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Long IslandNassau

They're on the ball at Ducks games

The grounds crew prepares the field before a

The grounds crew prepares the field before a Long Island Ducks game in Central Islip at the Bethpage Ballpark. (May 5, 2012) Credit: Linda Rosier

Looks like Bethpage Ballpark has all its ducks in a row.

May 4 was the home opener for the minor league Long Island Ducks, now in their 13th season in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. The team won the Liberty Division Championship in 2011 and is on the hunt for a repeat of its 2004 Atlantic League championship. The Ducks advanced to last year's title series before falling to the York (Pa.) Revolution.

But life at the Central Islip ballpark isn't all about the players.

There's a flock of people behind the scenes, too, working hard to ensure that every game is a home run for the fans. For the staff, pregame workouts mean power-washing the seats, gearing up the cotton candy machine and raking the infield.

As in previous seasons, parking is free. And it costs just 11 bucks to watch the Ducks. Said president and general manager Michael Pfaff, "Everyone who comes to the ballpark, from local families on a budget to the largest corporations in America, can feel they received a great value."

And freebies, too.

"We are featuring new giveaways, new on-field promotions and new amenities for fans to be entertained with when they arrive at the ballpark," Pfaff added.

This season, fans can anticipate winning Ducks static-cling decals, drawstring bags, commemorative posters and T-shirts. A new Ducks photo booth and a new Monster Mini Gold Bounce House are fresh additions to the park, whose 2012 motto seems to say it all: "The Fun Begins Here."

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