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The park's trees couldn't stop this ball from being caught.
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The park's trees couldn't stop this ball from being caught.

Skin and blacktop - ouch
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Skin and blacktop - reminder of a slide into home

The Youngbloods are the Brooklyn's Stickball Classic 2000 Winners
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The Youngbloods are the Brooklyn's Stickball Classic 2000 Winners
Youngbloods take no prisoners in Brooklyn
September 16

Hoban Ballfield was amply wide for hitters to place their shots
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Hoban Ballfield was amply wide for hitters to place their shots.
In honor of the sport's tradition, the Stickball Classic usually holds its competitions on a "typical" neighborhood street. Today the games were played in Bay Ridge within Christopher Hoban Ballfield on 67th street and 6th Avenue. The change of venue created a field wider than usual and this "hitter's park" was further enhanced by the resident trees, providing interference for well hit fly balls. Still, stickball is all about adapting to the local situation. To balance the hitters advantage, bases were distanced a bit further apart. Except for the last game, the scores were reasonable.

Four of the groups that entered today's Brooklyn Stickball Classic were "pick up teams" composed of players who heard about the contest and decided to "give it a whack." Although anyone can take the field, winning is another matter. The finalists, the Bronx Youngbloods and the Brooklyn All Stars were composed of players who regularly participate in the sport. Unfortunately for local fans, the visiting Youngbloods defeated the All Stars by the football like score of 20-7 and will represent the borough in next week's semi-final competition.

In the opening round, The Brooklyn All Stars defeated East 36th Street, another locally based team, 5-0. The second game was more competitive than the score suggests as the Youngbloods defeated FDNY 9-1, scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning. Given the fact that FDNY was a pickup group composed of some firefighters and friends from the Bronx, the fact that they remained close to the Youngbloods until the end of the game was a surprise to the spectators. The turning point came in the top of the 5th with some heads up fielding by the Youngbloods as Tommy Burke was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch his monster 330+ drive into a 4 bagger.

With the first two games won by the established teams, it was up to The Do Wallops and ESB (Empire State Building) to represent the pick up squads. A four run rally in the 5th inning provided more than enough for the Do Wallops to take it by a 5-1 score.

In response to the six team field, Curtis Sliwa the event organizer and "Commissioner of Stickball," had declared that the team which scored the most runs would be given a by and automatically enter the finals. The Youngbloods were therefore able to watch from the sidelines as the Brooklyn All Stars defeated the Do Wallops 6-2 (see Do Wallop story).

At first things looked good for the local squad as the All Stars took a quick 4 run lead in the first inning. However, the Youngbloods answered with 5 runs of their own. The game went back and forth until the Youngbloods unloaded 9 runs in the 5 inning on their way to a 20-7 route.

The Youngbloods victory in Brooklyn ensures that this year's Stickball Classic winner will be a Bronx based team, since each of the finalists are from that borough.

  Photos of all the Teams

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