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Columbus Day Tournament

• 2000 Columbus Day Tournament
• Emperors Memorial Day Tournament

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Fox film crew on hand for tournament.
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The Youngbloods are featured in a Stickball piece for the Fox Sports Network.

The Emperors will have a junior division for the 2001 season.
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Junior coaching sessions and exhibition games were held as part of the Columbus Day Tournament. The Emperors will have a junior division for the 2001 season.
Youngbloods victors in year's final stickball tournament

The Youngbloods won the 2000 Columbus Day tournament
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The Youngbloods won the 2000 Columbus Day tournament and winter bragging rights for most tournament wins.
At 8:00 Sunday morning on the Columbus Day weekend, a Fox Sports Network film crew arrived at the house of Tito Rivera, captain of the Youngbloods. Working on a short piece for "Going Deep" to be be broadcast October 29th, producer Mason Funk wanted to focus on one team's experience in preparing for and playing in a stickball tournament. The Youngbloods were chosen not only because they are one of the City's top teams, but also because they are a very tight-knit group composed of family members and close friends.

Whether the Youngbloods were pumped by the idea of being filmed, or just ready to play, the producer couldn't have scripted a better day. After several hard fought matches, the Youngbloods emerged as the victors of the NY Emperors League Columbus Day tournament, the closing event for the 2000 Stickball Season. Not only did the team's win provide the ideal story for the film crew, but it will also be a major asset in winter bragging rights about who is this year's top stickball team.

Determining the top stickball team is no easy matter. There are several different leagues and a number of major tournaments held throughout the season. The Youngbloods won the NY Emperors Playoffs in late August and were finalists in both the Stickball World Series earlier in the summer and the Memorial Day tournament. Still, the Repo Men were the champs of the World Series, the Bad Boys were winners of the East Harlem Stickball League competition, the Latin Dukes won the Memorial Day Event and the Bronx Emperors were the winners of the 2000 Stickball Classic. Each of these teams could make a strong case for why they should be considered to Stickball's best.

Most of the tournaments go for several days, but the Columbus Day event is a single day affair, with one loss bringing elimination. Having defeated the Emperors 1-0 in the semi-finals, the Youngbloods entered the final match against the Bad Boy, Manhattan's top team. The Bad Boys held a 1-0 lead until the 5th inning when the Youngbloods erupted for 3 runs, a two run shot by Ed Brunson, the tournament MVP followed by a one run blast by team captain Tito Rivera. The come from behind victory capped by a great shot of Eddie sliding across home plate for the go-ahead run gave the Fox Network Crew got all the drama they needed for a great sports segment.

In addition to the adult competition, two Junior teams, the Little Rascals and the East Bronx Bombers played another exhibition game as part of the event. The strong turnout of youngsters has encouraged Emperor League president Steve Mercado and Bomber coach Edgar Guerra to commit themselves to starting an Emperor's junior division next spring. Old-time stickball players often express the hope that stickball will be reintroduced to the next generation. The plans for a new junior division league must rank as one of the high points of this season. If thar really gets going, we'll see some cause for true bragging rights. Home | What's New | Sitemap | About Us | Contact us
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