Emperors – Team Preview

The season is five days away and with that being send, I will like to introduce the three time consecutive NYESL champions, the Emperors. Yes, that is correct! The Emperors have taken the title three straight years and there is a perfect reason for that. This group has very talented players offensively and defensively and for everyone who has seen them play can agree. The Emperors have one of, if not the best, defensive in the game. But the major key to why this group has dominated the NYESL every year is their chemistry. I grew up an Emperor, watching my dad play when I was a kid so I know what it is like to be part of their family. The chemistry with this group on the field and most importantly off the field is off the charts. When you combine such amazing talent with outstanding chemistry, you get a championship caliber team like the Emperors.

The Emperors were created in 1985. Most people may wonder why we call the league, New York Emperors Stickball League. The Emperors were the team that created this league and that is why the league carries the team`s name. Obviously since the team has been around for 32 years, there have been many faces that may have been part of or are part of the Emperors family.The Emperors are the team that every body is chasing down this year. They manage to dominate the league year in and year out but this year, they have a lot more competition after them. The Emperors had a slow start to the season but manage to build up momentum heading into the playoffs. They ended the season with a 14-8-1 record which landed them the third seed in the playoffs. The Emperors would plow through the competition and win their third consecutive NYESL title. Captain and board member, Vido Creales says, “We are looking to get our offensive game going early and maintain the solid defense our team relies on. Our goal is to accomplish something no team has done in the NYESL and that is to win the NYESL championship for the fourth consecutive season. The league has gotten very competitive and we are looking forward to some good matches this year.”

There are many current players in the league who have played for the Emperors and that is not surprising, knowing that this team has been around for 32 years. This team has found its core group. This year they return that core group of guys from last year with one new addition. Former Leland Legend, Boobie Ayala, will be returning to the Emperors after leaving them to go play with childhood friends and family on the Leland Legends. The Emperors are ready to make another championship run this year but there are a lot of teams who are ready to ruin their dreams. Will the Emperors make history this year or will there be a new NYESL champion?

2017 Emperors

PlayerGABH1B2B3BHRSACSORBI
Anthony Caban0000000000
Anthony Rosado0000000000
Chungo Maldonado0000000000
Eddie Rivera0000000000
Eric Rivera0000000000
Gil Rivera0000000000
Jay Roble0000000000
Joey Ceda0000000000
Josh Viruet0000000000
Mike Colon0000000000
Rich Torres0000000000
Ricky Torres0000000000
Tito Rivera0000000000
Tyrone Viruet0000000000
Victor Morales0000000000
Vido Creales0000000000

Gold – Team Preview

The season is one week away and we are down to our last two teams. This entry is dedicated to the most successful team in stickball history, the Gold. The Gold have dominated the NYESL year after year. They have power, speed, raw talent, veterans, brotherhood and most importantly they are family. The Gold may be the only team I know that have more lefties than righties. If you have watched these men play, you know they love playing on field 2. This team`s offense is nearly unstoppable and their defense is something to fear as well. Their balance of great offense and great defense is why they are so successful every year.

The Gold were created in 1992 by captain Ricardo Marrero and his brother, Ralph Martinez. The team started off in a Fall league and later they joined the NYESL. The Gold have been together for 25 years and within those 25 years of existence, this team has won 44 championships. This teams success is what every team dreams of having. The Gold have not had a losing record in the NYESL and they manage to finish in the top of the standings every year. They are coming off another solid season. They ended the regular season with a 19-3 record and went into the playoffs as the one seed. They ended up falling to the Emperors in the championship game. Captain Ricardo Marrero, also known as Big Rich, says, “With the bar being set so high for the Gold, last year was not a good one since we did not win the NYESL championship. This year we plan on having a stronger defense. We tend to loosen up when we have the lead in games so we have to change that. We have had the same goal for the past 25 years and that is to win championships as well as setting the bar for winning higher than any other team has.”

The Gold usually enters every season with the same group of guys. This year Big Rich says that he has added a few young ball players to his roster but he does not want to spoil the surprise. I guess we are going to have to wait one more week to find out. The Gold have been around for a long time and even though they might be seen as a team that is getting too old to play, they come back every year and dominate the competition. They are the Yankees of the NYESL. This team is full of passionate players and the Gold is a great example of how hard it is to walk away from this game no matter how old you get. You can hate this team or you can love this team, at the end of the day, they have proven why they are the best franchise in the game of stickball.

2017 Gold

PlayerGABH1B2B3BHRSACSORBI
Albie Santiago0000000000
Alex Torres0000000000
Angel Chuchi Cabrera0000000000
Angel Quinones Sr.0000000000
Angel Quinonnes Jr.0000000000
Carlito Santiago0000000000
Chickie Arroyo0000000000
Daryl Warfield0000000000
Eddie Betances0000000000
Ernesto Watts0000000000
Frankie Martinez0000000000
Josh Infante0000000000
Pete Santiago0000000000
Pito Lipset0000000000
Ralph Martinez0000000000
Ralph Morales0000000000
Raul Morales0000000000
Steve Plerqui0000000000

Leland Legends – Team Preview

This entry is dedicated to the Leland Legends. This team has been talked about the most during this off-season. The Leland Legends had some people thinking the team would not be playing in the 2017 NYESL season. Those rumors can be put to rest now because the Leland Legends are here to stay. When I think of Leland, the word family comes to mind. Week in and week out these guys leave it all on the field.

The Leland Legends were created in 2006. This team is composed of former Emperors. After a few years with the Emperors, several players wanted to create their own team to represent the street they grew up on as kids, Leland Ave. The Leland Legends play for one another but the main reason why they play, is for their fallen brother, George. The Leland Legends are one of the most successful regular season teams in the league. Last year Leland finished the season in second place with a 16-6 record and this is no surprise. They have bee in the league for 10 years and they have not finished a season with a record under .500. Captain Eddie F says, “Leland did well last year. We came in second play heading into the playoffs but lost in the first round. We want to improve our defense even though we finished first in the league in least runs allowed. Even though we may have lost key players, we still expect to be one of the dominant teams in the league.

Leland is entering the 2017 NYESL season with a whole new look. Leland`s core has broken apart after 10 long years of playing together. The Leland Legends have a younger group of guys that are hungry to learn the game and grow together. Leland lost key players, Dave Meerow, Jayden Ayala, Lou Bonilla, Boobie Ayala, and Dougie Ruiz. Leland will be returning Captain Eddie F Rodriguez, Edwin Rodriguez III, Freddy DePena and Warren Wilkerson. The Leland Legends have made many additions. They added former Sugar Hill player, Eddie Lopez, and former Royals players, Rade Inoa and Petey. Former Chief players, Arod, Jake, Jonathan, Ron Pascual and Angel Rosa, will be joining the Leland Legends as well. Even though you might see new faces wearing the colors orange and black, the name is still the same. The Leland Legends still play for their brother, George, and each other. Some people may question their ability to stay competitive with this new young team but Leland is ready to quiet all the talk. The Leland Legends are ready to grow together as well as win their first NYESL title. Will this be the year that the Leland Legends get over the hump and and take the NYESL title?

Date Announcements

 

As we approach opening day, there is a lot prepping that needs to be done. The following dates are events that are coming up before the 2017 NYESL season.

March 19, 2017 at 10:00 am

There will be a paint party at the boulevard. Four players from each team is required to show up and help paint the fields. Field 1 will be painted by the Royals, the Emperors and the Gold. Field 2 will be painted by the Ravens, the Leland Legends and the Silver Bullets. Field 3 will be painted by the Diamondbacks, Sugar Hill and the Saints. Food will be provided for all those who show up and contribute.

March 26, 2017

There will be a mandatory captains meeting and the location is TBA. This is also the makeup date for the paint party if the weather is uncooperative on March 19.

April 2, 2017

This is opening day for the 2017 NYESL season.

Silver Bullets – Team Preview

This entry is dedicated to the Silver Bullets. The Silver Bullets are a new up and coming team in the NYESL composed of rising stars and talented veterans that lead the way. This team has a strong family base and have grown together on and off the boulevard for the past couple of decades. The making of the now known Silver Bullets is a great story. The Silver Bullets were created in 1989 by Steve Mercado and Frank Sanchez. The Bullets won 6 major championships in 5 years but the team ended up breaking apart in 1993. Two decades later, 2016, the Silver Bullets were brought back. The Silver Bullets current players use to play on a team known as “Stem” from 2007 to 2013. Stem did not have much success in their years in the league but the team did develop the players for the future. Last year Stem came back into the league but under the name of the Silver Bullets. Even though the Silver Bullets broke apart, brotherhood and family brought the team back together.

The Silver Bullets are coming off their first season in the NYESL. The Silver Bullets finished the 2016 season in the 8th seed with a 7-12-2 record. The team missed players all season but when the Bullets have their full team, they can be a problem. A perfect example of this was the Memorial Day Tournament. The Silver Bullets went into the MDT playoffs as the 6th seed. They ended up winning the whole tournament and making a statement for themselves in the Stickball world. Middle infielder, Austin Mercado says, “I feel that our team made a statement in our first year in the league, winning the Memorial Day championship. In league play, we did not perform as well as we would have liked to but we plan on learning from our mistakes. The 2017 season is going to be our year. We plan to win another major championship and continue on the legacy of our stickball legends and we expect to compete with the best teams in the league every week.”

This year the Silver Bullets parted ways with a veteran player, Tony Sein, but have added former Leland Legend, Jayden Ayala, and new comer, Gian-Luca Merolla. The Silver Bullets are a team that new teams can learn from when joining the NYESL. The beginning of a new team, like Stem, is always rough since the team may lack a lot of chemistry but if you stick together as a family on and off the field, a strong family bond and connection can turn a good team into a great team and that is the beauty of stickball. The Silver Bullets show the league what Stickball is really about.

 

2017 Silver Bullets

PlayerGABH1B2B3BHRSACSORBI
Anthony Rosado Jr.0000000000
Austin Mercado0000000000
Coree Lippold0000000000
Cy Lippold0000000000
DJ Lippold0000000000
David Hernandez0000000000
David Jr Hernandez0000000000
Jay Alvarez0000000000
Jayden Ayala0000000000
Jennifer Lippold0000000000
Lou Mercado0000000000
Richie Rodriguez0000000000
Russell Carrasquillo0000000000
Skylar Mercado0000000000
Tony Sein0000000000
Vic Luciano0000000000
Wayne World Lippold0000000000
Xavier Hernandez0000000000

Royals – Team Preview

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?

2017 Royals

PlayerGABH1B2B3BHRSACSORBI
Johnathan Marrero0000000000
Jordan Cruz0000000000
Jose Marte0000000000
Adam Gomez0000000000
Cheyenn El Flash Reyes0000000000
Christian Lozano0000000000
Darnell Byrd0000000000
Dave Meerow0000000000
Eddie Espada0000000000
Eric Santana0000000000
Frankie Rivera0000000000
Kevin Santana0000000000
Ralph Perez0000000000
Ruben Rodriguez0000000000

Diamondbacks – Team Preview

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.

2017 Diamondbacks

PlayerGABH1B2B3BHRSACSORBI
Joey Gonzalez0000000000
Anthony Nazario Jr.0000000000
Brandon Nieves0000000000
Chris Lopez0000000000
Jay Bueno0000000000
Lionel Venero0000000000
Lionel Venero Jr.0000000000
Lou Lopez0000000000
Mark Candelaria0000000000
Mark Gonzalez0000000000
Martin Bueno0000000000
Mike Schenkel0000000000
Pedro Eliza0000000000
Robert Rodriguez0000000000
Ron Pascual0000000000
Tony Nazario0000000000
Ty Davis0000000000

Saints – Team Preview

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.

2017 Saints

PlayerGABH1B2B3BHRSACSORBI
Jonathan Cooks Hernandez0000000000
Josh Padilla0000000000
Juan Lefty Mills0000000000
Albert Colon Sr.0000000000
Alex Cotto0000000000
Chris Bambino Rivera0000000000
Chris Rivera0000000000
Daryl Warfield0000000000
Dominic Rivera0000000000
Doug Ruiz0000000000
Eric Melendez0000000000
Gil Velez0000000000
Jason Carrion0000000000
Jay Bayron0000000000
Lenny Saturria0000000000
Markus Brown0000000000
Miguel Olivero0000000000
Mike Colon0000000000
Pete Carrion Jr0000000000
Ron Pascual0000000000

Sugar Hill – Team Preview

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

PlayerGABH1B2B3BHRSACSORBIAVG
Angel Chupii Ramirez00000000000.000
Angel Tavares00000000000.000
Eddie Lopez00000000000.000
Eric BusyE Rodriguez00000000000.000
Eric EBarz Rodriguez Jr.00000000000.000
John Stephens00000000000.000
Julio Big Jay Robollo00000000000.000
NicoFreek Velasquez00000000000.000
Rae-Justin Rondo00000000000.000
Rafael Ralf Tavares00000000000.000
Willy Morales00000000000.000

 

Ravens – Team Preview

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.

#PlayerGABH1B2B3BHRSACSORBIAVG
1Albert Colon Jr00000000000.000
2Albert Colon Sr.00000000000.000
3Artie Saylor00000000000.000
4Chago Vasquez00000000000.000
5Danny Rosa00000000000.000
6Dave Ginel00000000000.000
7Dax Ramos00000000000.000
8Ed Brunson00000000000.000
9Efrain Solis00000000000.000
10Gil Velez00000000000.000
11Jeremy Carabello00000000000.000
12Miguel Olivero00000000000.000
13Nelson Roldan00000000000.000
14Nick Carabello00000000000.000
15Ralph Colon00000000000.000
16Tim Montanez00000000000.000
17Ty Davis00000000000.000