2016 Columbus Day Preview

The Columbus Day Tournament is both a joyful and sad weekend for Stickball. It’s a great 2-day tournament that represents the last major championship of the year (MDT, NYESL Season, LDT) but it also represents the final stickball weekend until April. We have had an amazing season so far. While tensions were definitely high, things seem to be getting better on the BLVD and any progress is positive progress.

We saw the Silver Bullets come out firing in their first tournament by winning the Memorial Day Tournament. We saw the Emperors cement themselves in the history books by winning 3 NYESL championships back to back to back. And most recently, we witnessed the Chargers take the Labor Day Tournament for the second time in as many years.

Last year, we saw a team traveling for the first time outside of New York/New Jersey to compete in the Columbus Day Tournament and let’s just say, it was not a long trip home for them as the Chargers came in and won their first ever appearance at the CDT. Impressive to say the least and with their recent LDT win, The Chargers are definitely making a name for themselves and slowly becoming the team to beat.

The CDT is always an interesting tournament. You usually see teams bring out their “Free Agent” acquisitions, new faces/teams trying to come into the league and you also get a sense of urgency from teams as we all go hard and try hard to desperately salvage a championship in that given year. Competition is high. The fun doesn’t stop. And let’s end 2016 with a bang!

Here is a complete list of teams joining the NYESL for the CDT 2016: ·

Sugar Hill
o One of the best hitting teams in the league. These young guns and hit and run with the best of them. When these guys are on, they are hard to stop. Will their defense step up and get them to the promise land? ·

The Warriors
o Another team from East Harlem. Some of us know them from playing in tournaments, some from playing in the Harlem Fall League in prior years. Definitely a team you shouldn’t sleep on as they can send some good sticks to the plate. Word is a couple key players may not be in the lineup this weekend. Will they have enough to compete with the best of them? ·

The Astros
o Making their first official debut to the NYESL. Led by former Chief’s Angel Rosa and Ron Pascual, the Astros are looking to come into the CDT and compete with the rest of us. Put together with some vets and some new comers to the game, will they have enough to make some noise? ·

The Chargers
A team to be reckoned with! The Chargers continue to prove their doubters wrong by being in the thick of things every tournament. They have already appeared in 2 of the 3 major championships thus far and look to do the same for the 4th and final major championship of the year. Can they continue their run of high level stickball? The NYESL appreciates them for traveling up to compete in another CDT!

The Silver Bullets
o When the Silver Bullets are on the field, you know it. There’s a certain stigma to this team and they know it. After winning the MDT their confidence has been at an all time high and rightfully so. They know that no matter the cir*****stance, they can be in every game. Led by good defense, this team is looking to get their second championship this year! ·

The Diamondbacks
o A team that stays true to who they are. They run things a certain way and that’s what matters to them. With a core group of guys who continue to get better, the D-Backs are looking to compete with the best teams in the league. Can they get over the hump? ·

The Saints
o No matter what is going on, players leaving, adding players, The Saints find a way to keep Jersey City Stickball alive. Pete and his sons are some of the most passionate stickball people you will ever meet in the game and they will do everything they can to keep their tradition alive. ·

The Ravens
o Led by Artie and Ed Brunson the Ravens are looking to continue to progress and get better with every tournament. This team has been through a lot throughout the years but they feel like they finally have their core group of guys to make some noise. ·

The Leland Legends
o The quietest successful team on the BLVD. This team no matter what finds a way to be in the top 4 of the standings. Will they find a way to get past their post season woes for the CDT? ·

The Royals
o #RoyalFAM is what we will continue to be. No additions. No changes. Straight Royal stickball. We have been through a lot the past few years ourselves but always find a way to field a top team in this game. Columbus Day Tourneys have always been the most successful for us reaching the championship game 3 times. Will this be the year? ·

The Gold
o Every time I hear the Gold is too old or their run is done, they prove their doubters wrong. Every time. Even by reaching the NYESL championship recently and who knows what they could have done in Miami if most of their team didn’t have to leave (Gold Forfeited the semi-finals) due to the long rain delay. Word on the street is they picked up a couple young guns. Let’s see what the CDT has in store. ·

The Emperors
o The Emperors continue to be one of the teams to beat, recently winning the NYESL championship. They continue to elevate their play when it matters most and look forward to having a better showing this CDT. They still have some of the best players in the league and are ready to show it.

Let’s continue to work towards making the game better and stronger. I would like to thank the board for doing an amazing job on their first year. I look forward to what they have in store for year 2. Let’s have a great last tourney of 2016!

-KEVIN