(images taken sans permission from Larry Brown Sports)
The New York Mets’ NY-Penn League (short-season A) affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones will commence their 2014 season this Friday night with a visit to Staten Island, a game that will mark the ‘Lil Wilpons managerial debut of Tom Gamboa. If that name sounds familiar, that’s probably because you recall the incident in September 2002 when Gamboa — then serving as first base coach for the visiting Kansas City Royals during a game against the White Sox — was assaulted on the field by the father & son tag team of William Ligue Jr. (34) and William Ligue III (15). The New York Post’s John DeMarzo helpfully pesters Gamboa about his brief, scary brush with (shirtless) history :
It was the top of the ninth inning at Chicago’s Comiskey Park when the father and son stormed onto the field, slammed Gamboa to the ground and began punching him before the Royals came onto the field to help him escape.
“I was having a hard time breathing. My face was being pushed into the ground by a tremendous weight,” he described, as the team streamed onto the field.
He sustained a few cuts and a bruised cheek, and also suffered partial hearing loss in his right ear.
Afterward, the eternally optimistic Gamboa said the incident should not reflect poorly on the city of Chicago.
“I told everybody that I didn’t see it as a bad mark on Chicago, just an isolated incident,” the 66-year-old recalled. “[But] there are people that actually think that they can get their 15 minutes of fame or become famous by getting their name in the newspaper for something that most of us would deem to be completely stupid or embarrassing.”