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2002 Mercado Memorial Day Stickball Tournament
May 25, 2002, Bronx, NY
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Mercado Tournament: Section guide

• 2002 Tournament home
• Opening day photos
• Tournament Results

Related Streetplay sections
• Stickball home
• Steve Mercado tribute
• Stickball Hall of Fame 2002 Induction

Discussion areas
• Stickball discussion
• Steve Mercado discussion
• Bronx discussion

Notable links
• Yahoo! map: Stickball Blvd.
• NYESL official site

Tradition and tribute

Jennifer Lippold, opening ceremony M.C.
Click for bigger picture
Jennifer Lippold, NYESL member, was the M.C. for the opening ceremonies.
The annual Memorial Day Stickball Tournament held on Stickball Boulevard in the southeast Bronx took on a different and more serious tone this year as the opening ceremony paid tribute to Steve Mercado, who had organized the event in years past. Steve, a member of the FDNY, was sadly lost in the World Trade Center attack on 9/11/01. The opening ceremony honoring him was presented by the New York Emperors Stickball League (NYESL), of which Steve had been president.

Not only was the event itself renamed to be the "Mercado Memorial Day Stickball Tournament," but it was announced by Bronx borough president Adolfo Carrion that Stickball Blvd. will be also be known as "Steve Mercado Way." Additionally, May 25th was officially proclaimed "Steve Mercado Day" in the borough of the Bronx.

As the ceremonies closed, a mural based on Streetplay's own tribute to Steve (click here to see it) was unveiled. The mural, a permanent installation on a building adjoining Stickball Boulevard, was realized by the graffiti artist group, Tats Cru. The mural depicts Steve playing stickball on the National Mall in Washington, DC, during last year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival (see our coverage), adjacent to a poem Steve himself penned about his love of the game.

The mural is open to the public and can be viewed at any time (see this Yahoo! map for directions--opens in new window). If you can't visit the mural in person, please take a look at our opening ceremony photo gallery, which includes not only the mural but also other images of the day's events. And finally, make sure to see our coverage of the competition.

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