The annual street games event hosted by the NYC parks department will be held this Saturday April 29th from 10-3 at Jefferson Park in Manhattan. As always the NYESL will be volunteering and organizing the Stickball clinic. If you or anyone in your your team would like to help, then please let us know. Giving back to the community is what this event is all about. Hope that some of you can make it. Thanks.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson Park, Manhattan
112th Street and First Avenue
Rain or shine
On Saturday, April 29, 2017, NYC Parks and the Walt Disney Company will host the 10th Annual Street Games at Thomas Jefferson Park in Harlem!
Street Games re-introduces classic, low-tech games played in the city in the 60s and 70s to a new generation of kids. The event is open to all ages and abilities.
This entry is dedicated to the Bronx Royals. The Royals are full of raw talent. When going up against these guys, you better bring your best defense because these guys love to fill up the score sheet. After playing with the Royals for two years, I can say that they are filled with an amazing group of guys. They have each other`s back and can compete with the best of the best. The NYESL contains many teams that are composed of family and the Royals are no different. The Royals were created in 2004. The Royals started out as a conversation amongst family. A group of family members and close friends wanted to play with each other, after being on separate teams for a few years, and they knew the only way that would happen is by starting their own team, the Royals.
The Royals have been in the NYESL for 13 years. Their worst season was in 2004, their first year in the league. Since 2005, the Royals have finished in the top half of the league. The Royals have finished their season with a record over .500 for 6 straight years and they plan on making it 7 straight years. Last year the Royals ended the regular season as the 4th seed with a 12-8-2 record. Third baseman for the Royals, Kevin Santana, says, “Last year was an interesting year for the Royals. It was one of those up and down years due to injuries, losing key players and welcoming back former players. Even though we finished top four in the league last year, we need to get better on defense. Our offense is one of the best in the league but if we want to continue to improve in this league, we need to do a better job of balancing our defense with our offense. We except to win and our goals are nothing less than winning championships.”
The Royals are bringing back the same group of guys from last year with one new addition. The Royals have added former Leland Legend, Dave Meerow. This addition will help improve their defense while increasing their offensive fire power. The Royals are a team to fear in the NYESL. When their chemistry is clicking and they do not let their emotions get the best of them, they can be unstoppable. I believe one of the reasons for the Royal`s success on offense is that they have a great balance of right handed hitters and left handed hitters throughout their lineup. Even though the Royals finish in the top half of the league every year, they cannot seem to finish the job and win the NYESL title. Will this year be different from previous years? The Royals know they have what it takes to win a title but like every team, they have their doubters. Will the Royals defense tighten up and lead them to their first championship in Royals history?
|Albert Colon Jr||2||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
This entry is dedicated to a group of men who show the league every year what the meaning of pride and determination is, the Bronx Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks where founded by Jay Bueno, Ty Davis and a group of softball players. In 2008, they joined the league under the name “Nothing Personal”. After 5 years of playing in the NYESL, Nothing Personal decided to change the team name to the Bronx Diamondbacks. This team has come a long way since joining the league. Each year, the Diamondbacks grow as a family on the boulevard but more importantly off the boulevard. The Diamondbacks see themselves not as a team but as a family. They have five pairs of father-son combinations within the team and that is one reason why their chemistry is one of the best in the league.
The Diamondbacks have been one of the weaker teams in the NYESL since joining in 2008. They have not been able to finish a season with a record over .500 until last year. The Diamondbacks have progressed every year since joining the league. The 2016 NYESL season was the year the Diamondbacks have been waiting for. They finished the season with a 9-8-5 record which landed them the 5th seed going into the playoffs. As well as having a record over .500, the Diamondbacks gave up the lowest total of points allowed in the team’s history and had the 4th rank defense for the first time ever. Anthony Nazario says, “In 2017, we hope to build on last year’s success with double digit wins and a chance of being one of the top four teams. Last year a lot of our players showed their true potential and we hope that this year, everyone will show their full potential.”
The Diamondbacks have shown that they are not to be taken lightly anymore. They are returning the same group of guys from last year. The Diamondbacks are looking for another great season but will they be able to compete with the top tier teams this year? Will teams be fearing the rattle or will the Diamondbacks go back to their old ways? This team has a lot of potential that still needs to be shown so will 2017 be the year of the Diamondbacks?
I want to shout the Diamondbacks out as a team. Even when the Diamondbacks are having a tough weekend, they manage to make their Sundays great. I always see the Diamondbacks stick around after their games just to talk and hangout with their teammates as well as the league. That is one thing I love about this team. Players tend to leave once they finish games due to different reasons but the Diamondbacks always find a way to stick around and cherish this beautiful game of Stickball that we all love and that some people take for granted.
|Anthony Nazario Jr.||17||51||17||11||5||1||0||0||8||7||0.333|
|Lionel Venero Jr.||17||45||12||7||5||0||0||0||4||4||0|
This entry is dedicated to the men that comprise the Saints from Jersey City, New Jersey. The Saints have come a long way. This team is a family of honorable veterans and young rising stars, all dedicated to preserving a dynamic of loyalty. The Saints were created by a family living in Jersey City, NJ in 2001. They started off their career in the Manhattan League, but after 8 years of playing in the Manhattan League, the Saints decided to join the NYESL in 2009. Since 2009, the Saints have kept their core players but are always avidly seeking out the missing pieces to a championship team. The quality that I respect the most about this team is that even though they have been struggling to have the same group of men year in and year out, the core of the team remains together and they keep coming back every year. It is hard to keep a team together when guys join and leave every year but the Saints avoid this problem through their strict devotion to loyalty.
The Saints have struggled to finish a season with a winning record. However, although they have struggled the past few years, they do remember their success in 2013. The Saints are looking to have a repeat of the 2013 season, where they went 18-6 landing them in the second seed going into the playoffs. To have a successful season like they did in 2013, the Saints know they have work to do. Pete Jr. says, “I felt the team lacked chemistry and maturity last year. Personal accolades were more important to certain players than having each other’s back and winning. The goal is build the chemistry our team once had and improve from game to game so we can be a competitive team once again. We are aiming for at least one of the four championship titles this year but no matter what type of year we have, we want to enjoy the time we spend on the Blvd. with family and friends.”
The Saints are in the process of rebuilding their team. There are a lot of changes to the roster this year. They picked up former Sugar Hill player, Rae-Justin Rondo Rivera, former Raven player, Dom Rivera, and former Gold player, Raul Morales. The Saints have also added two players who are returning to the game after taking a few years off, J.R. Rivera and Willie Pena. The Saints are also excited to announce the addition of their youngest player, Jeremy Carrion. Will these new additions be what the Saints have been searching for? Will this new Saints team be able to compete with the best of the best? The new additions to their team guided by their thorough record of brotherhood make me confident in my belief that they will make a statement in this league.
|Jonhathan Cooks Hernandez||16||52||24||18||4||0||2||1||2||10||0.462|
|Pete Carrion Jr||21||70||25||13||8||3||1||0||6||7||0.357|
|Pete Carrion Sr.||6||16||5||4||1||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Chris Bambino Rivera||5||15||9||4||2||2||1||0||0||6||0|
|Juan Lefty Mills||10||27||9||6||2||0||1||0||5||3||0|
This entry is dedicated to the team from Manhattan, Sugar Hill. If you want to see some young outstanding talent, you must watch these group of guys play. Being a young player myself, I love watching these guys play. Sugar Hill is made up of a couple veteran leaders, a lot of young raw talent and most importantly family. Even though last season was their first year in the league, these guys have already made a name for themselves on the boulevard. Sugar Hill originated in Manhattan where they have been the dominating force in the Manhattan league for the past several years. This team plays with a lot of pride and passion. They play every game with the same mindset, “Nothing to lose but everything to prove.”
Sugar Hill has made their mark in the league. For their first year in the league, Sugar Hill finished the season with a 10-11-1 (W-L-T) record. This record landed them the 7th seed in the playoffs. They went on to beat the Leland Legends in the first round but then lost to the Gold in the semi-finals. Sugar Hill ended the season with one of the top offenses and ranking second in the league in scoring. When talking to first baseman, Angel Taveras, about the team, he said,” For our first year, I feel that we did okay even though we made it to the final four in the playoffs. We are trying to improve our defense and have more guys involved in being more vocal on the field. We expect nothing less than making the Championship game and winning the NYESL title.”
Sugar hill has made a few changes to the roster during the off season. They have brought back Tony Baez, TJ, and Freek. They added former Saint, Cooks which can add to their offensive fire power. The team has parted ways with Eddie Espada, Rae Rondo, and Eddie Lopez. Sugar Hill is a team that nobody wants to play against in the playoffs. This team fears no one. They are aiming for the title this year but will this be the year they are crowned the NYESL champions? Everyone knows that this team can compete with the best of the best. Their offense is incredible but their defense kept them from a title last year. Will strengthening their communication be the answer to their struggles or even a NYESL title?
2017 Sugar Hill
|Rafael Ralf Tavares||23||82||39||18||17||2||2||0||3||13||0.476|
|Nico Freek Velasquez||17||62||25||17||7||0||1||0||6||5||0.403|
|Eric EBarz Rodriguez Jr.||23||78||24||15||7||1||1||0||8||9||0.308|
|Tony Baez Jr.||17||55||15||8||6||1||0||0||4||5||0.273|
|Will Eccy-X Guerra||13||38||11||8||3||0||0||0||4||6||0|
|Danny Chupii Ramirez||11||31||11||9||2||0||0||0||2||4||0|
|Julio Big Jay Robollo||15||41||4||2||2||0||0||0||5||1||0|
|Eric BusyE Rodriguez||11||30||3||3||0||0||0||0||7||1||0|
Before I introduce the first team, my name is David Hernandez and I currently play for the Silver Bullets. I want to give a shout out to Kevin Santana, from the Royals, for doing the team introductions for the past several years. This idea gives us all something to look forward to leading up to the stickball season. There has always been a lot of talent within the league since the beginning of stickball and this year is no different. Many teams have a new look, whether it’s new players, old players returning, or new team names. The competition is at an all-time high this year. I can honestly say, this year’s NYESL title is up for grabs. The Emperors and The Gold have been at the top of the chain for years but they have a lot of teams going after that spot this year. Each week I will be introducing a new team until all 9 teams are mentioned.
This week is dedicated to the Ravens. If you have not heard of these guys, then you better wake up. This team is filled with amazing talent from veterans, leaders, hall of famers, family and most importantly, the brotherhood that holds it all together and keeps them coming back for more. The Ravens were created in 1998. The team lasted 2 years before it joined the Young Bloods in 2000. After seven years, the Ravens were brought back in 2007 and have been around since. This group of men have stuck together for years and every year, they come back with the same group as the previous. That is what I call loyalty. This team has been through it all.
They are one of the three teams to win a NYESL title within the last 16 years although recent years have been a bit of a struggle. For two straight seasons, 2014 and 2015, the Ravens had a record below .500 on the season and sat at the lower end of the standings. But that all changed last year. In 2016 the Ravens ended the season over .500 and now this season they are ready to aim even higher. Captain Artie Saylor said, “I want to do better than last season and we want the NYESL title. The team’s all-around performance could be improved. We know we can compete with the best at the highest level.”
I can tell you one thing; these fellas are not to be taken lightly and I know from playing with these guys in a Labor Day Tournament in Tampa a couple years ago. There is no surprise that the Ravens will be returning the same group of men from last year with a new addition. The Ravens are happy to have ex Raven, Gil Velez, return after playing with the Saints. He will be a big asset to the development of this team this season. This team can compete with any team around and when they have all their pieces, they can be the best of the best. Question is, will they have all their pieces week in and week out? The Ravens are one of my favorites because at the end of the long Sundays, you can always count on them to be around and have a good time. I think it is safe to say that the Ravens are back and out to make a statement.
THE STICKBALL TRIBUNE
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: ·
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? ·
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? ·
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? ·
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! ·
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? ·
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. ·
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? ·
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? ·
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. ·
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!