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July 20, 2017 / Sports

Take a seat: Clones honor long-time fan at MCU

Honoring Joan: Friends and family gathered behind to pay tribute to life-long Cyclones fan Joan Bette Paduano on July 14, when the Clones commemorated the seat she always sat in to cheer on her team.
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She was a true fan, and true hero!

Going all the way back to 2001, Joan Bette Paduano was a true-blue Brooklyn Cyclones fan. Game after game, she’d sit in her regular seat behind the backstop at MCU Park, energetically urging on Brooklyn’s Boys of Summer, win or lose.

“She knew all this players names. Players knew who she was throughout the years,” says her son, Anthony Paduano. “You’d hear her yelling stuff like ‘Come on! What are you doing? You should have run faster! You’re better than that! Let’s go!’”

Paduano’s passionately cheers for her hometown heroes were silenced last year when she passed away from cancer, but her spirit lives on in the hearts of the team, which honored her in a special ceremony July 14 at the ballpark-by-the-Boardwalk. Her family members and friends were presented with a replica of the MCU Park seat she routinely occupied — and reminisced about how almost nothing could keep her from coming to the games.

“She got mad at me because I got married on opening day’,” Anthony said. “She jokingly yelled at me for making her miss the game for my wedding, but that’s just who she was.”

Paduano’s strong support for the Clones was matched by her dedication to the Boy Scouts of America, which she began working with in 1986 when Anthony joined as a Scout.

Paduano worked tirelessly over the years, becoming a Mother Scout and helping dozens of young men grown in the organization to achieve the highest rank, Eagle Scout. In appreciation, the Scouts gave her their Silver Beaver Award, which honors individuals for their community service work.

“My mother was determined. That’s the best way to put it,” Anthony said. “She would say things like, ‘We have six months to get this done so we’re starting today.’ She always wanted to get things finished. Because of that, she helped out so many Scouts over the years.”

When she wasn’t rooting on the Cyclones or nurturing the Scouts, Paduano, a car buff, found time to found the Domestic Disorder Auto Club. Club president Frank Coppolino raved about her knowledge of cars and her hard work on behalf of the group.

“She knew more about cars than most of the men in the club, which is why she became our go-to person at car shows when we needed cars from a certain era judged,” Coppolino said. “Joan was like a mother to all of us. She put her heart and soul into everything.”

Coppolino said Paduano “would be floored,” at being honored by the Cyclones. “It would be a big deal but she would somehow spin it and make it about the kids.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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