The 2002 Labor Day Cocoa Tournament has just past, and since I spent the weekend missing and thinking about my lost friend I thought I’d post something up here to say hello. When I was 7 I met Stevie for the first time. I thought I had seen him before on Oprah and I had to go and ask. Of course it wasn’t him on TV but that conversation started a friendship with my family and Stevie for years to come. One year they even talked him into playing with us (the Heat), it was a great tournament. Steve I just came on here to let you know that we miss you and are thinking of you. Thanks for looking down at us and watching over us. Our prayers go out to Jo and the boys. Love, Angela
For almost a year my heart has been aching with sorrow. A great man was lost a year ago. He was a loving husband, father, son and friend. I’ve known Steve for over 30 years going way back to third grade. Steve and I hit it off as best friends then because of his cool drawings of Godzilla. Later on during our teenage years we competed in baseball and many other sports. This made us bond even closer. However, what I do remember Steve for were for his values and perservance to always do what was right. I was fortuntate to have spend some time with Steve and Jovy when they came to San Diego for the Labor Day Tournament. I can’t help but remember that day and only think of Steve and praying for his safety, but god had other plans for him. Let me say that not only did I lose a best friend but I lost a brother!! God Bless, Steve, Jovy, Skylar, Austin & Mr & Mrs Mercado Love, Orlando Jusino
Hello Don’t know if many remember me, but I am Pete’s x girlfriend Maritza. Just have been wanting to give my sympathy to his family. My heart goes out to you. He was a good stickball player and fun to hang out with. I never thought i would know someone in a tragedy as this one, but when i found out about Steve my insides went numb. But i believe he was just to good to be on this earth and our Lord just wanted him all to himself. God Bless You Maritza
On behalf of my husband, Joe Vattimo (formerly of the San Diego Knights), I am sending out this message. First and foremost, May God bless the Mercado family – our hearts reach out to them and we lift them in prayer. Joe, who most of you know as “Yo Joey V” was very ill for quite some time after his trip to New York several years ago. He is doing so much better now – Praise God! We moved to the Portland area of Oregon in July 2001 and are finally getting settled in. We would like to start up a Stickball Team here (with me working for the Fire Department here, we can generate a lot of interest!). We could use some help on how to get started, so any and all help is greatly appreciated. I personally, want to send Yo Joey V back out on the circuit! He misses all of you and spends alot of time in those “Glory Days” he spent in stickball. We look forward to hearing from everyone!
Joyce, We don’t know, though lots of people have asked us. If you do find out, please send us the info to share with other people. Thanks – Mick
I just read today’s NY Daily News and the story about the push to re-name Stickball Blvd after my cousin, Steve. I just wanted to thank all of you from the league who are involved in this drive, as well as Joviana, and the Bronx Borough President. Whether the Parks & Recreation Dept sees fit to pass this bill or not, you should all be proud of your efforts to honor Steve. Although I’m 7 years older than he is, he is still my hero, and I thank you all. God Bless You.
I’ve been doing a documentary about stickball and Steve has been and will always be a major “star.” His generosity and love of the game touched me deeply. What a great, great guy. He will be missed very much. Sonia Gonzalez
My husband Tim and I met Steve in 1987 at a company we all worked for named TIAA-CREF in Mid-town. Steve was one of the first few friends I made arriving in NY from PR, back when his hair was longer than mine. He was so thoughtful and so great to talk to. I remember the day I told him I was getting married and he was just full of advise, just like a Dad. Then a few years past and Steve called me to tell me that not only had he cut his hair short, had become a firefighter, but that he was also getting married. He was so happy and so excited about it all. Running into him in our neighborhood in the Bronx was always great. We would catch up about each others spouses, kids & jobs, all of which we were so happy about. Then in 1999 my husband Tim past away of natural causes and I decided to move back home to PR. Destiny would have Steve be the last person I ran into at our local YMCA. As I told him what had happened to Tim he was in shock and was again full of advise on how I should continue living a full life. Now I’m in shock, but I take this time to send the words Steve said to me on that day back to his wife, “Never let those kids forget the incredible, amazing man they had for a father”. Tim & Steve: I miss you both. Love, Judy
Wow….where do I begin? I suppose by saying that I really miss seeing you around, Steve! Steve and I went to Norman Thomas High School together. We also grew up in the Bronx together (I still live in Pelham Parkway – He, in Castle Hill)…As things in life turn out…our paths crossed again as adults. Steve’s Firehouse was just two blocks away from my job! One day, as I was walking to lunch, I hear someone calling me..I didn’t recognize him but he began to talk about Norman Thomas to me..then I realized that Steve Mercado had gone from high school nerd to rugged firefighter! Thereafter, I’d see him often…in front of the Plaza Hotel..coming back from runs, doing inspections at my office building, etc. I felt honored to be his friend. I had planned to go to the high school reunion with him. He was kind enough to offer me a ride as I had no way of getting there, while he also stated that I’d have to find a way home with someone else as he planned to stay long at the reunion. He was a real family man to his wife and children. When the tragedy of 9/11 occurred I lost a fireman I was seeing as well as his brother and another close friend. I didn’t think anything would happen to Steve. He did, after all, work around Lincoln Center, and I assumed during those moments that those closest to WTC would perish (like my friends whose firehouse was in Brooklyn). I was shocked and saddened, therefore, to hear of Steve’s untimely death. Recently, several people from my job, and I went to his job and prayed. Afterwards some of his ‘brothers’ invited us in for coffee and desert and it was nice to share ‘Steve’ stories. My heart goes out to his parents, his wife and his children. Deb
I am a new Fire Fighter and I worked with Steve Mercado in Eng.40 in Manhattan for 14 weeks where I was doing my training. In that short time Steve took me in like his little brother. We were the only Puerto Ricans in the Firehouse at the time. and I worked in the same group as he did (16).So he instantly made me his assistant cook. Jo,I don’t know if you knew that your husband could cook a mean Spanish dinner, but he did. The only mistake he made was making him his assistant. He put me in charge of making the tostones and I over fried them, and To make a long story short, all the brothers in the firehouse made frequent visits to the bathroom all night. He immediately invited me to one of his stickball games in the Bronx and I was so impressed. It was my first time ever seeing a stickball game. I’m a handball player and like handball, stickball is generally a New York sport. But Steve had a passion and a vision for stickball and was determined to spread the game through out the U.S.A. and those that knew him know that I’m not exaggerating. I too, believe in his vision and in a small way became a part of it. He asked me to draw a logo for the kids stickball league his son was in. and it was my privilege. WHO IS STEVE MERCADO? An athlete, a Firefighter, a leader, a visionary, a proud father, a husband who loved his wife, a comedian and a brilliant man, a friend and most importantly he’s my role model, and a true Hero. Steve, I miss you and I’ll never forget you, My brother.