THE STICKBALL TRIBUNE
2016: The Bronx Royals
The older kids on the block, at least we used to be. As a new younger generation of stickballplayers tries to make their mark in the NYESL such as the Silver Bullets, for along time now, it was The Royals that were the kids on the Blvd. Made up of family and friends, The Royalshave been able to build their team and their brand based on their play on thefield and their tenacity on and off the field. The Royals first season was in 2004 and to say the least learned a lotfrom getting our teeth kicked in their first season in the league with a totalof 3 wins. Since then however, TheRoyals have proven to be a force in this league by tallying up double digitwins in every season since that first season.
2015 was an interesting year for The Royals. A team that usually rides on the strength ofthe offense really changed things around defensively and led with our defensefor most of the year and it paid off throughout the regular season where TheRoyals finished in second place only losing 4 games the entire year. The runs allowed total (70) were the fewestamount The Royals allowed defensively, ever. On the other side of that however, The Royals scored less than 100 runs(99 LY) for the first time in 5 years. This led to 7 ties that could have been wins. This year The Royals arehoping to get even better on defense, while bringing back our high-octaneoffense simultaneously.
Just as many other teams have experienced due to The SilverBullets being formed, The Royals have lost their fare share of players, themost of any other teams actually. Goingto the Silver Bullets from The Royals are some really exciting players thatwill continue to develop such as David Hernandez who really came into his ownleading off for The Royals, the speedy Coree Lippold and the hard-hittingSkylar Mercado. The Royals will like towish them the best and remember, once a Royal, always a Royal!
Every year, The Royals seem to have something go wrong witha player due to injury or other issues and 2015 was no different. It was no secret that the offense suffered abit when one of our best hitters ended up going down during the Memorial Dayweekend tourney. Ruben Rodriguez(hitting .500 before we went down) suffered a season ending injury running tofirst base that required him to have surgery on his hip (yes he’s an old mannow). But for those that have been onthe blvd. for practice, saw Ruben back out there and he is extremely excited tobe back on the field with us and with some guys leaving we can’t wait to havehis bat back in the lineup.
Also comingback to the team and after a few years away from the league is our brotherRalphy Perez. We can wait for him to beback on the blvd hitting those line drives down right field and I know hislittle brother Christian Lozano can’t wait to have him back on the field withhim. 3 is back.
I wasn’t lying when I said once a Royal, always aRoyal. The Royals are happy to welcomeback the dynamic duo of Frankie Rivera and Adam Gomez. Two of the funniest guys on the blvd. arecoming back home and we are happy to have them in the line up. As we lost ourleadoff hitter, we gained an experienced one with Frankie leading The Brew Crewwith an impressive .500 batting average. Joining The Royals is newcomer Cheyenne Reyes. Yes, that’s his real name. We call him flash for short and can’t wait for theleague to find out why. The Royals alsobring back the core of the Royals such as deep threat Jonathan, hard hittingJose, veteran Christian, sure hands Rade, the dirt devil Darnell and theline-drive hitting Santana brothers (the brothers combined for a battingaverage of .475 over the last 3 years). We are looking to have fun, play at a high level and winchampionships this year. Anything elsewill be considered a failure for us. Keepsleeping on us if you want to, just know that once you stop it will be toolate.
–Kevin – Royals – #23