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1999 Little Italy, San Diego
Stickball may have originated in the streets of New York City, but it is starting to become a National game. During 1999 Labor Day weekend, there was the traditional Miami Tournament and this year marked the first First Annual Labor Day Stickball Tournament in San Diego.
Labor Day Stickball Championship
Seven Teams competed, three from SanDiego, one from Florida and three from NYC. The Barrio Gents, a NYC team came away as the tournament champions.
The championship game was particularly exciting. The Barrio Gents led the Bronx Knights 1-0 in the last inning. After bouncing the ball "a thousand times" looking for the perfect bounce, Frankie of the Knights, crushed the ball way over the "deep" fielder's head. He could have walked and still scored the home run. With the score tied the game went into extra innings where the Barrio Gents finally scored a run for the 2-1 win. Joey Rodriguez of the Barrio Gents was named Tournament MVP.
Results of the competition
According to Jim Strickland, the event organizer, the tournament was a tremendous success. "We had about 1,000 people wander through during the weekend and we had 450 spectators at the championship game. We had all 4 local television stations cover the games as well as the local newspapers and some radio stations."
- Barrio Gents
- Bronx Knights
- Florida Kings
- San Diego Knights
- North Park Trophy
- Manhattan Minotaurs
- San Diego Police Dept.
Jim feels the success of the Labor Day tournament will hep establish a stickball presence in San Diego. "We are starting a league as there are many people, young and old alike, who want to play", he said. "Some are former New Yorkers in their 50's and 60's who remember playing back when they were kids. Others are local players who have become enamored with the game."
The league will begin Sunday, October 17th at 2 p.m. on the west side of Mission Bay High School (follow Lee Street south from Garnet until it dead ends). Games will be played once a month on a Sunday afternoon. If you are interested in participating, contact Jim Strickland.
Special Note from Jim
We are also doing a 3 team exhibition "tournament" on Sunday, October 10th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on India Street in Little Italy. This is the same place we held our tournament. Little Italy is having their annual Columbus Day Weekend event. Lots of people (estimated at 20,000+), will be there to enjoy the food and fun. We will have the opportunity to show even more people what stickball is all about.
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