a special pre-game ceremony honoring the baseball legend and all that he has meant to the Ducks organization, the fans and to Long Island as a whole. Ducks broadcaster Chris King emceed the festivities on the field, where many of those close to Buddy shared great tributes and memories regarding the Ducks co-owner/coach. Speakers included Buddy’s daughter, Kassie, on behalf of his family, Ducks field manager Kevin Baez on behalf of the team, and Ducks founder/CEO Frank Boulton on behalf of the organization. Thank you messages from several others close to Harrelson were also played on the DuckVision video board.
Following the speeches, Boulton helped the fans count down to the retirement of his #3 Ducks jersey, the same number he wore during his 13-year career with the New York Mets. A permanent plaque was unveiled adjacent to the DuckVision featuring a large baseball with “HARRELSON” and his #3 featured. He became the third Ducks player or coach to receive the honor after outfielder Justin Davies (2005-06) and infielder Ray Navarrete (2006-13) had their #4 and #16 jerseys retired, respectively, in 2015.
Ducks players and coaches also paid tribute while helping raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, which Harrelson was recently diagnosed with, by donning special purple jerseys throughout the course of their game. Each player wore Harrelson’s #3 on the back of their uniform. The jerseys were then auctioned off from the time the gates opened through the top of the seventh inning, with net proceeds from the auction benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. Fans were able to bid on the game-worn jerseys by visiting the auction tables located outside the Waddle In Shop. (Winning jersey bidders can be found at the end of this story)
Harrelson, the Ducks Senior VP of Baseball Operations and part owner, has been a member of the coaching staff since the team’s inception in 2000. After leading the Ducks to an 82-58 record as manager in 2000, the California native moved to the position of first base coach for home games in 2001 and has served on the coaching staff since. During that time, he has helped lead the Ducks to three Atlantic League championships (2004, 2012, 2013). Prior to his career with the Ducks, Harrelson enjoyed a 16-year Major League career that included a World Series championship in 1969, a Gold Glove Award in 1971 and a National League championship in 1973, all with the Mets. He also served on the Mets coaching staff during their 1986 World Series championship season.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit www.liducks.com.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 38 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.
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