In 24 hours I will be boarding a plane for my most favorite trip of all … my trip to the NYESL’s Memorial Day Weekend Stickball Tournament. This is a very special trip for me … it marks the 25th Anniversary of the NYESL. Special to me because of why this league was started.
“26” years ago … I was part of a team (Miami-USA) that made a trip to NY from Miami, Fl. to play Stickball in Manhattan. For reasons which were beyond our control and much to our disbelief … we were not allowed to play in this tournament. There were many emotions sadness, anger … but one emotion prevailed … for many of us it was a trip back home. We were happy to be in NY and see our old stomping grounds. We soon discovered we were not the only team not playing in Manhattan this weekend. The 60 Boyz One of the most talented stickball teams in the history of the game was sitting at home in the Bronx. Calls were placed to old friends and the challenge was laid down … Miami’s best vs the Bronx’s best … with 1 call games were scheduled at P.S. 60 for Sunday & Monday.
The wheels were set into motion. Amongst many others but most notable … Frank Sanchez Sr. and Frank Calderon came up with a plan with their friends from Miami. Nowadays … the phrase “if you build it they will come” is pretty “catchy” … but these guys were determined to build a Stickball League in the Bronx. This was the “plan” … during the next 12 months there would be 3 tournaments 1 in Miami, 1 in Puerto Rico and finally the end of Stickball’s Tour the return to the Bronx. Frank Calderon & Frank Sanchez Sr. worked feverishly. They built the NY Emperors team sponsored by Riddler’s and acquired Stickball Blvd. for the 1st ever major Stickball tournament in the Bronx. They returned excited from their trips to Miami and Puerto Rico … ready to proudly display to us all what they had built … Stickball Blvd. and the NYESL was born.
-Bobby Medina “8”
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