All donations my friends and I make to the cause from now on will be made in Steve’s name. I didn’t know the man but he truly fits the definition of greatness. It would be a fitting tribute at some point to hold a memorial stickball tournament in his name with all proceeds going to support whatever NYFD-related cause streetplay.com decides. Please let me know if this happens so I can help underwrite it.
I didn’t know Steve, but I got the e-mail notification from Streetplay. I got on the list after talking to some of the members who were exhibiting at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. I grew up in Brooklyn and took a walk down memory lane reminiscing about the good times I had playing punchball, skelley, etc. in the early 60’s. One of my strongest memories was hanging out playing my games on the street outside my father’s laundry on Coney Island Avenue. Anytime, a fire engine went by (and plenty went by that street), no matter what we were doing, my playmates and I would jump up and wave vigorously at the firemen. In those days, they stood on the ladder. They would chuckle and wave back. We would wave and wave until they went out of sight. We just admired them so much. My heart goes out to Steve’s family. He must have been a great guy.
I didn’t know Steve as well as many, but even in the relatively few times we met from my involvement with Streetplay, I could tell he was an outstanding man who loved his family and stickball. I think his poem, “Our Game,” says a lot, so I’m putting it here so Streetplay readers who never even met Steve can see what he was about. -Hugh McNally, director of development, Streetplay.com Our Game by Steve J. Mercado I laughed when he spoke about games in the streets For I was a spoiled boy who played games in cleats I played with kids whose names I don’t recall But his friends remain friends who meet each spring through fall He grew up in the Bronx, by standards, quite poor But as a Father he vowed to give us much more As a boy, I saw the twinkle in his eye When he reminisced and told tales of days gone by He spoke of STICKBALL as if it were treasure I had never partaken in the source of his pleasure One Sunday morning I came out to see This game that he spoke of with such passion and glee My only regret is I had not joined him before For our relationship since has become so much more He’s not only my Dad but my best friend as well And I like to thank STICKBALL for this tale I tell I’ve vowed that my children will have much more than I For I will teach them to reach for the sky I pray everyday that my boys will be fine And as happy with their Dad as I am with mine STICKBALL’S the game, and each week we play Running, hitting, laughing, enjoying the day Our families, our friends, we love them the same Look forward to seeing you Sunday to play “OUR GAME”
September 11, 2001 will always be part of history to all of us. But no one will realize the huge loss the game of stickball has taken. Not only have we lost a great competitor but a family member is no longer with us. I personally have lost what I consider a true friend and a great family member of mine. My heart goes out to Jo, Skylar, and Austin. Also Mary & Louie. I have had the honor and privilege to play against and with Steve. I will truly miss him and he will always be part of my thoughts as I play the game in which we shared a mutual love for. Though I know it will never be same again without having him for either a teammate or foe, I know he will always be there competing against us in all our hearts and minds. The outstanding job he has done in not only playing the game but promoting the sport has not yet begun to be recognized by the many who shared to good times for his hard work. I have been fortunate enough to work side by side with Steve in the many tournaments and functions he and myself have done. Let it be known that can never be replaced. But the memories I have will definitely stay etched in my heart and mind forever. For the people who did not know this great man, I can only say you have no idea what kind of heart this man carried. I was lucky enough to know him on and off the field and I can truly say you will be missed in more ways then one. May God be with you. I will never say good-bye but will say until we see each other again. I love you kid. Your brother always Rob
Steve is my cousin. I want to take this opportunity to thank the people at Streetplay.com for this wonderful tribute. I wrote this piece for Steve and for all firefighters. __________________________________ Where Giants Walk Through the course of time… There are those who stand alone Marked forever….. By the courage they have shown God has given them a special place For all eternity Where Giants Walk is where they’ll always be When disaster…. Threatens all that cross its way Come the heroes… Fearing nothing, come what may And when God above has chosen that It’s time to take one home Where Giants Walk is where he’ll always roam There are so many Giants A hero every one A cousin, friend or brother A husband, Dad, or son A Mother, daughter, sister A nephew or a niece May God forever grant eternal peace And the others… Working tirelessly long Give them courage… Give them strength to carry on But if You should need a hero Through the fire they will walk Place your hand upon their soul Bring them proudly to your fold And forever find a place where they can stroll…. Where Giants Walk ******************* Dedicated, with love and respect, to the NYC Firefighters who were lost in the World Trade Center disaster on 9-11-2001, and those who continue to do God
Steve Mercado, a leader in the stickball community, was one of the brave firefighters caught in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Anyone who wishes to share a note about Steve is encouraged to do so. You can also look at Streetplay’s tribute to Steve right here.
To all my fellow New Yorkers, family, friends, and everyone in our melting pot of unified diversity: my love and prayers are with you all. We have always been there for each other, sometimes in spite of each other. We have grown up schooling, “playing” and incorporating our individual and cultural uniqueness with everyone else’s to create “the New Yorker!” We will get through this, because we are the mirror of the world. Everyone in the globe can look at us and seem themselves in the mix. I love you all, and pray for your safety and well-being.
hello, my name is Steve Mercado. Chairman of the Board of The New York Emperors Stickball League. I, along with 2 other gentleman, devised and wrote rules & regulations for our league in the Bronx over 8 years ago and to this day those rules & regulations are the bible of stickball played in the street with 8 men on the field. We are in the process of constructing our web site at bronxpages.com and plan on a huge year 2000. Thx! We have our annual fundraising dance March 18 in Coop City.