By KEVIN LIMITI
The sun was shining on Yankee stadium and on the bright futures of young 12, 13, and 14 -year- old athletes who competed in the 9th annual Bronx Borough President’s Cup. Though balls  and strikes were top of the agenda keeping kids out of trouble pinch-hit as a topic of conversation.

The competing teams, the Bronxchester Realtors and Grand Slam Little League, are the best in the Bronx and the players could only play on the condition that they maintain a B average, perform community service, and keep an average of at least 90 percent in attendance in school.

Micah Garrett Jr. is the pitcher of the Bronxchester Relators whose father, Michah Garrett, was grateful that his son was given the opportunity. “I’ve been able to keep my kid out of trouble,” said Garrett who lives with his son in the South Bronx. It helps that his son was, “constantly playing baseball,” he said.

Garrett laughed when asked if he and his son were Yankee fans as they were both fans of their crosstown rivals, the Mets. “Hopefully, he’ll come out here and play for the Yankees one day. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind as a Mets fan,” he said.

On the other hand, George Rosa and his son Ethan Rosa, who plays 1st base for the Bronxchester Realtors, are both huge Yankee fans. Rosa described seeing his son play at Yankee Stadium an “awesome experience.”

Rosa stood for virtually the entire game, cheering on his son from just above the dugout. The mood of the game was relaxed and jovial as police officers and security guards mingled with the parents and spectators viewing the game.

“I told him to take it all in,” Rosa said about his son, saying he emphasized the importance of soaking in the experience. “Enjoy yourself playing. Have fun.”

The Borough President’s Cup began when Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was asked to start a game in which two finalists from Little League could battle for supremacy at Yankee Stadium, arguably the greatest and most well recognized ball park the world over. However, he also wanted to underscore the importance of academics and community engagement.

The game itself was exciting with the Bronxchester Realtors in the lead for most of the game until Grand Slam rallied late in the 5th inning. The game ended in a 5-5 tie. The two teams proudly shared the trophy and posed for pictures.