Brooklyn Cyclones 2001 Championship Team Set to Return to MCU Park Saturday Night


By Jerry Del Priore

The Brooklyn Cyclones’ 2001 inaugural team, which were NY-Penn League Co-Champions along with the Williamsport Crosscutters, will be holding a reunion Saturday night at MCU Park, marking 15 years since the title, according Joe Jiannetti, an infielder with the team who reached as high as AA Binghamton with the New York Mets.

It remains the franchise’s only Championship to date.

In addition to Jiannetti, a Floridian, David Bacani, Lenny Dinardo, Wayne Lydon, Joel Zaragoza, Sean Pittman, and Mike Cox are scheduled to attend, among possible other players from the club, Jiannetti said.

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A young Joe Jiannetti during his days with the Brooklyn Cyclones. 

“Bacani was the ring leader,” Jiannetti, who is pharmacy school, said of him organizing it. “I think a few of them have been working with Gary (Perone),” the Cyclones’ Assistant General Manager.

Dinardo won a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2004.

Everything thing seems to be informal right now, but there could be a mention of it during the game. So, be on the lookout for old familiar faces at MCU Park Saturday night.

Jiannetti said they would also take in a Mets game Monday night.

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Brooklynite Highlighted In Army Reserve Ad Campaign


By Jerry Del Priore

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Frantz Souffrant in his Army fatigues.

The United States Army Reserve began its new advertising campaign, “All Solider,” last month with a new television ad, digital landing page and social media content. It features a Brooklynite, Frantz Souffrant, a Chief Warrant Officer 2 in the Army Reserve and New York City Police Lieutenant.

Souffrant, a Canarsie resident and I.S. 68 Isaac Bildersee alumnus, is one of four soldiers to have an in-depth profile of his military and civilian careers in the campaign.

“I am extremely honored. It’s a humbling experience,” Souffrant said of being selected for the campaign. “I get the opportunity to represent the Army and the NYPD at the same time.”

Souffrant, 35, who has spent 18 years so far in the Army Reserve, now serves as a Criminal Investigations Special Agent for the Army Reserves and has been a member of the NYPD for 10 years.

A Criminal Investigations Special Agent, commonly known as a CID, is responsible for investigating numerous types of felony-level crimes, conducting protective-service operations and working with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to solve criminalities and combat terrorism, as long as there is Army interest, Souffrant noted.

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Team Chief/Special Agent Frantz Souffrant Jr. in his U.S. Army Dress Uniform.

The “All Solider” campaign is intended to educate prospective soldiers about the Army Reserve, its function in the country’s defense and all of the service options available to them.

Souffrant said he truly relishes his career in the Army Reserves, an institution that will give you the rare opportunity to do something you always wanted to as long as you’re able to pass a systematized test.

“I love what I do,” he said. “I think it’s the only organization in the world where you can say, ‘I like to do this,’ and they’ll give a standardized test. If you score high enough, they’ll give you a shot. There’s no favoritism. They’ll let you do it if you score high enough.”

Though taken aback at first with the filming of the commercial, Souffrant has now developed a newfound respect for the entire film production process as well as the acting craft.

“Initially, when you’re filming, it’s kind of weird,” the Flatbush native admitted. “But now, I can understand why it takes months to make a movie. And I have a new appreciation for acting. It’s not an easy thing to do.”

To view the “All Solider” campaign, go to www.GoArmyReserve.com.

Heather Hardy Hopes To Take Next Step After Unanimous Win


By Jerry Del Priore

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Heather “The Heat” Hardy runs her record to 17-0 after beating Kirsti Simmons last night at the Barclays Center!!

If you ask Heather “The Heat” Hardy, she’ll be the first to tell you that she deserves her due after she defeated Kirstie Simmons (8-1, 2 KOs) with a unanimous decision in an eight-round Super Bantamweight bout Saturday night at the Barclays Center.

It was part of the undercard of the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter World Boxing Association World Welterweight (WBA) main event title fight, which Thurman won on points.

“I’m ready for a world title shot,” Hardy told the media with the utmost conviction following her fight. “I mean, come on, enough is enough. It’s time.”

Hardy (17-0, 4 KOs), although not devastatingly overpowering in the match by her own standards, felt she captured all eight rounds.

“From one to ten, maybe like a seven,” the five-foot-five spitfire said when asked to rate her performance. “It took me like two rounds to just loosen up and find my (striking) distance. And I was really unhappy with the end of the fight. Other than that, I know I won all the rounds, but I know I could’ve done better.”

Nevertheless, Hardy, who is a popular draw, especially in her hometown of Brooklyn, has beaten everyone that has been placed before her and is ready to fight on TV under a bigger spotlight and not be buried in sports obscurity.

“The problem with boxing is the promoters want to put us on Fox Sports 38 at midnight, and then they say we get no ratings,” she said. “So, I think, it’s going to take somebody who’s going to take the chance and shove Heather Hardy between two big fighters and see what happens when everybody tunes in.”

And people do show up to see the Gerritsen Beach native compete, as Hardy said she had sold $15,000 worth of tickets – low for her, she noted – but still pretty decent numbers.

Hardy is hoping to secure a spot on July’s fight card at the Barclays Center, where she has boxed seven times, to keep her momentum going. However, she has been told to take a well-earned break.

“I asked them [promoters] to put me on next month’s card, but I got a big fat no,” Hardy quipped. “I got, ‘Shut up, Heather. Take some time off.’ So, I will be calling the office, bothering them to get me something hopefully soon.”