The Southern Diamond  •  October 4th, 2018

BROOKLYN – “If I wasn’t the heart and soul of stickball, I wouldn’t be standing here, Pinky Tuscadero. The rest of you can go fuck yourselves,” said a sober Diamond to the only man in the room giving an interview, The Southern Diamond. Unhappy in recent weeks about the apparent line-up change in the Annual North/South classic, Southern Diamond flew to NYC last weekend for a in-person seance with the perennial stickball legend, Original Diamond.

“Before you even get into the bat crashing incident in the 9th inning, stop.”  Diamond was of course referring to his now infamous 9th inning mauling of the DSS bats in the 2017 Blue Gray Game at York Field. Benches cleared, all hell broke loose and Diamond ultimately struck out, prompting some to wonder about his late inning hijinks. “What the fuck is a Blue Gray Game if nobody breaks shit, gets a piss ticket, shits himself, throws up or steals three beers from his teammates? You do what you need to do to win and if it doesn’t work, you try something more asinine the next year.”

No one will be missed more than Original Diamond this Saturday when the North visits the now renamed PF CHANG SUPERDOME for the third time in six years. Chief inspiration to the well known DSS philosophy “We Don’t Want to Expand, We Want to Implode,” OG Diamond shows up week in and week out with the kind of heart and fuckoffery 90% of stickball players in the world wish they could have for one day. “The man played with a shit bag attached to his stomach for six months before winning his first championship in the YFS,” said the never relevant Cobble Hill Boy (OG Blue Gray) from the headquarters of his short term rental office in Brooklyn.

The 6th Annual Blue/Gray Game this week will also be missing The Minister (aka El Wrencher) or, as Katfish Global affectionately calls him, “Stickball Dad.”  Busy planning the 1st Annual Galactics in Baja, Mexico (March 29-31, 2019), El Wrencher sent a handwritten resignation letter to the DSS Brass in late July explaining his heartbreaking absence due to the perils of world wide expansion. After a series of heated early Summer inter-league exchanges about the state of DSS/YFS relations, many in Southern circles began to wonder about the possibility that El Wrencher was attempting to John Mcgraw the old Mason Dixon Mambo™. But after returning from a field scouting trip in Shanghai, the Wrencher mailed a few handwritten Chinese recipes to put on the spanking new PF Changs app menu for the upcoming holiday season, the DSS faithful had a good laugh of forgiveness and raised an early season postgame glass to the most decorated man in stickball history. “I’m gonna miss that fucker,” said Silky. “As a man with several children, I get it. Fatherhood ain't no joke. I admire that he knows his kids. I wish I knew where half of my children lived. “

With Lone Wolf and Local Boy in max contract negotiations with the DSS, the YFS quickly scanned down the line of available Brooklyn OG’s, selecting 8 Ball as the top replacement.  Famous for his 3rd inning disappearance in the middle of the second game in the 2016 Katmitt&Stinkfish Classic (at least three people saw him enter an Uber with local Sketcher reps en route to Bourbon Street), 8 Ball is about as original and head case as it gets in stickball.  Rounding out their new additions are DSS beloved stickball poet, Stinkmit. Also traveling South for moral support for the second time in three years is the ½ ring superstar of the YFS, Rizz Everywhere.

Dom The Deal, another Northern player held in great affection by the gentlemen from The Dirty will be playing his second Blue/Gray in the South and his 3rd contest overall.  No small feat for a man who missed last year's game due to mysterious circumstances. The “back door man” of the YFS was “on assignment” last May when the South broke serve at York. But after Atlantic City photos of him and a visibly inebriated Nicholas Cage surfaced, he was served a four game suspension by the YFS, prompting many to question his commitment to the his league in general and the rivalry in particular.

Soy Peligroso, apparently having one of the best seasons of his career, will be making the journey.  Soy is easily one of the greatest players in stickball history, boasting an ability to demoralize opponents at will. One of the most celebrated ballers in the YFS and current co-leader of the Brooklyn Chapter, Soy is as OG as it gets.  One of two players traveling to NOLA from the YFS’s original Squad, Soy has also spent much of the last several interstate meetings complaining about the lack of respect the DSS has for the YFS, earning his league the appropriate moniker of wYneFS™.  “I have deep respect for the YFS. Always have. Love their hats. But there is a difference between respect and admiration. Just cause I respect you, don’t mean I look up to you. I admire what Hogan did to the Giant in Wrestlemania III. I respect the YFS,” quipped a smirking Double Barrel at 45 Tchoup.

Many in the DSS have stood dumbfounded as this barrage of chatter about respect that has been hurled across state lines since this Southern campaign began. From its inception, the gentlemen of the DSS have always been amazed by tales of a game that was protected from the boredom of the instafeed, stewarded by the courage of dip shit characters.  The first legend that ever made its way South was that some guy from the New York Times wanted to write an article about the YFS and it was emphatically denied by the YFS Mothership. Whether lore or fact, the DSS didn’t care. Here was something a bunch of underdog Dixie cockroach upstarts could learn from. As soon as the YFS blueprint for bottomless glory was graciously shared with the DSS, there was little that could stop the Southern idiocy and enthusiasm. So, in years to come, while the YFS was busy tallying home runs on smart phone apps, the DSS got busy giving dirty needle tattoos in their clubhouse. The YFS said no public facing articles, the DSS took inspiration and put a lifetime league ban on social media. The YFS mailed Skechers, the DSS killed pigeons. The YFS started its expansion, the DSS sought to implode. The YFS held charity games, Koolaid invited the DSS to donate themselves to the wisdom of playing on mushrooms. The YFS started a merch empire, the DSS shaved upside down crosses in the YFS dugout.  “Every rivalry needs a half-respectful David to punch Goliath in the nose and run up drinks on his bar tab while he sits whining about why he got punched in the first place. I still hate every one of those fuckers and York will always be the gold standard, but I give credit where credit is due,” said the OG Diamond shortly before his mid-afternoon weed bath.

If past Blue Grays have been any indication, this rivalry will be decided one of two ways. The first, defense. Two of these contests have been decided via last out, game ending catches by Silky and The Cap’n. When asked what he did with the game winning ball he robbed from El Wrencher in Blue Gray V, Cap'n quickly answered, "I placed it at the bottom of an empty Penn Can and got hammered. What the fuck kind of question is that?" The second way - a more demoralizing path - will pass through the skills of two of the modern era’s greatest players: The Natural and The Surgeon. There are no two individuals that are better in every aspect of the game than these two legends who will square off this Saturday for the fourth time in five years. Both are terrors at the plate, mad men in the field and humble between innings. Neither answered calls for this article and both responded with the same two words to the OG Diamond’s digital request for an interview: “no comment.”

"If you want to honor my legacy this weekend, do something dumber than I'm capable of and make a legendary name for yourself."  With that, the OG Diamond politely invited the Southern Diamond's to "get the fuck out of my bar" and paid for his Uber to JFK.

The 6th Annual Blue Gray will be played at the PF CHANG SUPERDOME this Saturday, October 6, 2018, as the North seeks to lessen the burden of a one series deficit. First pitch, 10am. Inter-league glory to follow.

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