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Mayor’s Cup organizers want true city title game

Andrew Gould looked onto the MCU Park field and smiled.

There were PSAL stars warming up on one side and CHSAA standouts doing the same on the other, preparing for the first ever Mayor’s Cup all-star game between the two leagues, a first in New York City.

The day’s festivities went on without a hitch, the CHSAA winning the game, 6-5, and Archbishop Stepinac’s Steven Martinez, Aviation’s Chris Dunn, and McClancy’s Lou Perez sharing first-place honors in the home run derby. But that didn’t mean Gould, the Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing for NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, was satisfied.

“Our goal would be to continue this all-star game and have the CHSAA champion play the PSAL champion,” said Gould, one of the event’s chief organizers. “This is a stepping stone. … The goal is to have a real city champion.”

The all-star game came about, Gould said, when a number of people began brainstorming about adding baseball to the collection of Mayor’s Cup events, which already include tennis, track and field, cross-country running, cycling, lacrosse, wrestling, and field hockey. Brooklyn Cyclones general manager Steve Cohen and director of new business development Gary Perone expressed an interest in hosting the game and PSAL director Donald Douglas and CHSAA baseball chairman Wally Stampfel had no objections.

“I think it’s great,” Stampfel said. “Compared to our [own individual] all-star game, It will add much-needed spice.”

As far as an ultimate city title game, the two leagues have been hesitant because they feel it would take away from their respective city championship games. Years ago, they played a final game, CHSAA vs. PSAL, called the Metro Bowl. Gould said it wasn’t feasible this spring because there wasn’t enough time to plan the game, but Stampfel isn’t sure much will change in the next few years.

“I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future,” he said.

He isn’t alone. James Madison coach Vinny Caiazza doesn’t think it would make sense either.

“I’m not crazy about it,” he said. “I like this better. Teams are basically done after the city championship.”

The players feel differently. After Huguenot neighbors Tottenville and St. Joseph by the Sea won the PSAL and CHSAA titles, respectively, several players from both teams talked about what it would be like to play one another. Lehman star Tyler Gurman, who led the Tigers to the PSAL title game, echoed that sentiment.

“I don’t know why we can’t have it,” he said. “I can’t see any negatives.”

Said Bishop Ford coach Mike Hanrahan: “I don’t know the politics and the logistics behind it, but it would be nice to bring that back.”

The organizers of the Mayor’s Cup, anyway, were happy to get the first step accomplished. For years, the two leagues have been opposed to any kind of joint venture.

“This is a great start,” Perone said. “It’s obviously something to think about in the future.”

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