Emanuel Castellano watched the torrential downpour splash inside the Yankee Stadium dugout and hoped his chance to play on the hallowed field would not turn into a washout.
The Grand Street Campus pitcher was certainly pleased that the rainy weather lifted on Monday afternoon, even though the sophomore was part of the Public School Athletic League all-star team that lost 9–0 to its more-experienced Chicago counterparts in a matchup held in the iconic Bronx stadium.
Despite the loss, Castellano enjoyed what he described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play at Yankee Stadium.
“It was incredible,” he said. “It was a good experience just coming out and playing a team from another state.”
Castellano patiently waited after an hour-and-46-minute delay to pitch a scoreless fourth inning in a battle for bragging rights between the two cities. The all-star matchup was revived only recently after the annual tradition was ended a few decades ago.
Telecommunications coach Ed D’Alessio, who guided the Bay Ridge school to its first city baseball championship in June, was tapped to lead a young PSAL squad mostly composed of juniors and sophomores.
There was a good chance the game would have to be postponed if the rain had continued to delay what was supposed to be an 11 am start. The Chicago all-stars had scheduled a 5 pm flight back to the Windy City, but the Yankee Stadium grounds crew did a good job getting the field in shape to begin the game as the players waited.
“I got tired a little bit. I took a little nap on the stairs,” Castellano said. “Once the rain cleared up, I got a bit of energy pumping, but we didn’t get the job done.”
An experienced Chicago team of mostly seniors scored twice in the second off New Utrecht hurler Andrew Nathan. Chicago’s Jeremiah Figueroa knocked a two-run double and Reggie Rogers had an RBI single in the top of the third as the visitors scored six times to take an 8–0 lead. Anthony Nunez of Telecommunications got the city’s only hit. The poor showing put only a slight damper on the day.
“It was a great experience,” D’Alessio said. “All the coaches and the players just wanted to get a chance to be on the field. Everything worked out great, but we just lost.”
The talk is to hold the game in Chicago next year at Wrigley Field, according to PSAL Executive Director Donald Douglas. Castellano, the Wolves hurler who went 8–1 this season on the mound, wants to snag the bragging rights back for New York if given a chance in his senior year.
“I would love to go over there and get the win and bring it back home,” Castellano said.Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewsk