GVLL vs. Italian Dream Part “Due” Sunday June 24, 10am at JJ Walker
On Friday night GVLL 11/12s tournament team and the Italian Dream, a group of all star players from northern and central Italy who have come together in an Italian born program called “Baseball on the Road,” came to JJ Walker field to play a historic match of GVLL versus Italy!!!
JJ Walker sparkled despite threatening skies…with the back fence of JJ decorated by our banners joined by American and Italian flags, and the infield beautifully groomed, the white foul lines and batter box expertly laid. The stands were packed with GVLL faithful and Italians alike! Our very own coaches/parents Aaron Cohen and Tim Lalumia introduced the players and coaches from both teams, and the kids, in sparkling uniforms lined the baselines while two of the Italian players performed the Italian and American National anthems on flute and violin. It was priceless!
Brad Hoylman, former chair of our Community Board 2 and current candidate for NY State Senate, and adorable toddler Sylvia Verona threw the first pitch, followed by a second “first pitch” by our very own GVLL President John Economou! Aaron and Tim called out “Play Ball” which is how you say it in both English and Italian! The game began, with play by play announcing over the PA system. It was amazing!
Unfortunately, Mother Nature, decided not to let the game continue….it was the bottom of the 1st, Ethan Ehrenberg at bat, Soyer Epstein having just scored on a walk followed by two steals and an error (and an awesome slide) when lightening flashed and thundered clapped and Henry told us all to clear the field. As we headed toward Dunkin Donuts…the skies opened and the field was flooded!!!!
Fortunately our very own (lots of thanks to Greg Epstein, Paul Theisen, Bob Snider and Aaron Cohen) had found us a great place to have dinner (and beers) with our new Italian friends. We headed to BAK restaurant on 11 West 13th for a night of fun…we became friends with our Italian visitors over Korean sliders, tacos, beers, sodas (for the players) and the Yanks vs. Mets on the big screen. It was a magical evening!!!
So…..now that we are good friends….we will continue this match up on Sunday, June 24th…at 10am. Come on down to JJ to watch your GVLL Villagers and the Italian Dream share the joy of the American pastime!!!
Go GVLL! Go Italia!!!
Carin and Greg