THE STICKBALL TRIBUNE -THE NYESL COLUMBUS DAY TOURNAMENT

Columbus Day in general has always been treated as a “SecondTier” Holiday.  Although it is considereda Federal Holiday, if you don’t work for a Bank, have a federal position ordeliver the mail you most likely have to still show up for work.  This is the reason why the CDT has alwaysbeen a two-day tournament.  While we(NYESL) recognize it as one of the major 4 Championships (Memorial Day, RegularSeason, Labor Day and Columbus Day) it has always been treated as secondtier.  The weather is not always thebest, it can be cold, it can be overcast… the list goes on.  We always look forward to the CDT.  It marks the last time in the calendar yearthat most of us will not pick up a Stickball Bat until the next March orApril.  Especially when you’re from NYC.  So we are always up for it.  And for the most part it’s a last tournamentto end the year.  However, 2015 thingsare different… 

It has been an eventful year to say the least.  A lot of tempers flowing, teams working hardto have a breakout season of their own, players working hard to prove doubterswrong… 2015 has been one to remember for sure. With that being said, there has been one team that has found the mostsuccess this year and that is The Emperors. After winning both the Memorial Day Tournament and regular seasonchampionship the Emperors were on the quest for the opportunity to achieve “TheGrand Slam” of Stickball by attempting to win all “4 Majors”.  After a crazy and heart breaking loss to theTampa Chargers in Tampa for the LDT, things have gotten interesting.  To say people would be excited to see thismatchup would be an understatement.  Bothteams have been talking, both teams have made guarantees-some bolder thanothers- this will be one to pay attention to.  
For the first time ever, a team will be traveling up to NYCfor the Columbus Day Tournament.  TheTampa Chargers announced after LDT that they would be in fact traveling up tocompete.  Now all of a sudden the “secondtier” tournament suddenly has a Memorial Day feel to it.  Tampa isn’t the only team coming in for theCDT 2015.  We have a total of 13 teams,that’s right, 13 TEAMS for the CDT 2015. With just two days and only 3 games to prove yourselves before 5 teamsget cut after Saturday, things will most definitely get interesting.  Competition will be at its highest level,tempers will flare, and most of all the game will go out on a BIG NOTE for2015.  
Here is a complete list of teams joining the NYESL for theCDT 2015: 
TheWolfpack  – A team created out of the young talent from theEast Harlem Stickball team.  These guysare fierce, hungry and competitive.  Theyare friends and family who grew up playing together and take them lightly ifyou want to, because their Harlem resume speaks for itself.  Led by Angel, this team is looking to findtheir first taste of success in the NYESL.
    
TheWarriors  –   Another East Harlem Stickball team.   Coming in to make a spark as well, theWarriors will work to show why they shouldn’t be taken lightly.  

TheChiefs  –  East Harlem is coming out ready to play.  The Chiefs look to come into the finaltournament of the year and look to find success against the NYESL teams. 

TheSilver Bullets–  A team newly created out of the inspirationbrought to Stickball and his family-a tribute to Steve Mercado.  The Silver Bullets will compete for the firsttime as a team, however this will not be a regular new team.  Made up of some really good talent from allover the NYESL, including 3 players from the Royals, players from Leland andthe list go on… This will be a team looking to make some noise!   
Coming back to compete from the NYESL:

The BrewCrew  –  After their first year on the BLVD, the BrewCrew is looking to find stability and compete with the best of them.  Led by Eddie, Adam and Frankie, this teamlooks to continue to bring fun energy to the BLVD.       

TheDiamondbacks – Talk about a gritty team.  The D-Backs are a team made of family andfriends and have been trying to find the consistency and spark to compete withthe best teams in the NYESL.        

TheSaints  –   Jersey City’s very own.  The Saints have shown sparks of being one ofthe better hitting teams in the BLVD but have struggled to have their defensematch their sticks.  Will this be thetournament that it all comes together for them?    

TheRavens  – Led by Artie and Ed Brunson.  The Ravens look to find their spark after adisappointing 2015 regular season.  Theyhave shown flashes of putting it back together and are looking forward tohaving Al Jr. back for the CDT.  Let’ssee how they can end their year! 

TheLeland Legends  –   Family first. This team is made up of core family members and lifelong friends.  Leland has shown that they have the talent tocompete with the best of them on every scale but have not been over to get overthe hump.  Will the 2015 CDT have a differentoutcome for them?  

TheRoyals  –   #RoyalFAM is what we stick by and alwayswill.  It will be a difficult weekend forthe Royals, as they will lose 3 key players that will be playing for the SilverBullets.  But don’t let that foolyou.  The Royals are still made up of astrong core and the lineup still features some of the best in the game.  The Royals have made 3 Columbus DayChampionship games; will 2015 finally be the one? 

The Gold  –   Looking to reclaim glory for an attempt ofwinning the last championship of the year, The Gold will come in and do whatthey do.  Which is competing at thehighest level and showing why they have been one of the best teams ever.    

TheEmperors  – The Emperors have been the team to beatlately.  After going on an impressive streakand looking unbeatable for the 2015 season, the Emperors look to win theirthird championship of the year.  

IT’S GOING TO BE AGOOD ONE, WEATHER LOOKS GREAT, FIELDS WILL BE READY, LET’S END 2015 WITH ABANG!!! -KEVIN