I recently took a time to ask the New York Emperors Stickball League Commissioner, Eddie Espada, a few questions regarding the league.
Eddie has been the Commissioner of the league since the last season and is working with the Board, Team Captains, players and volunteers to make the league successful.
Q: How many years have you been a part of the NYESL? And what team did you start your NYESL career with?
A: I’ve been in the league for 12 years now. I was introduced to the game by Frankie Martinez, Richie Marrero and Ralph Martinez. The Gold was the first team I played for.
Q: On the Boulevard, many people refer you to “Bombi”. Why are you called that and who gave you that nickname?
A: The nickname Bombi aka bombilla, was given to me by Richie Marrero. He said my bald scalp looked like a light bulb (bombilla in Spanish) and I’ve been called that ever since.
Q: Last year was your first year as Commissioner, was it difficult to separate being Team Manager and League Commissioner?
A: At first I thought it would be difficult, but actually it’s wasn’t too bad. When my team is playing, I’m just the manager of the Royals. Which is cool, I get to separate both and someone else from league with experience will act as a field judge.
Q: Who else is a part of the NYESL Board committee? What are their titles?
A: The NYESL Board committee consists of Vido Creales, his title is President and Treasurer, Ty Davis, Field Coordinator.
Q: What is different about the league this year compared to last year (2012)?
A: This year will be very interesting. There were some major rule changes because the community was very concerned with the safety of the players and motorists. We want to prevent players running into the middle of the street. So, for the first time in 29 years we will have a automatic home run rule.
Q: Why make the rule change now after so many years?
A: The community actually brought it to our attention during a meeting. In order to get help with the repaving of the streets, we had to come to terms with them.
Q: What challenges did the league face with this past off-season?
A: This past off-season challenge was to try to get the streets repaved. From what we hear, it’s supposed to happen this year. We are still waiting for a date.
Q: How can someone join the league? Who can they contact?
A: Anyone can join the league with in reason, but you must be at least 16 years old. New teams are welcomed to join, but for the first two years, a new team will be on probation. You can contact any one on the board or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I know the season hasn’t started yet, but are the preparations for the Memorial Day Tournament (MDT) already underway?
A: Preparations for MDT are underway.
Q: How many teams are expected to play in the MDT?
A: As of now we are looking at four teams apart from the league teams. Those teams would be two from Florida and two from Manhattan. We’re hoping the rumor isn’t true about San Diego. The rumor we heard is that they don’t have a league anymore. So we are hoping they’ll still be joining our MDT and still hosting the Labor Day Tournament in 2014. We are hoping for the best.
See you on the Blvd!