Ukrainian baseball team to face off against NYPD, FDNY in pair of charity games

Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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The Cyclones are hosting the Ukrainian National Baseball team this weekend for a pair of charity games against the NYPD and FDNY. NJ Burkett has more.

LOWER MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- With so much already lost to war in Ukraine, the Brooklyn Cyclones are doing what they can to bring a little bit of normalcy for kids.

The Cyclones are hosting the Ukrainian National Baseball team this weekend for a pair of charity games against the NYPD and FDNY.

The Ukrainian team is on a goodwill mission in New York.

The team is here to build support for the war and to raise money to rebuild their battered arenas and sports fields.

The head coach, Oleg Boyko came to present New York City Mayor Eric Adams with an honorary team jersey on Tuesday.

"It's for you, this is a jersey from national team of Ukraine," Boyko said.

Adams accepted it as a gesture of solidarity.

"This team behind us has shown the resiliency of what it is to continue to push forward, despite all that you are facing," Adams said.

The war, now in its eighth month, is nothing less than a struggle for survival.

With 140,000 buildings damaged or destroyed, 14 million Ukrainians were displaced and more than 6,000 civilians were killed.

The Russians have suffered heavy losses and the Ukrainian people remain defiant, even confident.

The team's visit is intended to demonstrate the resolve of an entire nation.

"Biggest experience that I had here is that many people care about us, they support us. Emotional support is very important," Ukrainian pitcher Andrii Boiko said.

The team will attend Game 1 of the playoffs at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night before a series of charity games in Maimonides Park in Brooklyn.

Friday night they will face off against the NYPD baseball team, and Saturday afternoon they will take on the FDNY team.

Tickets are free but must be reserved through the Brooklyn Cyclones website.

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