SBI would like to Congratulate Big Apple Manager Andre of Empire who has championed a wining good softball cause. A few months ago, he broke the story about the closing of the Queensboro Oval , under 59th Street Softball field.
http://softballinsider.blogspot.com/2010/02/softball-injustice-fight-power.html Meaning The Sutton East Tennis Bubble had procured a signed contract with the City to keep the area under the 59TH Street Bridge as a Pay-to-Play Tennis Facility year round. Meaning: No more softball field.
The following is Andre account of the ensuing saga and his honorable victory:
"Now we all know that the field there is a bit of an eye sore and proportioned "uniquely" but the real issue was this was a public park and since when do we have a surplus of parks that we can just be selling them off? More importantly (and possibly selfishly) they're plenty of leagues and players that would be displaced and the ripple effect would more than likely bring more crowding to nearby Heckscher and Dewitt's fields. So during and after the meeting Andre and his brother began to realize that this contract the bubble had with the city wasn't as binding as they had feared and that if the Parks Department Commissioner (Adrien Benepe) wanted to throw it away due to public opinion - They could!!!
Following the initial Board Meeting some of the more "feisty" members of the public started gathering and meeting in preparation for the next meeting where the entire situation would be revisited. Andre told District Board Member Judith Schneider, in his closing comments, that "you're going to need a bigger room for the next meeting." Their were a total of three official meetings and he was right as each meeting got bigger and bigger. NY1 covered it along with The Post and The Daily News. A lot of players attended in softball jerseys. Andre even counted a couple of Empire jerseys. I think the final, and largest, meeting was on St. Patty's Day and was a complete slam dunk for the softball community.
Approximately 97% of attending board members, for District 8, voted on behalf of the ball players. Two days later Andre got the shortest and sweetest email in recent memory from a reliable insider: "Bubble coming down." And just like that- after all the months of meetings, emails, flyer's and the like. It was over. We had WON!!!!!
A lot of people helped right this wrong. From his perspective they were: Geoffrey Croft from the "NYC Parks Advocates" who gave them the legal perspective and gave his side some bite.
Ryan Donn from the (defending Champion) Cornell Alumni team-who got the word out to a large alumni audience.
Lee Morgenroth- Empire pitcher.
Graham Naud- who pounded the pavement with Andre hitting up what must have been every single bar/supermarket/boutique up and down the East Side pressing the flesh and passing out flyer's.
Ricky -who kept the story current on his blog. (I didn't do shit)
And Jessica Bondy and Bradley Cohen who maintained such a passion for the cause that they'd be out there right now dismantling the bubble with their bare hands if they could. But they won't have to.
The bubble comes down and goes into storage this Sunday, June 13TH.
2 related links at bottom for verification
Again Andre congrats - well done