Stickball: A Tournament of Champions

by Pat Gunther

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As the summer creeps closer, all the students at RFH get ready to partake in their favorite summer activities. Whether it is going to the beach with friends or playing a round of golf, everyone has something they love to do during our three month break. I n the past several years, however, one particular event has been a highlight of nearly every male’s summer.  The event I’m talking about, of course, is Kevin Alter’s annual Stickball tournament.  Held every year during the summer, Alter’s stickball tournament brings more than forty people for an all-day spectacle.

The infamous Spalding Pinky

Stickball was first played in the Rumson-Fair Haven area a couple of years ago in Kevin Alter’s front yard. The game is played exactly like baseball, only with slight changes. The bats are made of wood but are much thinner, while the ball is a Spalding pinky. The small, pink, rubber ball flies off the bat, making it extremely difficult to catch. Catching the pinky requires years of practice, and has only been truly mastered by few people.

Teams, traditionally made up of four people, practice all spring for the mid-summer classic. As the tournament inches closer, Kevin Alter sets the final lineups for each team and collects the fee to enter the tournament. Each team is charged a $ 25 fee with all proceeds going to the Homes for Troops charity. The players come early in the morning the day of the tournament and leave in the evening, enjoying a full spread of food and a day of stickball with their friends.

This year, however, the tournament will be a little different. Alter will switch the charity  to the Randy Foye Foundation (randyfoye.org). The $25 includes an Alter’s Stickball Tournament t-shirt and a day of free meals and fun with your friends. Since everyone involved in the stickball tournament is already in college, or will be leaving after this summer, the 2011 Stickball tournament will be one of the most interesting thus far.

Whether it’s playing the game or sitting outside on a beautiful day, stickball appeals to people of all interests. Even if you’re not into playing the stickball, the games, which are held almost daily, will be fun no matter what. So even if you don’t play in the tournament, make sure you stop by and play at least one game in Pookie’s front yard in your high school career, because you’re guaranteed to have a fun experience.

Check out past years’ fun at: Alter’s Stickball

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