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1999 NYC Stickball Classic
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1999 NYC Stickball Classic
section guide

Intro / highlights

• 1999 Stickball Classic home
• Kickoff ceremony coverage
• Finals coverage
• Event rules

• Go to Stickball section


• 1999 NYC Stickball Classic discussion
• Stickball: general discussion
• Streetplay discussion home

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Finals (10/3/99)

• Finals coverage
• Photo galleries: 1 | 2 | 3

Semi-finals (9/18/99)

• Semi-final coverage
• 4th Str. vs. Emperors
• Latinos vs. Bombers
• Knights vs. Old-Timers

Staten Island (9/11/99)

• Staten Island event overview

New Jersey (8/28/99)

• NJ event overview

Queens (8/7/99)

• Queens event coverage
• Essay: Caledonia Old-Timers
• Essay: Family values
• Essay: Positively Fourth Street
• Photo galleries: 1 | 2 | 3

Bronx (7/24/99)

• Bronx event coverage
• The Latinos, Bronx champions
• Longball contest
• Einstein's team
• The Emperors
• Curtis Sliwa speaks
• Photo galleries: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Manhattan (7/17/99)

• Manhattan event coverage
• Longball contest
• The Clean Machine
• The Bronx Old Timers
• Photo galleries: 1 | 2 | 3

Brooklyn (7/10/99)

• Brooklyn event coverage
• Photo galleries: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Event kickoff (6/29/99)

• Kickoff coverage
• Photo galleries: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

The East Harlem Clean Machine

Manhattan longball champions
Click for bigger picture
The East Harlem Clean Machine (left to right): Richard Mojica, Eric Gonzoles, David Herc Negron, Edwin Cintron, Julio Morales, Angeel Perez, Frank Mendez, Moe Marrero, Victor Maczo, Luis Laboy
So far, the biggest surprise in the 1999 Stickball Classic was the Clean Machine's 9-8 victory over the Washington Bombers.

The Clean Machine is a stickball team that was started three years ago by a group of players from East Harlem who used to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. According to captain Luis Laboy "Our goal is to go out there, have a good time and show the youth that you can have fun without drinks or drugs. We try to provide an example to the kids. Perhaps some of them will learn from us and won't go through all that stuff."

And provide an example they did. Perhaps the Washington Bombers were a bit overconfident. The Stickball Classic is round robin event and the Bombers had decisively defeated the Harlem Heat in their first game of the day 10-1. Midway in the game against the Clean Machine, the Bombers were already arguing that they shouldn't have to play the Old-Timers (winners of the second game) after they win, since it would be their third game of the day. Clearly the Bombers were not focusing on the game at hand and the level of competition. This was their mistake.

According to Laboy, "The Bombers are most of the guys who won the East Harlem championship last year. They are a great team and we are in last place, so they probably took us for granted. But the thing is we have a lot of heart."

The team's heart came through in the bottom of the 6th inning. Trailing 5-0, the Clean Machine put together a 7 run rally to take the lead. The Bombers then scored 3 big runs to go ahead 8-7, but the Clean Machine came back to rally for another 3 runs and the victory in the the bottom of the 7th.

This game was all about heart and spirit. As David Herc Negron said "We take every day as if it's our last. We don't take nothing for granted. We all came out of the gutter here. We're just thankful to have a second chance in life. And you know, we really want our story to be a positive model for the kids growing up now."
Manhattan event coverage

Story: Longball competition
Essay: Old-timers
Essay: Clean Machine

Photo gallery: Warming up
Photo gallery: Winners
Photo gallery: Cool and not cool

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