THE STICKBALL TRIBUNE
THE NYESL COLUMBUS DAYTOURNAMENT – 2016
The Columbus Day Tournament is both a joyful and sad weekendfor Stickball. It’s a great 2-daytournament that represents the last major championship of the year (MDT, NYESLSeason, LDT) but it also represents the final stickball weekend untilApril. We have had an amazing season sofar. While tensions were definitelyhigh, things seem to be getting better on the BLVD and any progress is positiveprogress.
We saw the Silver Bullets come out firing in their firsttournament by winning the Memorial Day Tournament. We saw the Emperors cement themselves in thehistory books by winning 3 NYESL championships back to back to back. And most recently, we witnessed the Chargerstake the Labor Day Tournament for the second time in as many years.
Last year, we saw a team traveling for the first timeoutside of New York/New Jersey to compete in the Columbus Day Tournament andlet’s just say, it was not a long trip home for them as the Chargers came inand won their first ever appearance at the CDT. Impressive to say the least and with their recent LDT win, The Chargersare definitely making a name for themselves and slowly becoming the team tobeat.
The CDT is always an interesting tournament. You usually see teams bring out their “FreeAgent” acquisitions, new faces/teams trying to come into the league and youalso get a sense of urgency from teams as we all go hard and try hard todesperately 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 theCDT 2016: ·
o One of the best hitting teams in theleague. These young guns and hit and runwith the best of them. When these guysare on, they are hard to stop. Willtheir defense step up and get them to the promise land?·
o Another team from East Harlem. Some of us knowthem from playing in tournaments, some from playing in the Harlem Fall Leaguein prior years. Definitely a team youshouldn’t sleep on as they can send some good sticks to the plate. Word is a couple key players may not be inthe lineup this weekend. Will they haveenough to compete with the best of them?·
o Making their first official debut to theNYESL. Led by former Chief’s Angel Rosaand Ron Pascual, the Astros are looking to come into the CDT and compete withthe rest of us. Put together with some vetsand 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, youknow it. There’s a certain stigma tothis team and they know it. Afterwinning the MDT their confidence has been at an all time high and rightfullyso. They know that no matter the cir*****stance,they can be in every game. Led by gooddefense, this team is looking to get their second championship this year! ·
o A teamthat stays true to who they are. Theyrun things a certain way and that’s what matters to them. With a core group of guys who continue to getbetter, the D-Backs are looking to compete with the best teams in theleague. 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 mostpassionate stickball people you will ever meet in the game and they will doeverything they can to keep their tradition alive. ·
o Led by Artie and Ed Brunson the Ravens arelooking to continue to progress and get better with every tournament. This team has been through a lot throughoutthe years but they feel like they finally have their core group of guys to makesome noise. ·
o The quietest successful team on the BLVD. This team no matter what finds a way to be inthe top 4 of the standings. Will theyfind a way to get past their post season woes for the CDT?·
o #RoyalFAM is what we will continue to be. Noadditions. No changes. Straight Royal stickball. We have been through a lot the past few yearsourselves but always find a way to field a top team in this game. Columbus Day Tourneys have always been themost 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 theirrun is done, they prove their doubters wrong. Every time. Even by reaching the NYESLchampionship recently and who knows what they could have done in Miami if mostof their team didn’t have to leave (Gold Forfeited the semi-finals) due to thelong rain delay. Word on the street isthey picked up a couple young guns. Let’ssee what the CDT has in store. ·
o The Emperors continue to be one of the teams tobeat, recently winning the NYESL championship. They continue to elevate their play when it matters most and lookforward to having a better showing this CDT. They still have some of the best players in the league and are ready toshow it.
Let’s continue towork towards making the game better and stronger. I would like to thank the board for doing anamazing job on their first year. I lookforward to what they have in store for year 2. Let’s have a great last tourney of 2016!