08/01/2011 3:43 PM
Monday, August 1, 2011 is a day that will be remembered at Yankee Stadium for a very long time. Not because Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit or because Mariano Riviera closed out another game, but because 14 kids from the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance had a walk-off win to put them in the RBI World Series.
It all came down to the bottom of the seventh inning. The GNYSAA fans were restless in the stands hoping to get some base runners to give the players a chance to tie it up and level out the playing field again. The Jersey City Yankees had been able to keep the bases clear for most of the game and were ready for the next three outs to end this game. Andrew Gallagher led off the bottom of the seventh with a single that was met with some excited fans. No outs and the tying run was standing on first base. Coach Manning clapped his hands at third base and gave some reassuring words to Jon DeMarte as he approached the plate. DeMarte hit a shot to right field, putting runners on second and third. Steven Goldstein came into run for DeMarte and the Jersey City Yankees had a meeting on the mound. No outs, runners on second and third, Yankee Stadium and a trip to the RBI World Series was on the line. Joe Arena stepped up to the plate and ripped a single between the shortstop and third baseman. Both runners took off and Coach Manning waved Goldstein home. Gallagher scored to tie the game and Goldstein slid into home to win the game. A walk-off win at Yankee Stadium for the boys of Greater New York. “It’s a game these boys will always remember. I’ve done a lot in my career, but this took me a back a little bit. It was an amazing feeling to see the excitement of the players, and to be able to share it with them was a special experience.” Paul Busciolano, Vice President of GNYSAA wasn’t able to attend the game, was kept up to date via text messages. “When I got the message that we won I yelled out ‘YES!’ I was so overcome with happiness that I had tears running down my face. I was so happy for the boys, the coaches, Dharyl J. Russell, Ciro Ambrosio and Shaun Manning, the organization, but most importantly Vic Feld. He made a promise a year ago as the President of GNYSAA, and to see it come to fruition after all the hard work and time was worth it.”
On August 9th, 14 kids and 4 coaches will board a plane to Minnesota to represent the Northeast against some very tough competition. This year will not only hold the winner from the other regions of the United States, but also Team Venezuela. This will be the first time a team will be coming in from South America. The competition will be tough, but GNYSAA has proved that they are determined and ready to show the rest of the country that the kids from the Northeast are ready to play.