Bringing back a popular game from yesteryear, MCU Park will once again play host to the annual Stickball Hall of Fame Game and Stickball Day in Brooklyn U.S.A. on Sunday, July 14 before the Brooklyn Cyclones game.
Now in its fourth year, the tradition that has grown among players and fans will have special meaning as this year the honoree will be former stickball player Raymond Francis Goffio. Goffio died last summer, according to Jason Cusato, organizer of the event and director of the documentary “When Broomsticks were Kings,” which pays tribute to the game
“Ray was not only one of our teammates on the Brooklyn stickball team, he was also the guy that helped set this whole thing up with the Cyclones,”said Cusato. “When we had the tournament in Coney Island, we honored him a little bit. This year we hope to do more. I think they’re going to do a moment of silence for him.”
Cusato also said that Goffio had played a big role in creating the Wall of Remembrance at MCU Park.
“I knew him pretty much my whole life,” Cusato added. “We grew up in the same neighborhood, Windsor Terrace. I’m really happy that they’re going to be honoring him, not only us but the Cyclones. It’s real nice to be recognizing him.”
The documentary will be screened as part of the event, to jog memories of simpler times for older fans, as well as to create new ones.
“One of the biggest things is to get the game out there,” Cusato said. “Every year, we are getting younger kids involved, which is really cool. Every year, it seems like more stickball games happen throughout the summer.
“When we first started, we played once or twice and now we play around nine times,” Cusato added. “It’s really starting to pick up.”
This year, the Brooklyn Stickball Team will take on the Sheepshead Bay Stickball Team.
“A guy named Nick reached out to me after seeing an article and said he had his own team in the neighborhood,’ Cusato said. “These guys are younger, in their twenties. We’ve played together ever since.”
Participants in Saturday’s game will range from eight years old to 70.
Gates open at 2 p.m. with the stickball game and screening as the gates open. The Cyclones game is at 4 pm. For tickets, visit www.brooklyncyclones.com.