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Class of 2002
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2002 Stickball Hall of Fame Inductions

Luis Mercado, Sonny Hernandez, Rusty Torres, Edwin Matos, Carlos Diaz, Andy Rivera, Sam Marquez Click for bigger picture
Luis Mercado, Sonny Hernandez, Rusty Torres, Edwin Matos, Carlos Diaz, Andy Rivera and Sam Marquez at this year's award ceremonies.

 


Kids line up to take a shot whacking the ball before the ceremonies. Click for bigger picture
Kids line up to take a shot whacking the ball before the ceremonies.
Like many of the other public occasions held in NYC this Memorial Day weekend, the 2002 Stickball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were marked by moments of deep and heartfelt emotion. Six new inductees (see bios) were honored, including former Yankee Rusty Torres and Steve Mercado, president of the Emperors Stickball League and one of the brave firefighters lost at the World Trade Center. Steve's presence was felt throughout the ceremony, from opening commencement (marked by a NYC firefighters honor guard), through short film by Sonia Gonzales entitled "Heroes," which touchingly captured Steve's love for the game of stickball and his commitment to family and community. Streetplay founder Mick Greene had the honor of being the speaker to officially honor Steve into the Hall.

The event, which was hosted by the Museum of the City of New York, also honored a number of other citizens who perished on 9/11, including firefighter Keith Alexander Glascoe. Keith was the son of Ben Glascoe, a former community affairs director for Con Edison and a long time supporter of stickball. Keith and the entire squad of Ladder Company 21 were lost in the tragedy.

As with previous induction ceremonies, this year's event began with a stickball clinic for neighborhood kids. Old timers offered basic tips and then enjoyed watching the youngsters take their turns whacking the ball and learning to play this traditional sport. As one old timer remarked "Stickball is a much better for the kids than playing video games, watching TV or being involved in some of the other types of activities prevalent among today's youth."

It sure is a lot more fun.

See the Class of 2002


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