NEW YORK -- It was the game of the year on the streets of River Avenue near Yankee Stadium. As part of the Play Ball initiative, the New York Emperors Stickball League, along with Major League Baseball and the Yankees, put on a stickball event under the elevated No. 4
NEW YORK -- It was the game of the year on the streets of River Avenue near Yankee Stadium. As part of the Play Ball initiative, the New York Emperors Stickball League, along with Major League Baseball and the Yankees, put on a stickball event under the elevated No. 4 train line on Saturday.
Kids from ages 10-14 were invited to come out to participate in the tournament and enjoy the game from which baseball originated. And what a doozy it was in the championship round. The title game went 10 innings as the Red Legends edged the Navy Blue Pinstripes, 5-4.
The Legends were then honored at Yankee Stadium before the game between the Yankees and Orioles. As a treat, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius came on the field and met the kids.
"It's an experience I want [to have] with my sister," said Aalya Colon, a member of the Legends who played alongside her twin, Alyissa.
But many of the Legends' players said going to Yankee Stadium and meeting Gregorius is not what made their day.
"I got to play with … people on my team, and I also wanted to win because of my dad," Seth Lippod said. "I get to make new friends and have fun. The team is pretty much our family."
The Colon twins were simply happy they were able to play together.
"We are very competitive. We like to play against each other, but we like to play with each other," Aalya said.
Legends head coach Vido Caraldes said that's what playing stickball is all about: being with family and friends.
"I've seen teams made up of brothers and sisters, fathers and sons. I love that aspect of the game," Caraldes said. "You are also competing with friends. You see them every single Sunday. You argue together, laugh together. It makes it a beautiful place to be."
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.