2007-01-18 / Sports

Happy Days As "Fonzie" Returns To Manage Cyclones

Edgar Alfonzo throwing batting practice at KeySpan Park during his first managerial stint.
Edgar Alfonzo throwing batting practice at KeySpan Park during his first managerial stint. Edgar Alfonzo, who guided the Brooklyn Cyclones club to a league championship in their inaugural year in 2001, will return to manage the minor league again in 2007. He made history as the franchise's first manager during an inaugural campaign that brought baseball back to Brooklyn, and produced a dominant 55-25 record - still a club best. That season, Alfonzo was named Baseball America's 2001 Short-Season Manager of the Year.

"I have amazing memories of my time in Brook-lyn, and I can't wait to get back there for another season," said Alfonzo. "Being a part of that first year was something very special. Having a team in Brooklyn again meant a lot to the community, and it meant a lot to the players and coaches, too."

When asked what he remembered most about the experience, Alfonzo responded without hesitation. "The fans," he said with a smile. "Those fans are different from anywhere else. They gave us support, and they gave us energy. They really helped that team, and I know they'll do the same thing this year."

Alfonzo has served as the New York Mets' Minor League Infield Coordinator for the past three seasons, working with the organization's prospects at each of the seven affiliate levels.

Prior to that, he was the hitting coach for St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League in 2002, and Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League in 2003.

Alfonzo played for 12 years in the minor leagues with the Anaheim Angels and Baltimore Orioles organizations and also played in the Mexican League and the Taiwan League. His best season came in 1994 for Bowie (AA) of the Eastern League when he hit .309 with 35 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 73 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

"We are extremely excited to have Fonzie back in Brooklyn," said the Cyclones' General Manager, Steve Cohen. "He is a proven winner and leader, who has shown a knack for success in the unique environment of KeySpan Park."

Alfonzo, 39, also has a number of family ties throughout the organization. His younger brother, Edgardo, was an All-Star infielder for the Mets, who played at Shea from 1995-2002. Another younger brother, Robert, is an international scout for the Mets. His oldest son, also named Edgar, is a Mets' minor leaguer, who spent parts of 2004 and 2005 pitching for the Cyclones.

Alfonzo will be joined on the staff by pitching coach Hector Berrios, coach Guadalupe Jabalera, and trainer Matt Hunter. Berrios will begin his fourth season with Brooklyn, while Jabalera and Hunter were both with the Cyclones last year.

The team's hitting coach has yet to be announced.

Fans interested in purchasing Season Tickets, or learning about exclusive benefits for Season Ticket Holders can call 718-449-8497, or visit www.brooklyncyclones.com.

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