2001 - The Games Go On
Last year, under threatening skies, New York Emperor Stickball League president, Steve Mercado kept calm and quietly said "the Emperors' Memorial Day Tournament hasn't been rained out yet." Last year his faith seemed well placed, for despite the gray start, the tournament went well.
But this year things looked bad. It had been raining all week throughout the Northeast region and every weather report called for showers during the weekend. Opening ceremoies were conducted under bleak skies and a slight drizzle. The players expressed their hope; perhaps their prayer was answered. At noon, when the decision had to be made to play or cancel, the rain had stopped and the wind was drying out the field. Steve made the call and the tournament, not the rain, came bursting through.
An odd number of teams (15) had signed up for this year's competition, making scheduling a tough job. Each team played three games Saturday and three games on Sunday. The top eight advanced to the Monday shoot out; a one loss elimination to determine the champs. The Bad Boys took it, playing like true champions.
Four fields were put into service for the event. Two were made from the Stevenson High School tennis courts located in the school's park adjacent to Stickball Blvd. Within a fenced in area of about 300 feet in length, each field was the width one side of the net a court. Games were side to side; the outfield on one field was to the side of home plate for the other. While playing was not that affected, being a spectator proved tricky. Standing in the thin line between the fields, the expression "watch your back," gained new meaning in the action packed games.
See Tournament Summary