The Stickball Tribune Part 3- Bronx Ravens

Consistency.  That’s one thing you know you will always get from the Ravens.  Since 2007, the Raven’s have only had two seasons where they did not finish with an above .500 win percentage.  That’s pretty good when you think about a league where players come and go.  This is a class team with some veterans that have been apart of the league for a long time.  Things got hard for the Ravens after losing half the team and some key guys to the Emperors. One would have thought that was it for the Ravens.  Instead through the leadership from Ed Brunson and Artie they have managed to continue to re-tool and keep the Ravens going. 

They have had both new players and old players play for them throughout the years but it isn’t until this year where they really feel like they will have a consistent group of guys to truly compete at the highest level.  If there is one thing that makes 2015 exciting is the fact that they will actually get Albert Jr. back full time this year.  2014 marked the first year since Al Jr. missed a year since joining the NYESL.  Anyone who knows Jr., missing his bat in a lineup will definitely impact a lineup.  As someone who has played with him and as someone who plays 3rd base; this is great news for the Raven’s.  They have also picked up Nick Carabello who first played with them in San Diego for the 2014 Labor Day Tournament.  Nick has played in the NYESL before with the Brooklyn Knights and will definitely bring some game to the BLVD as reunites with former teammate Al Jr. Nick will be joined by his own brother Jeremy Carabello who first made his appearance on the BLVD during last years Memorial Day Tournament.  Trust me even if you don’t know who is he is, you definitely heard him out there.  Jeremy looks to come on full time and help the Raven’s in 2015.  The Raven’s are also excited for new comer June Estrella who Ed Brunson says “He’s playing like he played the game already” as well as getting back Mike Rodriguez and Gil Rivera.  Good luck and welcome back!

With additions unfortunately come subtractions.  Brunson has informed me that long time Raven Al Boogie will be taking the year off from stickball as well as Elvin Rivera who has now moved to Florida.  They also lost a big piece in Skylar Mercado who even though may have only played half the season, his presence at the plate was undeniable as he finished in the top 5 in several categories.  “Seems like we can never have a full team every year but through all the trials and tribulations we still keep it together” says Brunson.  He believes they could have folded every year for the last 7 years but found a way to put it together and field a competitive team.  They love the game and it shows every year on the BLVD.

“Our goal is to start the year fast unlike the last few seasons” Says Brunson.  He feels like this year will be different with some key pickups and actually having some lefties in the lineup such as Nick and Austin will produce a better lineup.  He is excited to have his Raven brothers back for 2015 such as Nel, Art, Dave, Dax, Efrain, Al Sr. and Tim.  What better way to get started then to play against 2 of the leagues tops teams in Leland and the Emperors on Opening Day!

The Stickball Tribune Part 3
-Kevin Santana