Long Island Whalers Win Local Stickball League’s Title Match

The Long Island Whalers won this year’s stickball league title.

On April 5, Sean Siegrist of the Long Island Whalers went 4-for-4, drove in one run and scored three runs, including the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning in the championship game of the 2021-22 Wycliffe Stiffs Stickball League, giving the Whalers a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over the Hoboken Zephyrs. It was the fourth league championship title by the Whalers in the 20-year history of the league. The game was played at Village Park on Pierson Road in Wellington.

For the Whalers to win, they rallied with two runs in the top of the eighth and one run in the top of the ninth to tie the Zephyrs, 5-5. Then the Whalers scored the go-ahead and winning run in the top of the 10th when rookie Steve Girshek drove in Siegrist with a double, giving the Whalers a 6-5 lead. Long Island then held Hoboken scoreless in the bottom of the 10th inning to secure the league championship title.

In the top of the first inning, the Whalers took an early 1-0 lead when Jay Schlesinger and Siegrist hit a pair of back-to-back two-out doubles. The Zephyrs responded with two runs in the bottom of the first when Mike Schweiger, Len Keilin and Jeff Potok all hit doubles. Schweiger scored off Keilin’s double and Potok drove in Keilin.

Hoboken extended its lead with a run in the bottom of the third and two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, giving the Zephyrs a 5-1 lead after four innings. Then, Long Island began chipping away at the lead by scoring one run in the fifth, followed by those final three game-tying runs in the last two innings of the game.

Ross Ginsberg, the Whalers’ winning captain, led by example by going 2-for-4 in the game, while teammate Girshek stroked three doubles as he went 3-for-4. For Hoboken, its batting star was Keilin, who hit three doubles as he went 3-for-3. Both Potok and losing captain Stan Ginsberg were 2-for-3 in the championship finale.

The top four fielders in the game were Steve Gustman and Potok for Hoboken, while Elliot Thau and Sandy Camras were the top fielders for the Whalers. Camras caught the ball for the final out of the game.

The umpires for the game were stickball veterans Art Spector and Allen Lebowitz.

Long Island earned its spot in the championship game with a 9-3 semifinal win against the Brooklyn Bums, while Hoboken won its semifinal against the Bronx Clippers, 4-2.

Plans are currently underway for the 2022-23 season, which will start later this year.