The Stickball Tribune – 2016 & The Wolfpack

It’s 2016.  It’sFebruary.  Every Stickball team that isapart of the NYESL can feel it.  Theseason is near.  The Fever is real.  The meetings are starting.  And it’s finally time for Stickball to startback up.  2015 was a great year for manyteams as there were teams that really started to find their identity.  Key players on teams have matured.  And the great ones continue to strive.
In 2015 we saw plenty of new things that willdefine this league for years to come. We saw the inaugural opening of the Stickball Hall ofFame.  A true HOF dedicated to the entiresports across all territories.  We sawplenty of guys join from all areas of the country and Puerto Rico. We saw the Emperors continue their dominance winning 2championships out of the 4 majors.  Wesaw the Chargers protect their home turf in Tampa for a controversial yetexciting championship game.  Then for thefirst time a team outside of NYC came for the Columbus Day 2 Day tournament andonce again, we saw the Charges go 2 for 2 in as many championships taking thefinal major of the year. 2016 will be exciting.
It will definitely be a year of change. Vido has announced that he will be stepping down from his role aspresident for his own reasons, while the board will work together to keep thisleague afloat.  It takes an army to keepthis league running and I hope we all realize how much help these guys need.
There are still some burning questions forthis year as the game may change completely. Will we have pumped balls this year? This is has been whatthe NYESL has been identified for years now.  A faster paced, more offensive and exciting game.  But if no one steps up to the plate to pump ballsthis year we will go back to the stock “dead” balls.  Will we continue to legacy of creating a moreexciting game? Or will the real hitters come out to play? We will all find outApril 3rd, 2016!
We will also see some new yet familiar faces join the leagueand over a series of Stickball Tribune’s I will be writing about eachteam.  First up, the newest addition tothe NYESL, the Wolfpack. This young, hungry and talented team has participated in theNYESL before through tournaments such as the MDT or CDT but has neverofficially joined the regular season.  Ifyou don’t know who the Wolfpack is, you most certainly will.  They made some noise making the CDTchampionship one year and have been a powerhouse in Harlem as a perennialchampionship contender.  In fact, thispast fall league in Harlem they once again made the championship for the secondyear in a row only the fall to the Bad Boys (A mix of Gold, Ravens and Royals)in 2 games.
They are a great group ofguys and I’m excited for them to join the league. Led by Angel, this team will bring some talent to theBLVD.  Their goal is to win achampionship.  Period.   They not only bring with them X-factors EricJunior and others, they have picked up a young talent formerly of the BrewCrew, Rondo.  Along with that pick up,they acquired a seasoned veteran in Eddie Espada (bombilla) who returned to thefield last season for his new team The Brew Crew who unfortunately will now befielding a team this season.
This team has been under the leadership of Eric Rodriguezwho Angel gives 100% credit to for learning this game.  Without Eric introducing these young guns tothe game there will be no WolfPack.  Thiswill be Eric’s full year in the NYESL.
I’m exciting for the first entry into the 2016 StickballTribune series, please share!
-Kevin (Royals)