The Biggest tournament of the year, the Memorial Day Tournament, is finally here. Every year the NYESL hosts the Memorial Day Tournament on Memorial Day weekend. The NYESL is dedicating the tournament to Daddy “little prickya” Pena and Philip Chino Santana! Unfortunately, Daddy Pena is no longer with us but his close friend and teammate Philip Chino Santana is still here to honor his brother. If you see Chino this weekend, make sure to thank him and congratulate him on his years dedicated to the game of Stickball.
This year the tournament will feature 14 teams. There are 9 teams from the NYESL, as well as 4 teams from Florida and 1 team from Manhattan. This year can possibly be the biggest year for Stickball. I am proud to announce that our fellow friends from France have brought a team to the Bronx to witness the beauty of Stickball. One thing that is for sure is that our home is their home. The Stickball community is one family no matter where you come from.
There are several events will be taking place throughout the weekend. There will be an exhibition game against France, an Old-timers game, an NYESL Youth Stickball League game, a revealing of 2017 Stickball Hall of Fame, a tribute to Daddy Pena and Chino Santana, and the first Monday Memorial Day Tournament Bracketology.
There will be a captain`s meeting tomorrow to discuss the Memorial Day Tournament. There will also be a preview post for each team participating in the tournament this weekend. Stay tuned for that. Let’s prepare for some amazing games, experiences and competition. This is for all the Bragging Rights!
Gold 2 – Ravens 0:
The Ravens hosted the Gold on field 2. This was a close game from beginning to end. The Gold had their bats going right from the jump. Pito and Papo started off the game with back to back singles. Dusty did his job and brought in the runner on second base with an RBI ground out. This put the Gold on the board in the top half of the first inning. Both teams tried getting something going in the next couple of innings but the solid defense from both sides prevented anyone from adding to the score sheets. In the top half of the fifth inning, the Gold added an insurance run. With two outs, Dusty hit a single and then cleanup hitter, Eddie, drove him in with a RBI double. The Ravens just could not find a rhythm in their offense. Their defense held a strong lineup to only 2 runs but their offense did not show up. The Gold went on to protect their 2-0 lead and pick up their first win of the season.
Gold: Dusty: (1-4, 1 Single, 1 RBI, 1 Run) Eddie: (2-3, 1 Single, 1 Double, 1 RBI)
Ravens: Ed: (2-3, 2 Singles)
Diamondbacks 8 – Saints 0:
The Saints hosted the Diamondbacks on field 3. These two teams are heading in two different directions. As the Saints are looking to rebuild, the Diamondbacks are looking to top their best season in the NYESL. Either way, both teams are looking to have a good start to their 2017 season. This game turned out to be one-sided. The bats were nonexistent until the top half of the 5th inning. Lionel Jr. hit a double to get the bats going for the Diamondbacks. Markie followed the double with an RBI single, giving the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead heading into the 6th inning. In the top of the 6th, the Diamondbacks adding 5 more runs to secure their lead. Ant, Joey and Lionel hit back to back to back doubles. Jay followed the doubles with an RBI ground out. Pedro and Mark kept the offense going with two singles. Markie put the finishing touches as his third hit of the day turned into an RBI triple. Ant hit a single in the top half of the 7th. Then Lionel and Jay followed up the single with back to back RBI doubles. The Diamondbacks offense did not take it easy on the Saints as they went on to win 8-0. This was a great way for the Diamondbacks to start their season.
Diamondbacks: Markie: (3-4, 1 Single, 1 Double, 1 Triple, 2 RBIs) Joey: (3-4, 1 Single, 2 Doubles, 1 RBI, 1 Run)
Saints: Josh: (2-3,1 Single, 1 Double)
Leland Legends 4 – Silver Bullets 0:
The Silver Bullets hosted the Leland Legends on field 1. This was a good first week match up. Both teams were without several key players and both teams were looking to make a statement early in the NYESL. After a scoreless 1st inning, former Chief, Arod, started off the top of the 2nd inning with a solo home run giving Leland a 1-0 lead. In the top of the 3rd inning, Captain, Eddie F, joined his teammate in the home run club with one of his own. In the 5th inning, Ron hit a double and Freddie brought him in with a sacrifice fly. In the top of the 6th, Leland added one more insurance run with back to back to back singles by Warren, Ron and Freddie. The Silver Bullets were not able to string hits together and went on to lose 4-0.
Leland Legends: Ron: (3-3, 2 Singles, 1 Double, 1 run) Eddie F: (2-4, 1 Single, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 Run)
Silver Bullets: Austin: (2-3, 2 Singles)
Royals 5 – Sugar Hill 2:
Two potent offenses faced off against each other in this one. The Royals edged out Sugar Hill for their first victory of the 2017 season. In the first inning Kevin started out his 2017 season by driving in Chey for an early 1-0 lead. Ralphy led off the 2nd inning with another opening day home-run for the Royals. Sugar Hill got on the board in the bottom half of the inning when Baez drove in a run. The Royals would add three more runs in the next two innings to secure their first win.
Royals: Dave: (2-4, 1 RBI in his Royals debut) Chey: (3-4, 2 doubles)
Sugar Hill: Baez: (2-3, 1 double, 2 RBIs) Lil E: (2-3, 1 double)
Sugar Hill 10 – Saints 1:
Sugar Hill bounced back from their loss in the opener by crushing their next opponent, the Saints. Will set the table once again for Sugar Hill leading off the game with a hit and was driven home by Lil E’s RBI double. Two more runs were added in the 2nd inning on RBI singles by Danny and Will. Josh got the Saints on the board with an RBI single in the top of the 3rd, to bring his team within two runs. Sugar Hill just pulled away from there, adding 7 more runs to their total. The Saints struck out 8 times as a team, a sure recipe for a bad outing on the Blvd.
Sugar Hill: Ralph: (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBIs) Danny: (3-3, 3 RBIs)
Emperors 2 – Diamondbacks 1:
The defending league champs were at it again, holding down their opponent by playing great defense. The Dbacks took an early 1-0 lead in the 1st inning when Lionel hit a scorching line drive for an RBI single. With two men on and no one out in the 2nd inning, Tito drove in both runners with a single of his own. That was all the scoring that was needed for a victory. Something that I haven’t seen in a few years happened on Sunday. Lou achieved the backward K on the score sheet when his third attempt took an awkward bounced that buckled his knees. I could’ve sworn I heard Daddy just at that moment, “Lou, SWING, you little prick you!” when the Blvd erupted during the feat.
Diamondbacks: Lionel: (2-3, 2 Singles, 1 RBI) Lionel Jr: (1-3, 1 Single)
Emperors notables: Tito: (1-3, 1 Single, 2 RBIs) Eric: (3-3, 3 singles)
Emperors 3 – Leland 2:
Another one run victory for Emperors on Sunday, this time at the expense of Leland. The Emperors started the scoring in the 3rd on Mike’s RBI single. The Emperors took a 2-0 lead in the 4th inning when Chungo hit an RBI double. Leland bounced back in the bottom half of the 4th. Edwin ripped an RBI double and Warren followed with an RBI double as well. In the top of the 7th, Vido led off the inning with a double. Two batters later, Caban hit a ground ball that made it’s way into the outfield. Caban was thrown out at 1st but Ricky was able to score from second as he was hustling home during the miscue. Leland got a man on base with 1 out in the bottom of the 7th but couldn’t get another hit to bring the man home.
Leland: Edwin: (2-3, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 RBI) Warren: (1-3, 1 double, 1 RBI)
Emperors: Tito: (2-3, 2 doubles) Chungo: (1-3, 1 double, 1 RBI)
Silver Bullets vs Gold:
The Gold hosted the Silver Bullets on field 3. I did not receive the stats for this game but once I do, I will have a recap written. Gold did go on to win 7-1 in a sloppy defensive game by the Silver Bullets.
Registration has started for the Youth Stickball League. If you are part of the stickball community and have a relative or friend who is interested in their kid playing stickball, talk to board members Jennifer Lippold and Vido Creales. The kids league helped me get a jump start to my stickball career as well as helping me get to where I am now in the NYESL. We did the official kids league once before and it was a major success so we are excited to bring this tradition back.