Rumble Ponies Team with M-E World Champions to Unleash New Uniforms!

The front office of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, with the help of the Maine-Endwell Little League World Champions, showed off new uniforms on the stage of Maine-Endwell’s Middle School on December 14th. The team now has four new uniforms—the traditional home and away uniforms are complemented with an alternate and batting practice uniform. An added treat for all fans is that the player’s name will appear on the home jerseys. The home jerseys will have “Rumble Ponies” written in script across the chest. The road jerseys will have “Binghamton” in script across the chest, while the alternate jersey will have “New York” across the chest. The batting practice jersey will be dark blue, with “Rumble” across the chest. The home and alternate jerseys will be white, while the traditional road jersey will be grey.

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The M-E Champions Show Off the four uniforms for the Rumble Ponies.

The Rumble Ponies Booster Club was well represented at the ceremony, with approximately a dozen members on hand. Jeanne Smith, a member of the Boosters who also happens to work at Homer Brink Elementary School, enjoyed seeing the Maine-Endwell team on the stage of the middle school. “They’re such a good bunch of kids, it’s good to see them involved in the community and of course it’s great to see the new uniforms as well.”

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It’s all cheers for the the new uniforms on December 14th. 

During the brief ceremony Jim Weed also announced that all season ticket holders will be able to purchase Rumble Pony jerseys at cost. Remember, you can follow the Rumble Ponies at @RumblePoniesBB on Twitter, RumblePoniesBB on facebook, and Bingrp.com on the web.

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Rumble Ponies General Manager Jim Weed addresses the media after the ceremony. 

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Rumble Ponies: More than a Moniker!

The featured speaker at the final meeting of the year for the Binghamton Baseball Boosters was Eddie Saunders, Director of Marketing and Promotions for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Saunders spoke for about a half hour to the membership and then took questions for about 10 minutes. The boosters celebrated the dawn of a new era for baseball in Binghamton with a celebratory cake.

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Everyone at the meeting enjoyed a piece of cake in celebration of Bingamton’s new moniker.

Saunders explained the lengthy and twisting road behind the selection of the new moniker for Binghamton’s Double-A franchise. The journey started with online balloting before the 2015 season even starter, as names were submitted via the internet until early May. From the 1500 or so names that were submitted, the field was netted down to five additional names besides the eventual winner:   Bullheads, Gobblers, Rocking Horses, Timber Jockeys, and Stud Muffins. It then took about seven months to be in position to announce the winning entry. The ingredients into choosing the winner included online voting from the fans, input from a third-party branding company, and the Binghamton Mets staff. In the end, Rumble Ponies was selected; it not only was the top vote getter, but also had an interesting story behind it as well.

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Denis Wickham proudly displays his new T-shirt.

A few days earlier, during the rebranding ceremony held at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, the submitter of the name, Binghamton’s own Nicole Schneider, explained that the “carousel horses sleep in the winter and come alive in the spring.” Nicole was quoting from the book “The Carousel,” a children’s book authored by Liz Rosenberg, a professor at Binghamton University. “That phrase, about horses coming alive in the spring really resonated with the staff,” mentioned Saunders. “It mirrored a baseball season.”

Up until the announcement day on November 3rd, only three staff members knew the new moniker. Explained Saunders: “It was important that we keep the name a secret and we kept it under the covers, so to speak.” Saunders is excited about the upcoming season and not only because of the new moniker for the team. “There will be a party deck in right field, a new entrance to the stadium in right field and a an enhanced Kids’ Zone. Also, a new outdoor batting cage is being constructed.”

These enhancements will enhance the overall fan experience. Also, contributing to the rebranding effort, the team store will be changing its name from The On-Deck Circle to The Armory, which will have steeds of all shapes and sizes pictured on a plethora of shirts, jackets, caps, and other trinkets. Over the next two years, the theme of the carousel will be shown in other naming conventions throughout the park.

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Scott Manchester shows off Binghamton’s favorite brand of coffee.

Perhaps the biggest surprise during the meeting, however, was the special bag of coffee that Scott Manchester, a multi-year member of the boosters, brought to the meeting. While recently traveling, Scott and his wife came across a unique brand of coffee—“Rumble Pony” coffee. On the back of the packet, the supporting text reads: “Carousels, bastions of summer nostalgia that also happens to be the cheapest answer to “Daddy, can I have a horse?” Rumble Pony is our tribute to the faithful flying steeds who have never once bucked off your child. With notes of strawberry, chocolate, and lime, a relaxing walk in the park is only a brew away.”   

Rumblings: During the meeting it was also announced that the boosters have some tickets for the Binghamton Senators game on December 10th available for only $ 10.00. Send an e-mail to bmetsboosters@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing a ticket (limit of two; for the third ticket and beyond, the cost is $14.00 per ticket).

Also, very shortly we’ll be changing the URL of this site, check back often!

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A New Era Dawns in Binghamton

This morning the Binghamton Mets officialy became the BINGHAMTON RUMBLE PONIES, the culmination of a season-long rebranding mission of owner John Hughes and his staff. On May 17th of this year a list of over 1500 names was whittled down to six names: Bullheads, Gobblers, Rocking Horses, Rumble Ponies, Timber Jockeys, and Stud Muffins. During the season fans were encouraged to vote online and in a half-hour ceremony this morning at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, RUMBLE PONIES was named the winner.

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The ceremony eliminated the candiates until only RUMBE PONIES remained. 

Binghamton’s Nicole Schneider submitted the winning entry, explaining she has been coming to games at Binghamton since the team began play in 1992. She started coming to games with her grandfather and now takes her children to the games. “I wanted the team’s name to capture the spirit of baseball and Binghamton,” explained Schnedier in describing her winning entry. “My kids and I ride the carousels of Binghamton and we read in a book that the ‘carousel horses sleep all winter and awake in the spring’ and that’s just what baseball does,” Schneider elaborted to the filled auditorium as part of the celebration.

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Schneider proudly displays Binghamton’s new logo with Hughes on her right. 

John Hughes mentioned that the book that spurred Schneider’s entry was THE CAROUSEL, written by Bingahmton University professor Liz Roxenberg (illustrated by Jim LaMarche) in 1995. As part of the ceremonies, Hughes presented an author-autographed copy of the book to the school as a mememto of the day’s events.

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RUMBLE PONIES was christened with a corybantic show of confetti.

Binghamton’s Rumble Ponies represent a collection of horses that no “carousel pole can contain.” Greater Area Binghamton baseball fans no doubt hope that no opposing team will be able to corral its hometown heroes.

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The logos of the Rumble Ponies!

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Tyler Jennings, Binghamton’s Sports Turf Manager, Dispenses Knowledge Seeds to the Boosters

During its September membership meeting the Binghamton Baseball Boosters learned what it takes to keep the playing surface at NYSEG Stadium in tip-top shape throughout the year from Tyler Jennings, the Sports Turf Manager for the Binghamton Mets. Tyler conducted a question-and-answer session for approximately 45 minutes, as he shared some of his strategy for keeping the players happy, the grass green, the infield soft, and the overall stress manageable.

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Tyler makes a point to the Binghamton Baseball  Boosters on September 20th.

When things do not go well for a pitcher, the pitcher’s mound can be a lonely place, an island that leaves the hurler exposed to his teammates and the fans in the stands. For Tyler, the mound is his workplace and he takes pride in making sure a pitcher’s poor performance cannot be traced to the condition of the mound. “One of the more stressful nights I had last season was when Jim Henderson was here on a relief assignment. Here’s this major league guy getting some rehab work and all of sudden it starts to rain while he’s pitching. He’s moving around on the mound as the rain falls, trying to get traction and then I have to go out and load some clay on it and do some manicuring.” Tyler’s hands now are moving almost as fast as his lips as he completes his story. “So I’m trying to get Henderson happy on the mound, with Pedro and Abby monitoring my every move. Nobody wants to see a player get hurt because the mound is slippery or has a rut in it. That whole day I’d been checking the weather, knowing Henderson would be starting and it wasn’t even supposed to rain that night. That was stressful, fixing the mound on the spot, with the players supervising my every move and the fans in the stands getting impatient with the stop in play.”

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As Jim Henderson sipped some water, Tyler was hoping the rain would hold off on July 1st. But the rains came, and Tyler had some nervous moments. 

The key for Tyler and his crew to keep the players and officials of the New York Mets satisfied with the playing condition of the field day after day is to follow the mantra of “Safety First.” Tyler explained, “The field has to be a place where the players have confidence in the field supporting their every move. Everything we do on the field is done with the player’s safety first and foremost. I’m constantly walking the field, making sure everything is the way it should be,” emphasized Tyler.  “In my conversations with representatives of the New York Mets, including Sandy Alderson, we always come back to those two words of ‘Safety First.’ Keeping those two words first and foremost serves as a guiding principle for us.”

Tyler makes sure he has a good rapport with the players and some take a personal interest in what he does—and when they do, it can even lead to an increase in performance.  “One day I was sitting in the dugout with Dominic Smith and he asked me why we didn’t put an inside line in the batter’s box, the one that’s closest to the edge of the plate. I told him that’s just the way we’ve done it through the years.  Now, most fans in the stands, they wouldn’t even notice the rectangle wasn’t closed. But Dominic said he preferred the line to be there.” During his conversation with Smith, Tyler learned that the umpires often use that inside line as a frame of reference for evaluating whether an inside pitch is a strike or not.  “Dominic felt he was losing some calls on the inside of the plate, that a frame of reference was missing that the umpires use to judge the inside corner. So that made sense and from then on we chalked up a complete box for the hitters. It tuned out even the catchers liked it when we closed the box.” It must be noted here that Smith went on to have a great season in Binghamton, hitting .302 with 14 homers and 92 runs batted in.

Tyler’s goal every year is to have his field be named the Eastern League Field of the Year. The last time Binghamton won the award was 2012 and Tyler anticipates attaining that honor in the near future. “I’d love to bring that award home for our area. I’ve lived here my whole life here and feel fortunate to have stayed in the area. To have majored in Sports Turf Management and to be putting that degree to good use is a big thrill.”

During this offseason Tyler will be extra busy as stadium enhancements will begin soon and while that construction is going on, Tyler’s responsibility will expand to help make sure the needs of the contractors are met. “I won’t be working the 14-hour days that I do a home stand, but the offseason will be busy nonetheless,” noted Tyler.

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Boosters Name Dominic Smith as Player of the Month for August

The B-Mets finished August with a 20-16 record, with some outstanding individual performances, but  the months of Dominc Smith and Philip Evans really stood out. Dominic Smith  hit .402 for the month, with two homers and 17 runs batted in; Evans was right there with him, as Evans hit .398 with four homers and 12 runs batted in for the month. The boosters voted Smith as the Player of the Month for August, with Evans finishing second. Evans played great during the final week of the season as well and wound up leading the Eastern League in hitting, with a .335 average.  Smith led the team in homers and RBIs.

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Smith wore #22 with distinction the whole year, finishing with a .302 average and 14 home runs and 91 runs batted in. Here he’s forced at second against New Hampshire.

The win by Smith ended four consecutive second-place finishes for him. Previous winners of the Player of the Month: Robert Gsellman in April; Matt Oberste in May; Philip Evans in June; and David Roseboom in July.

 

 

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David Roseboom Talks Fishing and Baseball with the Boosters

David Roseboom, closer for the Binghamton Mets and native New Yorker, discussed baseball and fishing with the Binghamton Baseball Boosters during the boosters’ monthly meeting on August 22nd. Roseboom is fresh off being voted the Player of the Month for July by the boosters. He saved 8 games in July and had an amazing 0.51 E.R.A. He was born on May 17 1992 in Pattersonville, New York, and was drafted out of Lasalle Institute in Troy (NY) in the 47th round in the 2010 draft by the Red Sox. He chose not to sign with the Sox, however, and went on to star for the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

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Roseboom is a pciture of concentraion as he responds to a question.

After a brilliant college career he was drafted by the Mets in the 17th round of the 2014 draft and has been outstanding this year, accumulating 12 saves while appearing in 47 games and posting an E.R.A of 2.12. Interestingly, being the guest speaker for the boosters proved to be a good luck charm for Roseboom, as he notched his 12th save later that evening by retiring Hartford 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth, with two strikeouts, to preserve the 6-3 win for his Binghamton.

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Boosters packed the picnic area to listen to Roseboom. 

This year marks the second time in Roseboom’s brief minor league career that he has been a shutdown closer. In 2015 during a half season with Savannah (low A), he saved 8 games while notching a 1.15 E.R.A.

“Hitters just want to get themselves out,” remarked Roseboom in answer to a question regarding the success he has found in the minors.  “I give a lot of credit for my success to Abby, our pitching coach,” explained Roseboom. “So much of this game is mental and he constantly reminds us not to give too much credit to the hitters. When you come right down to it, this game is simple, but complex. The simple part of it is that a hitter has a club in his hand and wants to hit the ball as hard as he can and the pitcher simply throws the ball so the batter won’t hit it square or at all.” (Glenn Abbot, Binghamton’s pitching coach, knows a lot about pitching of course. He pitched in the majors for 11 seasons and won 62 games, getting a World Series ring with the Tigers in 1984.)

All questions from the audience dealt with baseball in one form or another, except for one. When Mark Berghorn asked about what bait Roseboom uses for catching bass, Roseboom lectured like a college professor for a few minutes. “My strategy changes depending on whether it’s early or late in the season,” exhorted Roseboom. “Later on in the summer I like to use golden spinners and the leaping frogs that stay high in the water.” He went on to explain how he’s been out on New York State waters fishing for pike in October, when the temperature is 40 degrees or so. “It’s a good cold, though,” said Roseboom with a smile. When asked what his professional goal was, Roseboom mentioned it was simple—“Get to the majors.”

 

Roseboom will be getting married in the offseason and when he was informed he was following in the footsteps of Michael Fulmer, who also got married in the offseason last year after being a guest speaker for the boosters, Roseboom broke out a huge smile.  Left unsaid was following in Fulmer’s footsteps between the foul lines would be a treat as well.

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Jeanne Smith and her husband have a special rooting interest for the Maine-Endwell Little Leaguers. 

 

As the meeting concluded, the boosters were treated to two special announcements. The first was that Maine–Endwell had won its second game in the Little League World Series, 3-1. Booster member Jeanne Smith was someone who could especially relate to this news, as her father took the Corning Little League to the World Series in 1948 and 1949. Also, Jeanne works in the M-E school district and knows all the players on a personal level.  The second announcement was that Heath Bell and Nelson Figueroa will be attending the ceremonies when they are inducted into Binghamton’s baseball shrine on September 2nd.

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Next Boosters Meeting is Monday, 8/22

Come out to NYSEG Stadium early for the baseball game this Monday, 8/22, to catch up on news from the Binghamton baseball boosters. The meeting will be from 4:30-5:30 and will include a B-Mets player as a guest speaker. So far this year our guest speakers have been Dominic Smith, Xorge Carrillo, Victor Cruzado, and Matt Oberste.

The meeting will be held in the Wegman’s picnic area. If it rains, we’ll have it at the picnic pavillion.

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Matt Oberste talks with the boosters at last month’s meeting. 

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