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1999 East Harlem
It came down to extra innings, in the final game of three, but the Bad Boys emerged as the 1999 East Harlem National Stickball League Champions.
The Bad Boys had taken first place in this years regular season play. They also emerged as one of the two winners in the playoffs, facing the second place team, the Old Timers. In today's match, it was clear why these two teams led the league.
The East Harlem League is made up of ten teams and is one of the few places that combines two main Stickball styles, pitching in and hitting by yourself (fungo). Each week, teams will play double headers, one game of each style.
The first game was hit by yourself (fungo) style and the Old Timers emerged with a 2-0 victory. The go- ahead run was provided by excellent base running by Albie Santiago Jr. who scored from first base on an outfield drive. In the second game (pitching in), the Bad Boys rebounded behind their pitcher Alfred Jackson and a home run by Cesear Linares for a 2-0 win. Two tight, hard fought stickball games by two great teams, and here it was, down to the final game.
League Commissioner Mo Marrero had decided that if the championship series went to three games, the Bad Boys would get to call how the last game would be played. They chose fungo, but might have had second thoughts as the game progressed. The Old Timers went into the last inning with a 2-0 lead. With two outs, the Bad Boys rallied, slapping four hits to tie the game at 2-2. In the top of the eighth, the Old Timers scored again, but the Bad Boys were not to be denied. Capitalizing on a mixture of hits and fielding mishaps, the Bad Boys emerged with a 4-3 victory.
John Stephens, a senior member of the Old Timers summed it up. "You hate to lose, but on any given day, anything can happen. We had a couple of bad breaks and they played a great game. They're the Champs." Al Jackson, the Bad Boys pitcher reflected "We started in the league about five years ago and have improved each year. This year we really put it all together."
Congratulations to the Bad Boys winners of the East Harlem National Stickball League regular season and winners of the Championship Series.
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