As part two of interviews before the playoffs start, I wanted to interview another Stickball veteran. This interview is with Pete, the captain of my team, the Jersey City Saints.
Q. Congratulations on your second place finish. Last year your Saints finished in last place. Is this where you saw your team at the beginning of the season?
A. No, I knew we would be improved but this is more than I expected.
Q. How many years have you been involved with stickball?
A. I have been in organized stickball leagues for 37 years.
Q. How many years have you been running this team?
A. I have been managing the Saints since we changed our name from the Mambo Boys about 13 years ago.
Q. What drives you to run this team?
A. The competition. Nothing compares to the competitiveness in this game.
Q. Since you have played in the Manhattan league for many years, how has the transition been to the NYESL? Besides the pump ball and pitching in, what else separates the two leagues?
A. The transition was a real challenge. Obviously the self-hitting style moves the game along. Our bases are longer thus changing the strategy a little.
Q. Do you miss playing at all? Why or why not?
A. Yea I miss it. But I will get to play in PR. My roster is full so I’m not forced to play. The fall league is around the corner too.
Q. What challenges has this team overcome during the season?
A. We had new players and had to develop team chemistry. Getting players to feel comfortable with each other and having them adjust to playing different positions.
Q. Which team provides the greatest threat to the Jersey City Saints in the playoffs?
A. The Gold, they have great players, great chemistry, excellent coaching, and are a great team.
Q. Who is your team’s MVP?
A. That’s a good question. Every game a different player comes through in the clutch. Every player is important. They are all MVP’s.
Q. Why did you pick Field #2 for your first round of games?
A. We play well there. Our outfielders see the ball well and it’s a hitter’s field.
Thanks Pete for your time to do this interview. –Ron