Tradition and tribute
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
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
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.