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League Standings

NYESL - Season 2015
NYESL
Name W- L- T- Pts-For-Against-Diff-Avg-Win_Pct 
1.Bronx Royals3011013763.25000.875
2.Leland Legends31093319148.25000.750
3.Gold21172512136.25000.625
4.Bronx Emperors211711652.75000.625
5.Diamond Backs22062024-45.00000.500
6.NJ Saints12141523-83.75000.375
7.Brew Crew1303921-122.25000.250
8.Bronx Ravens0400721-141.75000.000
 
 


 
 
Our Game

 
 


 
  PHP-Nuke Week 3 Preview- Vote for GOTW

Leland vs D'Backs- Leland is averaging 11 runs a game in their wins this season. The D'backs have been able to put up runs this season, but the defense needs to improve if they want to win these types of games.

Emperors vs Royals- The leagues best offenses in 2014 have struggled to get going this season and each find themselves in the bottom half of the league in that category. But both the Emperors and Royals have played stingy defense this season, ranking 1 and 2. Watch this be a 10-9 game. 

Emperors vs Leland-  Off the field, these two teams are as close as anybody in the league, and on the field they usually deliver some entertaining games. Lelands hot offense is running into the #1 defense in the league so far.  Defense wins games, but the way Leland has been hitting, the Emperor bats better wake up. 

D'Backs vs Royals- The D'Backs have been a thorn in the Royals side the past few years. Every game these two teams play is usually decided in the final innings. The Royals hope to regain some swagger on offense, while the D'Backs will be looking to avoid giving up the big inning that has plagued them in their 2 loses this year. 

Saints vs Ravens- This match-up showcases two teams who are looking for redemption after suffering miserable 2014 seasons.  But both have stumbled out of the gate combining to go 1-6-1 to start this season, with the Ravens losing all 4 games. Its not about how you start, but how you finish. Neither team wants to lose this one. 

Brew Crew vs Gold- The Brew Crew recorded their first ever NYESL victory last week, then proceeded to get blown out in their next game. The Gold offense is looking to find some consistency, as the first two weeks has seen them score 10 runs or more in one game, then disappear in the second.

Gold vs Saints- The Saints had disappointing week 2 dropping both games as their offense couldn't keep up with their opponents. The Gold sees a great opportunity to take two games this weekend, but they know better than anyone you can't overlook anyone in this league and they will be ready to roll.

Brew Crew vs Ravens- Both the Ravens and Brew Crew are a combined 1-7 and need to win game badly if they want to keep up with the top teams in the league.  When two teams who are desperate for victories meet, the result is usually an entertaining game.  Looking forward to seeing these teams go at it. 
 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Thursday, April 23 @ 21:28:35 EDT (82 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)
 

 
  PHP-Nuke Week 2 Recaps- Royals and Leland take 2

Game of the Week- Royals 3 vs Gold 1
The Royals loyal following voted them GOTW for the second straight week for their matchup against the Gold.  The Gold had a good week 1 showing and were looking to keep the early season momentum going.  In their first game of the day they notched 12 runs, so the Royals would have to wake up the bats to keep up.  The Royals offense got off to a quick start in this game and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first.  Kevin provided the early lead with his 2-run double, and Ruben knocked him in with his RBI single.  From there the Royal defense took over.  The Gold put runners in scoring position in the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th innings, but the much improved Royal defense stifled the Gold each time.  Alex put the Gold on the board in the 6th with an RBI double.  In the 7th the Gold put the tying runs on, but the Royal defense was unfazed and took the 3-1 victory. Ruben led the Royals with 3 hits, followed by Davids 2.  Pito, Alex, and Josh each had 2 hits for the Gold.

Gold 12 vs D'Backs 7-  The D'Backs have a different feeling about them this year.  Just talking to some of the guys you could see they are much more confident this year and are out to prove they belong.  The Gold must not have sensed the same thing as they opened up a 23 hit barage against the D'Backs.  8 Gold singles led to 5 runs in the top of the first inning.  Carlos, Tim, Willie, Watts and Pete each had RBI's in the inning.  In the 4th the Gold scored 3 more runs, highlighted by Warfields 2-run HR.  The D'Backs came to life in the bottom of the 4th with a 5-run inning to get back in the game.  Ant and Lou each had 2-run doubles in the inning.  But the Gold put the game out of reach in the 6th with another 4 runs, with Willie, Watts, Pete and Pito each driving in a run.  7 members of the Gold had multi-hit games, led by Carlitos 4 and Willie's 3 RBI's.  Martin, Joey, Pedro and Lou each had 2 hits for the D'Backs.

Brew Crew 3 vs Emperors 2- After a dissappointing week 1 performance the Brew Crew needed to get a win in the worst way to prove to themselves they could compete in this league.  Not many people gave them a chance facing the defending champion Emperors, but that didn't stop them from delivering the upset of the day.  The game was scoreless until the 5th inning when the Brew Crew struck first.  Jason drove in the first run with his double, and with runners on second and third Bombi delivered the clutch 2-run double to give the Brew Crew a 3-0 lead.   The Emperors scored a run in the 6th on Ty's RBI double. In the bottom of the 7th, Vido inched the Emperors closer with an RBI single.  But the Emperors didn't have enough in them to complete the comeback and the Brew Crew notched their first win in the NYESL. The Brew Crew only had 4 hits but made the most them.  Caban led the Emperors with 2 hits.

Leland 11 vs Brew Crew 1- The Brew Crew was flying high after their first game and looked to keep the momentum going against Leland.  Raul gave the Brew Crew an early 1-0 lead with his RBI double in the first.  But it didn't take Leland long to respond, as Izzy put them ahead with his 2-run double in the second.  Leland left little doubt as to who would take this game in the 3rd with an 8-run outburst.  Leland started the inning with 9 straight hits. Eddie F, Dave, Izzy, Black, Ralph, Lenny, and Wayne each had RBI's in the inning. Ferdi tacked on another RBI in the 4th and the Brew Crew came crashing back down to earth.  Dave, Ferdi, Izzy combined to go 9 for 9 and 5 RBI's. Brew Crew could only manage to get 4 hits as a team. 

D'Backs 4 vs Ravens 3- The Ravens came into this game after a win-less week 1, and needed a win to avoid getting off to another slow start.  The D'Backs were looking to get back on track after losing to the Gold in their first game. Brunson put the Ravens ahead early with his RBI single in the first. The D'Back didn't take long to answer.  In the bottom half of the first, Dave tied the game with an RBI double, and Martin put the D'Backs ahead with a 2-run HR for the 3-1 lead.  Ant provided an insurance run on his fielders choice in the 3rd.  The Ravens tried to claw their way back in the 7th as they face an 0-3 start to their season.  Nick came off the bench and delivered a pinch hit RBI single to bring the Ravens within 2, and then Austin inched them closer with his RBI single.  With 2 runners on and 1 out, the Ravens couldn't complete the comeback and the D'Backs held on for the win. Martin and Brandon led the D'Backs with 2 hits each, while Brunson was the lone Raven with 2 hits. 

Emperors 5 vs Saints 1- Unfortunately the stat sheet was not kept for this game so a proper recap couldn't be provided for this game. Thanks Brew Crew! Caban led the way for the Emperors in this one going 3-4 with 2 doubles and an RBI. Ty added 3 hits and an RBI as well. Pete had the lone RBI for the Saints,  and the Saints we unable to wake up the bats to stay in this game. 

Royals 4 vs Ravens 1- The Ravens had to come into this game with a must-win mentality to avoid the 0-4 start.  They ran into a Royals team who has been playing great defense to start the season and playing with lots of confidence. The Royals got on the board first  on Jonathans RBI single.  The Ravens answered back in the 3rd on Nelsons sac-fly.  David and Darnell put the Royals back on top in 5th with back to back RBI doubles.  The Royals added a run on the 6th with some heady base running by Coree on Rade's ground out, scoring from second base.  Despite Nick's 3 for 4 performance, the Ravens couldn't muster up enough offense to keep up and dropped to 0-4. Ruben and Jonathan each had 3 for 3 games for the Royals.

Leland 11 vs Saints 5- Lelands offense has been operating at full steam to start the season, and this game was no different. The Saints scored first on Mick's RBI double in the first, but Dave continued his hot start for Leland and tied it back up in the bottom half of the inning. Leland continued the hot hitting with 5-runs in the 3rd. Wayne, Eddie F, Dave all hit RBI doubles, while Izzy and Doug added RBI singles. The Saint would back back with an RBI single from Pito in the 4th, and RBI singles from Bambino, Pete, and Josh in the 5th to close the gap to 6-5.  But Leland could not be stopped as they extended the lead on Izzy's RBI triple in the bottom of the 5th.  Dave continued to rake in the 7th, and provided a 2-run double to crush the Saints hope of coming back.  Wayne, Dave, and Izzy each had 3 hits in this game, with Dave driving in 4 runs.  Lenny and Pito each had 3 hits to pace the Saints. 
 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Wednesday, April 22 @ 20:38:49 EDT (103 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)
 

 
  PHP-Nuke Week 2 Preview- Vote for Game of the Week

Brew Crew vs Emperors- The Brew Crew predicted a 2-0 start to their season, but winning games isn't always easy when your the new team on the block.  They face an Emperor team that won't give them any free passes as their defense is among the leagues best.  Must-wins this early in the season are rare, but if you're the Brew Crew, last thing you want is to start 0-3.

Gold vs D'Backs- Gold was 3 outs from being the only team to win 2 games last week.  They face a D'Back team who is looking to bounce back from a tough loss in their last game in which they lost a 6-run lead.  The D'Backs seem like a much more confident team this year, but if they want to beat the Gold they will have have to bring their A-game.

Gold vs Royals- The Royals defense got off to a shaky start last week, but settled down as the day went on. Their revamped outfield showed flashes of being great. The Gold comes into this game having scored 12 runs last week and will put the Royals to the test.  The Royal bats will have to wake up if they want to hang with the Gold.

Brew Crew vs Leland- The day doesn't get any easier for the Brew Crew, as they face of of the leagues best in Leland.  Leland looked like two different teams last week, winning in blowout fashion in their first game, then getting mercy ruled in their second.  You can count on Leland making a adjustments this week.  The Brew Crew defense must be ready because Leland will make you pay when you give them extra outs.

Ravens vs D'Backs- The Ravens went 0-2 last week and the bats will have to wake up if they want to avoid getting off to another slow start in 2015.  Getting a win against the upstart D'Backs won't be an easy task.  The D'Backs showed some power in that lineup last week and will look to keep that going.   The Ravens offense has to get going if they want to avoid the 0-3 start.

Saints vs Emperors-  The defending Champs gave up just 2 runs last week, and their stout defense keeps them in every game.  The Saints offense looked sluggish up until their late inning explosion in their second game last week.  If last week was any indication on what we can expect from the Saints, the Emperor offense will have to put up some runs, because the Saints have a much improved offense capable of big innings

Ravens vs Royals - The Royals pride themselves on having one of the best offenses in the game, but didn't live up to their own expectations last week. The Ravens are out to show the league that 2015 wont be a repeat of 2014. But their bats are going to have do better than 3-runs last week, as the Royals will be looking to return to form on offense.

Saints vs Legends- Both of these teams showed some inconsistency last week, but in week 1 that's to be expected.  Leland showed last week they could explode at any time.  The Saints showed the same as they fought back from 6 run deficit.  This should be an exciting match-up if both teams perform to their capabilities.
 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Thursday, April 16 @ 21:08:57 EDT (113 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)
 

 
  PHP-Nuke Opening Day Recap

Loo

After braving one of the coldest winters in recent memory, the NYESL finally made its return this past Sunday and mother nature welcomed us with beautiful weather.  Opening ceremonies saw the presentation of trophies for the leagues top 3 teams in 2014, the coronation of the league MVP, and thanking those who have dedicated their time to the development and growth of the NYESL. The league also took a moment to mourn the passing of Nick and Jeremy Carabello's mother who passed away last week.  In tough times family pulls together, and the NYESL let our brothers know that we are here for them in their time of need.

It is my honor to write that my teammate, my brother, and best friend Eric Santana of the Bronx Royals, was awarded his first league MVP trophy for his outstanding performance during the 2014 season.  Anyone who knows Eric knows that stickball means the world to him. He is one of the league fiercest competitors and has prided himself in becoming one of the leagues elite players.

The Emperors collected their 2014 first place trophy and added to their already impressive championship resume. Leland received the second place trophy, and proclaimed they were looking to break through and grab the top spot this year.  The Royals received the third place trophy, with their eye on the grand prize for 2015. 

Game of the Week- Royals 5 vs. Brew Crew 4
There was little doubt in this writers mind which game would be voted as GOTW.  When Eddie, Frankie, and Adam decided to leave the Royals after last season to form their own team, a rivalry was born.  These two teams have been trash talking since February and each wanted to go out and prove they were better off without the other.  Frankie of Brew Crew even went as far to predict a victory by the score of 6-2, and did his best to make good on his prediction.  The Brew jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with RBI's from Frankie and Raul in the top of the first.  The Royals defense stumbled out of the gate and seemed to be letting the moment get the best of them as they threw the ball away repeatedly.  Eric cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the first with an RBI single.  In the bottom of the third the Royals offense got in a groove. David led of the inning with a HR, then Ruben and Jose put the Royals on top with RBI's of their own.  But the Brew Crew was not going to go quietly.  In the top of the 5th, Jason and Russell of the Brew Crew came through with clutch 2-out RBI's to tie the game at 4.  The Royals answered right back in the bottom half of the fifth and took back the lead on Christians RBI single. Frankie led off the 7th inning with a single to give the Brew Crew life. After two quick outs, Jason came to the plate as the Brew Crews last hope.  He put a charge into one and it looked like trouble right off the bat as it sailed towards the last tree on field 2.  After hitting the top of the tree, the ball hit a few more branches on the way down, giving Darnell enough time to make the one-handed diving catch to end the game. So much for Frankie's prediction.

Leland 11 vs Ravens 3-  The Ravens welcomed back Albert Jr to the lineup and picked up Nick and Jeremy Carabello to their squad and were looking to put a dissapointing 2014 behind them.  But the Ravens ran into a Leland squad that is on a mission to claim their first NYESL title.  The Ravens took the 1-0 lead on Nelsons second inning Sac fly.  Leland answered right back in the bottom of the 2nd on RBIs from Ferdi and Doug.  The Ravens were not to be outdone.  The retook the lead in third on Nick and Eds RBI's to make it 3-2.  But Lelands offense proved to be to much for the Ravens as they tied the game in the 3rd, scored 4 more in the 4th, and 2 runs in the 5th and 6th innings. Edwin, Lou, Ferdi, and Doug each finished with 2 RBI's. Wayne and Doug each had 3 hits to lead the way for Leland. Al Jr. and Jeremy led the Ravens with 2 hits each.

Emperors 2 vs Ravens 0-  The 2014 champs have always prided themselves on having one of the best defenses in all of Stickball, and they started off the new season living up to their reputation.   The Emperors took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on Vido's RBI single, and extended the lead to 2-0 on Ant Lives RBI single in the bottom of the 3rd. That would be all the Emperors needed as they held the Raven offense to just 4 hits for the game.  Vido led the Emperors with 3 hits, while Caban and Ricky each added 2 hits of their own.  

D'Backs 3 vs Brew Crew 1- The Brew Crew were looking to bounce back from their loss earlier in the day against the D'Backs.  But the D'Backs weren't looking to be the Brew Crews first victim and had heard the whispers that the Brew Crew had been looking past them and had predicted a 2 and 0 start to their season.  The D'Backs scored 3 runs in the first to put the Brew Crew in a 3-0 hole thanks to Joeys RBI double, and Ty's 2-run single.  After their emotional first game against the Royals, the Brew Crew came out flat and their offense faltered.  Raul cut the into the D'Backs lead with an RBI single in the 6th, but that would be it for the Brew Crew as the D'Backs held them in check. Mark Candelaria led the way for the D'Backs with 3 hits, followed by Lionels 2.  Raul led the Brew Crew with 2 hits of his own.
 
Gold 10 vs Leland 0-  The Gold are always a force to be reckoned with as they have proved time and time again. Lelands offense was riding high after an 11 run performance in their first game, but this would be a tale of two teams on opening day for them.  This game would be all Gold.  Dusty started things in the first with an RBI double.  The flood gates opened in the third as the Gold erupted for 9 runs.  The Gold had 8 consecutive hits to start the inning. Dusty, Carlos, Warfield, Pete, and Steve each had RBI's in the inning. Dusty and Pito each had 3 hits, and 7 members of the Gold had multi-hit games. Leland was unable to score any runs in the 4th to try and extend the game, and the game ended in a surprising 10-0 shutout.

Saints 1 vs Royals 1- The Saints made some key pick-ups this offseason and were looking to prove that 2014 was just a blip in the radar.  What a better way to show they are back than beat their long time rivals in the Royals. But the revamped Royal outfield was looking to live up to the hype.  Both defenses held tight as neither team was able to put any hits together. The Saints finally broke the scoreless tie in the 5th on an RBI single from Josh.  The Royals answered the bell in the bottom half of the 5th with an RBI single from Rade.  But that would be it as neither team could put together any more rallies.  David and Ruben led the Royals with 2 hits a piece. Josh was the only Saint with a multi-hit game.

Emperors 2 vs Gold 2-  Both teams were victorious in their first game and each were looking to stay perfect.   The Gold and Emperors are the most storied teams in all of stickball and are the NYESL's version of the Yankees and Red Sox.  The Gold grabbed the 1-0 lead in the 4th on Tim Hunters RBI single. Welcome back Tim!  In the 5th, Stevie extended to Gold lead with an RBI single for the 2-0 lead.  The Emperor offense struggled to put hits together throughout the game, but saved the best for 7th inning.  Mike started the Emperor 7th with a leadoff single.  Then the leagues most terrifying hitter stepped up to the plate with his team down by 2 and delivered when his team needed him most. BANGO struck again and tied the game with his 2-run HR.  Steve and Tim led the Gold with 2 hits each, while Mike and Caban led the Emperors with 3 hits each.

Saints 8 vs D'Backs 6-  Saints vs D'Backs has turned into one of the leagues most exciting rivalries.  The last couple of years, the D'Back have spoiled the Saints season with playoff defeats, and have generally been a thorn in the Saints side.   This game looked to be no different as the D'Backs broke the game open in the 4th inning with a 6 run outburst.  Mark and Lionel each had 3-run HR's in the inning.  But the Saints showed some life and answered with 2 runs in the 5th.  In the 6th inning the Saints showed the D'Backs things would be different this year.  Will started the party with a 2-run double, followed by a 2-run triple from Lenny, and capped off by back to back HRs from Mick and Pete.  The Saints were up 8-6 the time the inning ended, and crushed the D'Back spirit in the process.  Pete, Mick, Josh, and Will each had multi-hit games for the Saints.  Martin led the D'Backs with 3 hits and Naz added 2 hits.
 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Tuesday, April 14 @ 22:33:40 EDT (142 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)
 

 
  PHP-Nuke The Stickball Tribune Part 8: The GOLD

Gold represents many things to us.  It can mean something rare, something expensive, beautiful, and unattainable or many cases something meaningful.  The stickball team THE GOLD represents many things to the NYESL as well.  A winning culture; they are the most successful team in stickball history.  They are commonly called The Yankees of stickball for a reason.  No team in the history of the sport has more championships then The Gold, its actually not even close.  Just when you think someone else has a shot and they won’t win it, think again.  They have created a standard for themselves.  Win or bust.  There are no moral victories with this team.  It’s championship or failure.  It’s become a clear expectation.  The Gold just like any other team on the BLVD. has had its share of player changes throughout the years but not matter what they still find a way to be the team to beat.  Every team has its story and The Gold it’s no different.

Just like many other teams and players, I grew up watching The Gold.  In fact I watched them as much as I could to learn what I can.  I remember playing as a kid trying to learn this game alongside others on the BLVD.  The Gold is the best team out there; why not try to emulate them.  Player’s like Albie Santiago (who I consider the best player I’ve ever played against) actually took the time out to teach me how to hit at the plate.  After playing against him for years I knew why that was a wise decision to do so (kills us every time).  Even an older veteran like Ralph Martinez who was smart enough to spray the field with his hits took the time to teach me to go opposite as well (Thank you sir).  Outside of the actual field itself I grew up seeing these guys everywhere.  From their hangouts in my Dad’s basement to family parties on Holiday occasions, I was just always around these guys.  Times have definitely changed.  One thing you have to respect about The Gold no matter what is the fact that they do what it takes to win.  Every. Single. Time.  That may be the reason why many players/teams clash with them.  No one can understand their mindset but those who play for them.  Simply because no one else has achieved the success they have.

2014 was a different year from The Gold.  Albie now lives in Florida, Ed Betances(One of the greats) is unfortunately not playing at the moment due to injury (Get stronger soon!).  One can notice that they just weren’t the same squad.  But that did not change a thing.  While most other teams are hoping for the chance to at least win ONE championship, The Gold in 2014 raked in 2 out 4 championships to add to their resume.  2! It’s amazing what these guys have been able to do.  And with the talent they have, none of us in the NYESL should think they won’t be in the running once again.  They are bringing back some of the most talented players on the BLVD.  “We have a lot to work on this year but we’ll definitely bring it together,” says Josh 
Infante.  The Gold is bringing back almost everyone such as Dusty who is one of the best players to ever play this game, Steve Gold who is one of the best short stops to ever play the game, Josh who has come into his own and is their most recent MVP coming after the CDT win.  Watts, Angel Sr., Carlito (one of the most feared hitters in the league), Alex, Chuchie, Pito, Pete all return as well.

The Gold also had some additions this year.  Some us may remember him but Tim Hunter (formerly of the ravens) is returning to the BLVD. this year.  Good hitter with good hands as well.  Warfield is also joining The Gold this year.

The Gold is also losing a leader this year.  Ralph Martinez is now living in Florida with his wife and made the big decision to go south.  I’m sure he will be back for the MDT but he will definitely be missed by the Gold on the sidelines.  Good luck in FL!

Rich has been leading The Gold to championships for years and he will continue to do so as he will be returning to lead this team once again.  Very few people have been around for as long as Rich has and he continues to field great teams throughout the years.  “We are on a mission, just because we win a lot doesn’t mean we aren’t hungry” Rich has said this to me at a meeting and it’s no wonder why they continue to win.

“Stickball, not just a game, but a tradition”

The Stickball Tribune Part 8
Kevin
 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Saturday, April 11 @ 18:35:31 EDT (106 reads)
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  PHP-Nuke The Stickball Tribune Part 7: The Emperors

It’s called the New York Emperors Stickball League for a reason.  The Emperors were the first team on Stickball BLVD. and a lot of their members have been called founders, board members, etc…  Even today, The Emperors are led by Vido Creales, who is actually the NYESL League President as well.  I don’t know how he does it with a wife and two kids to be honest.  It’s also safe to say that having the league named after your team comes with serious pressure.  It doesn’t seem to bother the Emperors, as they are one of the most successful teams to ever play the game.  Just like any other team, The Emperors have seen their share of players come and go but seem to always put it together and field not only a competitive team but championship teams. 

I grew up watching the Emperors play.  I specifically remember their games as I watched my brother Eric Santana play with them for a couple seasons.  I used to sit there thinking those guys were great.  I must have watched that MDT championship game 100 times on News 12 (recorded on VHS, no youtube at the time).  I even remember Wayne sliding into home in the rain to win a MDT championship (On News 12 as well, just as a highlight).  As we started The Royals, the Emperors immediately became our rivals.  They will try as hard as they can to get Eric out of the game all the time and it pissed us all off.  We then seriously went off on each other every game.  That was about it though.  There is one thing that they have that we don’t and that’s championships.  They’ve established a winning culture there and 2014 was no different. 

We have seen plenty of changes for the Emperors but the biggest one came when the league learned that The Gun Hill Bombers (Youngbloods, now Ravens) were dismantling with half of their team joining forces with the Emperors.  Led by YB/GH captain Tito Rivera, joined by him were players Eric Rivera, Rich Torres (40 oz.) and Chungo.  Most of the original Emperors have left and went on to new teams but Vido continues to field a great team for the Emps.  Even with these changes things have not slowed down for them.  Joined by them are some great players.  Starting with Anthony Caban (Bango), who is actually one of the most powerful forces at the plate in the league; a true anchor in the Emperor lineup.  We also saw Mike Carrion join the Emperors in the 2013 Columbus Day Tournament (which they ended up winning against The Royals).  This came as a huge surprise to many as Mike is the son of the captain of the Saints, Pete Carrion.  As someone who plays with family, I’m sure that was no easy decision.  He has been huge for the Emps and contributes on a high level.  The Emps have also seen the emergence of Rick Torres (Rich’s son), as he has truly become one of the best outfielders in the league.
The Emperors will have their entire team returning for 2015 in hopes of successfully defending their 2015 NYESL league championship.  They also would like to welcome back longtime friend to Vido, Vic Luciano who will be coming back to stickball after not playing for a few years. 

The Stickball Tribune Part 7

Kevin
 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Friday, April 10 @ 15:30:27 EDT (114 reads)
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  PHP-Nuke The Stickball Tribune Part 6: Leland Legends

Family and Friends; this is the first thing that comes to mind when I was thinking about how I was going to write about the Leland Legends.  Most of us know how Leland got its start.  A few players from the Emperors decided it was time to split and create their own team (Sounds familiar doesn’t it?).  After playing with the Emperors for some time and actually finding success as well (winning 9 championships is a success in my book) Eddie F. and John Ayala (Boobie) decided it was time to branch off to start their own tradition with their family and lifelong friends.  Their name says it all.  “It was important to have the name of the place we grew up and to represent our lost brother George who passed away in 1992” Says Boobie.  George was a lifelong friend to this group and they continue to honor him in every way they can by saying a tribute to him or simply adding “George Lives” to their actual logo on their uniforms.  Leland got started with 3 everyday players in Eddie F., Boobie and his brother Lenny who no longer plays stickball.  They decided they were truly going to do this and started building their team with family and friends that they considered close.  Dave also joined them coming from The Emperors and Eddie F. was excited to get his son, Edwin, started and have him learn the game.  Before Leland was created, another close friend, Warren (AKA Black), didn’t play too much and they wanted to give him a shot at this game as well.  And there you have it; the Leland Legends were created. 

Just like all other teams, Leland has had its share of players come and go but their core players are what truly hold this team together.  Eddie F. is truly a veteran and continues to be one of the top Short Stops in the league.  In fact it was because of players like him and Steve Gold that I decided to learn how to hit the opposite way (I was tired of being robbed of hits lol).  Dave has been consistent his entire career and is a big threat at the plate year in and year out.  Edwin has emerged over the years as one of the best outfielders in the league and has told me “This year things will be different.  I’m not hitting in the wrong spot in the line up and I just feel like things will be a lot better at the plate for me this year”.  Boobie returns to Leland full time and looks to have a great season to continue to contribute as much as he can.  Ferdi is very under rated in my book and continues to be one of the leaders on this team.  Izzy (former Royal) has had resurgence in the past few years and continues to be an anchor in the lineup.  Outside of their core group the Legends are excited to bring back big Lou this season.  He is definitely someone they are relying on to have a big year and be the big stick in the lineup.  

Leland also lost a big piece this year in Jason.  Jason has been with Leland for years now and has not only gotten better each year but provides veteran skills and seems to always come through in the clutch whether its on the field or at the plate.  Jason left Leland to join long time friend Russell (former Leland player) on the newly formed Brew Crew. 

“Since 2006 we are only second to The Gold in wins.  They have 158; we have 150”.  One thing that separates The Gold from Leland of course is championships.  Leland has made it all the way to an NYESL championship game (including season and MDT) 5 or 6 times but cannot seam to get over the hump and actually win one.  “We look to change that outcome this year and come out on top” says Eddie F.  Only time will tell.  Leland had its first taste of a championship in Puerto Rico for a Labor Day Tournament.  Under unfortunate cir*****stances, Eddie F. and his son Edwin had to return home to be with their family due to the death of Jeremiah, Eddie F.’s grandson (May he RIP).  The rest of the team, led by Vido Creales of the Emperors, including members of the D-Backs (Lionel), Royals (Christian and Kevin) and Brooklyn, worked hard and played with a purpose to finish the fight in Puerto Rico for the first championship under the Leland Banner.  However Leland wants to finally put it together and win won in the NYESL. 

“We are on a mission and the bloodline continues with the addition of my son Jayden who is 14 and was the youngest player to ever play in the MDT at 10 years old” says Boobie.  He’s excited to continue to carry this tradition for Leland who truly holds family important to the team.  Edwin has two sons that I’m sure he can’t wait until they older to play with them like he plays with his dad.  Boobies daughter Icis is looking to be the next female player in the NYESL following in Jen Lippolds footsteps.  Not to mention Lil Warren and Jaysean right behind them.  Family is important to this team and their farm system is definitely something to be jealous of!

Leland is excited to bring in 2015 and work at being on top of the standings once again.  “With Wayne coming back and the team we have there is no reason why we cannot compete for a championship once again” says Eddie F.  Good luck to Leland and only time will tell for this team and their goals!

The Stickball Tribune Part 6

Kevin




 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Thursday, April 09 @ 17:18:43 EDT (229 reads)
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  PHP-Nuke The Stickball Tribune Part 5: The Royals

The Bronx Royals.  10 years in and the Bronx Royals have been able to hold it together through some tough times throughout the years.  It’s very difficult to keep a team together for a decade but we are proud to do so.  A lot of people don’t actually know how The Royals actually got its start.  It all started out with a friendly conversation in my small room in my parent’s house where everyone seemed to always hang out.  At the time every single one of us played on different teams.  Eric and Darnell had been playing stickball for a few years now and did not play together on the same team although they spent all their free time together.  Ruben had just started playing and was playing with my dad (Chino) on the Latin Dukes.  I myself had just finished playing my first year at the young age of 14 with The Bandits.  We were watching the Yankees play the Royals (of course) when one of us goes; “Why are we playing on different teams, let’s play together”.  That’s the moment that changed everything.  It wasn’t easy at first.  Eric was playing with the Emperors and was coming off a successful season where they had just won the Memorial Day Championship (which happened to be aired on News 12) so one can imagine it wasn’t an easy decision to leave that situation but we definitely persuaded him.  We decided to call the team “The Royals” because of the irony of the Yankees playing them at that moment and of course because we really like their colors.  We then started to fill the team in.  My cousin Big Ralph (Free3) and Frank Nitti (Family Friend) had also been playing stickball as members of the Latin Dukes therefore they help start this foundation.  We then looked to a close friend in Jose Marte (Dominicano) who lived on the same street as us.  My father then mentions Eddie Espada who was with the Gold but did not play regularly to play with us as well.  And there you have it; The Royals were created. 

Fast forward 10 years and The Royals have consistently been in the top half of the league.  Powered by fiery personalities combined with a will to win; The Royals have always found a way to come to the BLVD and field a very competitive team.  Every team has had their bumps and bruises and the Royals are no different.  It has certainly been a roller coaster ride and we have fielded some great teams over the years.  We have seen the emergence of some young players grow into their own as well as the adoption of some young players creating their own legacy.  We have had great players go on their own way that we still hold a great relationship with.  However we always find a way to put it together and field a competitive team.  2014 had it’s share of ups and downs but the biggest moment came when we learned that we were losing some good friends and some quality ball players in Adam, Frankie, Petey and Eddie for 2015.  This forced us to understand our roots and where we came from.  Eric, Ruben, Darnell and myself decided we were not going to let this team fade away.  We decided we were going to come back stronger than ever, this time with a new focus.

“We are really young and fast now with the guys we have.  I truly feel our young guys are ready to take on the challenge “ says Ruben Rodriguez, the oldest player on the team at 32.  In 2014 we saw the growth of Dave Hernandez at 2nd Base to where he has truly come into his own.  We also added a young gun in Coree Lippold, who comes from a true bloodline of stickball players with BOTH his parents actually playing the game we all love.  We were excited to learn that we will have one of our original members returning, Jose Marte.  At one point Jose was one of the most feared hitters on the Royals, so being excited to have him back is an understatement.  We are also welcoming back Rade Inoa who played with us before and for those who remember him, you know not to hit it his way.  We also acquired young Skylar Mercado who is sure to add some pop to an already potent lineup.  We are excited to have him join the team when his Baseball season finishes.  Returning as well is the now veteran Christian Lozano who when he is on, has proven he can rake and field with the best in the league.  Darnell returns with his sweet lefty swing coming off of a great season.  Ruben and Kevin also return coming off of arguably their best seasons at the plate.  It also doesn’t hurt to have Eric returning at Short Stop who was the best hitter in the NYESL for the 2014 season.  “We are as excited as ever for 2015 entering the league with the youngest team on the BLVD” says Eric Santana.  The Royals would like to thank Burkes Sports Bar and Nike for their contributions to the 2015 season!

The Stickball Tribune Part 5

Kevin

 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Wednesday, April 08 @ 17:03:55 EDT (162 reads)
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  PHP-Nuke The Stickball Tribune Part 4: The Brew Crew

The strength of the New York Emperors Stickball leagues comes with its numbers and members. One thing that makes the NYESL the best Stickball League on the planet is the fact that no matter what, we always have the most teams.  The NYESL has not had less than 8 teams for as long as I can remember and I am confident that it’s safe to say we have never had less than 8. However for 2015 we were on the brink of breaking that barrier.  We lost a couple teams over the years but there were always at least 8.  In 2014 we had a new team join the league only to find out it will also be their only year.

When I found out we were losing a few players on the Royals I was shocked at first. Skills, Wins, losses, or even mistakes put aside, you never want to lose teammates.  We (The Royals) learned shortly after the Columbus Day Tournament that in 2015 Eddie, Frankie and Adam would not be returning in 2015 to start their own team.  At first it came as a surprise but at the end of the day, it has happened before.  Eddie was one of the first members to ever be called a Royal and Frankie and Adam joined a few years after that.  We also learned from Petey that he would not be playing in 2015 to take a year off and focus on softball, only to learn that he will in fact also be joining the Brew Crew.  My stance will always be the same, Once a Royal always a Royal.  So I would like to wish these guys luck and I will cheer them on, as long as they’re not playing against us!

I also started to realize that this is actually good for the NYESL.  Without these guys starting their own team, there will be no Brew Crew and there would have only been 7 teams competing in this year’s league.  The Brew Crew has come out in a loud way without even playing their first game.  Frankie Rivera, Adam and Eddie have shown excitement in their new logo and team name by posting it all over social media while Frankie has been doing a lot of posting on his own.  History has shown that it is extremely difficult for new teams in the NYESL but The Brew Crew hopes to hit the ground running.

The Brew Crew strongly believes that their newly formed squad has a good mix of veterans that will allow them to succeed. For those of you that don’t know the Brew Crew will be composed of players we are all familiar with such as; Raul (Gold, Leland) Robert Rodriguez (Tutu: Diamondbacks), Jason (Bronx Knights, Leland), Russel (Bronx Knights, Leland), Adam Gomez (Royals), Petey (Royals), Frankie Rivera (Royals), Eddie (Royals), Dominick (Ravens) and Freddy (Saints).  The Brew Crew is looking to have key players come into their own and carry the team into the future says Adam Gomez.  “Frankie has shown the ability to put a team on his back, but the challenge will be to do it week in and week out” Says Adam.  Adam is excited to shows he has the ability to be a successful every day player in this league and he is excited to have Petey hitting in the heart of the line up.  “We look forward to the challenges ahead & wanted to form the Brew Crew to start our own tradition of family & friendship on the BLVD,” says Adam.

The Brew Crew will begin their season in one of the 2015 season opening games against their newly formed rival in The Royals at 10am on April 12th.  Frankie Rivera has guaranteed a win already in their first game and says they will win by no less of a score than 6-2.  Guarantees don’t normally work well in sports but we will see what happens Opening Day 2015!

The Stickball Tribune Part 4
-Kevin Santana-
 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Tuesday, April 07 @ 19:23:03 EDT (185 reads)
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  PHP-Nuke The Stickball Tribune Part 3- Bronx Ravens

Consistency.  That’s one thing you know you will always get from the Ravens.  Since 2007, the Raven’s have only had two seasons where they did not finish with an above .500 win percentage.  That’s pretty good when you think about a league where players come and go.  This is a class team with some veterans that have been apart of the league for a long time.  Things got hard for the Ravens after losing half the team and some key guys to the Emperors. One would have thought that was it for the Ravens.  Instead through the leadership from Ed Brunson and Artie they have managed to continue to re-tool and keep the Ravens going. 

They have had both new players and old players play for them throughout the years but it isn’t until this year where they really feel like they will have a consistent group of guys to truly compete at the highest level.  If there is one thing that makes 2015 exciting is the fact that they will actually get Albert Jr. back full time this year.  2014 marked the first year since Al Jr. missed a year since joining the NYESL.  Anyone who knows Jr., missing his bat in a lineup will definitely impact a lineup.  As someone who has played with him and as someone who plays 3rd base; this is great news for the Raven’s.  They have also picked up Nick Carabello who first played with them in San Diego for the 2014 Labor Day Tournament.  Nick has played in the NYESL before with the Brooklyn Knights and will definitely bring some game to the BLVD as reunites with former teammate Al Jr. Nick will be joined by his own brother Jeremy Carabello who first made his appearance on the BLVD during last years Memorial Day Tournament.  Trust me even if you don’t know who is he is, you definitely heard him out there.  Jeremy looks to come on full time and help the Raven’s in 2015.  The Raven’s are also excited for new comer June Estrella who Ed Brunson says “He’s playing like he played the game already” as well as getting back Mike Rodriguez and Gil Rivera.  Good luck and welcome back!

With additions unfortunately come subtractions.  Brunson has informed me that long time Raven Al Boogie will be taking the year off from stickball as well as Elvin Rivera who has now moved to Florida.  They also lost a big piece in Skylar Mercado who even though may have only played half the season, his presence at the plate was undeniable as he finished in the top 5 in several categories.  “Seems like we can never have a full team every year but through all the trials and tribulations we still keep it together” says Brunson.  He believes they could have folded every year for the last 7 years but found a way to put it together and field a competitive team.  They love the game and it shows every year on the BLVD.


“Our goal is to start the year fast unlike the last few seasons” Says Brunson.  He feels like this year will be different with some key pickups and actually having some lefties in the lineup such as Nick and Austin will produce a better lineup.  He is excited to have his Raven brothers back for 2015 such as Nel, Art, Dave, Dax, Efrain, Al Sr. and Tim.  What better way to get started then to play against 2 of the leagues tops teams in Leland and the Emperors on Opening Day!


The Stickball Tribune Part 3
-Kevin Santana

 
 
 
  Posted by bxstickball on Monday, April 06 @ 16:10:16 EDT (160 reads)
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