Bronx, NY—Although the Yankees were playing 3,000 miles away in Seattle on Wednsday, thousands of baseball fans were Yankee Stadium watching exciting action on the field.
The afternoon at the most celebrated baseball stadium in the world began with the PSAL AA Baseball Championship, the first game of PSAL championship doubleheader.
The first encounter of the day at Yankee Stadium was a one-sided contest won by #12 ranked East Side Community Tigers (16-3). The Tigers defeated the #2 ranked Senators of the High School of American Studies at Lehman College (18-3) by a score of 7-0. The star of the game was timothy Lopez, a junior, who excelled on the mound and at bat. He pitched a complete game, 2 hit shutout while getting three hits and driving in three runs.
The second game was between two of New York City’s perennial high school standout teams, #3 ranked George Washington (21-2) and top ranked Tottenville (21-2). The teams last met for the championship in 2011. The toughly contested game was an exciting and interesting pitchers’ duel.
According to many observers senior Wesley Rodriguez of the G.W. Trojans is expected to be drafted by the third round in Monday’s MLB’s First-Year Player Draft. Rodriguez scored the only run of the 1-0 victory of the Trojans in the fourth frame after doubling and scoring on a single by Leadry Castro.
In the bottom of the final frame, 7th, with one out and two men on base, Rodriguez came to the mound. After surrendering an infield single, the senior retired the next two batters for the win.
Rodriguez is considered the #1 prospect in the metropolitan area. This season, he compiled a 7-0 mark and 85 strikeouts in 38 innings. He yielded only seven hits and not an earned run. His veteran coach, Steve Mandl, who coached Manny Ramirez two decades ago, commented on his senior, “He’s the best pitcher I’ve had and one of the best three hitters I’ve had.”
The third game of the day was a celebrity softball game hoisted by Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to honor recently fallen NYPD officers Brian Moore, Rafeal Ramos and Wenjian Liu and to raise funds for the Silver Shield Foundation, founded by George M. Steinbrenner more than 30 years ago, the NYPD Widows’ and Children’s Fund and the families of the three deceased officers.
A wide variety of sports celebrities were on the field for the softball contest. Looking familiar in their baseball uniforms were former Yankees Joe Torre (#6), Willie Randolph (#30) and Bernie Williams (#51). Rival NFL coaches Tom Coughlin (Giants) and Rex Ryan (Bills) posed for photos together. New St. Johns’ men’s basketball coach Chris Mullin discussed his new job with a group of reporters. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were on the field.
Christie, at third base, was the unofficial MVP of the contest. He told reporters, who questioned his presence in New York, before the contest, that this event was important to the entire region and that he was proud to be at the Stadium for it.
Before the softball game, New York Yankees COO Lonn Trost spoke of the Yankee Stadium as a public trust whose facilities should be used for such an important charitable endeavor and a place for future MLB players should have the thrill of playing.