Political candidates play a friendly stickball derby - New York News

Political candidates play a friendly stickball derby

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Watch a bunch of mayoral candidates strike out, see one of their opponents spray the infield, and witness a woman running for public-advocate jack everything thrown her way.

For once, we allude to no scandal and mean all of that literally. for a couple of hours a dozen or so candidates for city offices put aside the political hardball and picked up a stickball bat, many for the first time in decades.

"I was 11 years old, so it would have been 47 years ago," Joe Lhota said.

"I practice baseball with my son Joey," John Liu said.

"I should do this more often," John Catsimatidis said.

"It's a little slower," George McDonald said.

Age takes its toll on any ballplayer: bat speed diminishes, eyesight falters, home runs become fly-outs, and doubles turn to singles. A lot of war stories about how good they used to be came from this crowd, except for one of the contest's top performers, who said he played better today than he ever did as a kid.

"I remember playing in the Bronx and trying to get to the third sewer, but I never could reach the third sewer," Ruben Diaz Jr. said. "It felt today like I was able to redeem myself."

Diaz, a candidate for Bronx borough president, won the eight-swing derby on a 250-foot bomb.

Meanwhile, candidates with uglier swings received no softball questions from this reporter in their post-game interviews in which this question was posed: "Can you compare stickball to running a city?"

"Um, no," Sal Albanese said.

"You have to dig in deep and you'll go very far," Diaz said.

On a day when batting average ... Loomed larger than voting record, Pensy Rubber outshined Sidney Leathers, and candidates focused less on talking trash than -- well, actually, they still talked a lot of trash.

"I'm as good as Adolfo," Catsimatidis said.

"What are you? A girl?" someone said.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told the participants: "Not that your best days are behind you, but let's just say your stickball days have caught up with you."

Borough pride shined, hand-eye coordination did not, and those in attendance seemed appreciative of the opportunity to watch the candidates in a more relatable setting.

One onlooker told Fox 5: "I used to play stickball all the time with my brothers and this brings back a lot of great memories."

Even if it didn't change their vote.

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