HomeWhat's NewSite MapAbout Us
1999 NYC Stickball Classic
The GamesNewsPhotosStoriesDiscussionYouth ProgramsLinksThe Streetplay Store

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

Subscribe to Streetplay Today

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

Bronx finals & Curtis Sliwa's stickball analysis

The winning run
Click for bigger picture
The winning run
When it comes to talking, Curtis Sliwa is a professional. Players and fans attending any one of the Stickball Classic games are treated to a barrage of jokes and routines about the games, the players, the ethnic composition of the neighborhood and the style of play. It's a good show, but Curtis, who takes great pride in his role of "Stickball Commissioner," is also an astute observer of the game. Throughout the Bronx championship, in which the Latinos emerged victorious with a tie breaking run in the bottom of the 7th, Sliwa commented that we were seeing stickball at its finest. After the game, Streetplay asked Sliwa to elaborate.

"This was a classic game right from the beginning," Sliwa said. "The captains requested that we play by the neighborhood rules of 1 strike per at bat, and we agreed. The teams were composed of players, highly regarded by their peers, and their abilities were clearly demonstrated in the exceptional level of play.

"As you watched the players, you'd notice that most were not hitting for the fences but were actually swinging with a even or slightly downward motion. Batters were looking to place their shots within the field. Some of the players would bounce the ball, fake the first stride and not swing, so they could see the defensive alignments.

"Today's game also a generational battle. The Latinos were composed of young players, with real speed. Their energy was hyped up and their game included some of the trash talk, relective of this generation. The Bronx Knights were older, cooler, calmer, and more "professional." I'm sure they'd engage in trash talk when younger but now, they were focused on the game at hand. It was close, but at least today, energy and youth reined victorious over maturity."

During the game, a major argument broke out, when the Latinos were deprived a run because a player had tagged up too early. During the height of the debate, Sliwa commented that "this was the way NY stickball should be played." We asked him to elaborate on this point.

"This was a tough game," Sliwa said, "and passions were high, but this was nothing compared to some of the knock down drag out fights I've seen. The real problem was when the betting started and big money was on the line. You might have bookies taking bets and giving different odds throughout the game. While the players might be playing for the love of the game, a call could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That's when it could get really nasty. The arguments we had today were just good clean fun."
Bronx event coverage

Story: Longball competition
Close-up: The Latinos, Bronx champions
Essay: Einstein's team
Essay: The Emperors
Essay: Curtis Sliwa speaks

Photo gallery: Batters up
Photo gallery: In the field
Photo gallery: The teams
Photo gallery: The fans

Bronx event coverage home Home | What's New | Sitemap | About Us | Contact us
The Games | News | Photos | Stories | Youth Programs | Discussion | Links | Streetplay Store