A former Cincinnati Reds pitcher, Ben Hayes succeeds Robert Julian.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
Ben Hayes takes over as president of the New York-Penn League in an intense period of growth.
Two new stadiums will open this season in New York -- Keyspan Park in Brooklyn and Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George in Staten Island.
They will be the Class-A short-season homes of the Brooklyn Cyclones, a New York Mets affiliate, and Staten Island Yankees, a New York Yankees affiliate.
"We're hoping to set a new league attendance record," Hayes said. "That's our goal."
A former Cincinnati Reds pitcher, Hayes succeeds Robert Julian, who was elected to a justice of the New York State Supreme Court, and becomes the fifth president of the 14-team league.
Goal: "This year I'm going to try to learn as much as I can about the clubs and the league itself, do some evaluation and try to figure out what is needed," Hayes said.
Hayes served as secretary and general counsel of minor league baseball since 1993. He has been engaged in private practice of law with an emphasis on matters involving mediation and arbitration.
"Ben's abilities and experience, particularly in areas relating to administrative, legal and on-field baseball matters made him the leading candidate for the job," said Marv Goldklang, chair of the league's search committee.
Several New York-Penn League teams will play under new affiliation this season:
U The Auburn (N.Y.) Doubledays, formerly a Houston Astros affiliate, will play under the Toronto Blue Jays.
U Brooklyn, which played the 2000 season as the Queens Kings and a Blue Jays affiliate, will begin its first season with the Mets.
U The Pittsfield (Mass.) Mets have become a Houston Astros affiliate and will play with the same name as their parent club.