“No Soup!” for the Cyclones on Seinfeld Night

July 9, 2014 Helen Klein
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On Sunday July 5, the Cyclones filled the house with 8,241 fans for the much-publicized Seinfeld Night that set the prelude for the lopsided game that followed. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the popular sitcom, the Cyclones invited Newman and Elaine lookalikes, as well as the actor Larry Thomas, who played the infamous “Soup Nazi.”

Even the Cyclones hitting coach, Benny DiStefano, an avid Seinfeld fan along with his son Ben, took advantage of a photo op with the “Soup Nazi” during pre-game activities.

DiStefano grew up in Bensonhurst and was a teammate of pitcher John Franco at Lafayette High School during the early 1980s. While Franco started his baseball career with the Dodgers and ended with the Mets, DiStefano played for the Pirates (1984-89) and ended his career in 1992 with the Astros.

DiStefano’s son Ben is an aspiring young catcher and was drafted out of high school by the Mets in 2012. However, he is yet to be signed entering his junior year at Houston Baptist University.

The salute to the zany Seinfeld show just seemed to set the stage for the Cyclones’ 18-2 loss to the division’s last place (3-17) Aberdeen Ironbirds. “It was a comedy of errors,” stated Cyclone Manager Tom Gamboa, referring to the five Cyclone errors that led to seven unearned runs. RHP Casey Meisner (0-1) simply didn’t have his best stuff as the Ironbirds looked like iron men, stroking balls to gaps in the outfield for extra base hits.

“I’m glad this is baseball and not football,” said Gamboa. “If this was football, this kind of loss would stick with us for a week, but since this is baseball we get another chance to play them [Ironbirds] within 12 hours.” In fact, the next meeting on July 6 did make a difference as the Cyclone bats finally came alive to shut out the Ironbirds for a big 7-0 win to break a five-game losing streak.

For the Fourth of July game just three days previously, it was good news for the parent club as the New York Mets’ Dillon Gee made his second rehab start at MCU Park and struck out 10 batters in six innings in a 3-2 late inning loss to Aberdeen. Given his success in Brooklyn, Gee was scheduled to return to the Mets’ rotation to pitch against the Atlanta Braves on July 9.

Entering the fourth week of the season, the Cyclones now have a record of 12-9 for second place while McNamara Division nemesis, the (16-5) Hudson Valley Renegades, remain in first place. Just behind the Cyclones are the Staten Island Yankees in third place at 11-11.


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