By James Dombrowski
In 2014, John Franco and Gary Perone, who have spent their lives in baseball, developed a plan to unite the 5 Boroughs with a baseball tournament consisting of 102 teams; they dubbed the name “The Borough Cup.” Mets Reliever Franco and Brooklyn Cyclones Assistant GM Gary Perone we’re hoping to revitalize baseball in NYC. Their idea was to get city kids involved from all the Boroughs with a tournament.
PHOTO (left to right ): Mets 2019 Rookie of the Year and emerging SuperStar First Baseman Pete Alonso with his College Sweetheart and Fiancee Haley Walsh pose with Billie and Dave Jauss at the end of the first “Homers For Heroes” Youth NYC Home Run Derby. Dave Jauss is Pete’s two time champion MLB’s All-Star Home Run Derby Pitcher.
All the Boroughs embraced the tournament and Yankee Stadium hosted the first Cup with the support of the NY Mets. The support of the Yankees and the Mets and all the Borough Presidents have gone a long way in the success of the Cup.
In 2016, with the help of former Mets GM Omar Minay, who is a lifelong New Yorker, the Borough Cup received a Grant from the MLB Youth Baseball Partnership. Receiving this Grant has ensured the continuation of the Cup.
The Grant which brought funding to the Cup coupled with the success of the Tournament made it necessary to appoint an Executive Director. Lawyer and Polonian Ben Pinczewski, a huge baseball fan and a true humanitarian, jumped at the chance to be involved. His avenue to becoming the Executive Director was fostered when the Cup was looking for interns and his son Nick a huge baseball fan like his dad cherished the opportunity.
Photo: Attorney and proud Polonian Ben Pinczewski and son Nick are very instrumental in the success and development of the Borough Cup and Homers For Heroes.
“The Cup is more then baseball. It brings unity, spirit, and growth to youth baseball in America’s greatest city. When I first witnessed the Tournament, the diversity of the teams, and the energy of the parents I knew I wanted to be involved,” explained Ben. “Given the chance to become Executive Director, I couldn’t turn it down.” Pinczewski is a very successful lawyer whose practice includes personal injury and Civil Rights.
Mets All-Star first baseman Pete Alonso is a big supporter of the Borough Cup. He has won two consecutive MLB Home Run Derbys and the NL Rookie of the Year in 2019; compiling 53 Homers and 120 RBI’s. Pete was also looking to promote Baseball in NYC. So as a MLB Home Run Derby Champion, he created Homers For Heroes.
Homers for Heroes is a Youth Home Run Derby Contest looking to crown a NYC Home Run Derby Champion. Eight individual finalists from the 102 Teams, who competed in the Borough Cup, were chosen to compete at the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones in Coney Island. The charity event gave these outstanding young players a chance to hit home runs in a Minor League Ball Park. A nice crowd attended the event and Homers for Heroes creator Alonso entertained the crowd with some Home Run Hitting. Pete was pitched to by Dave Jauss who has helped Alonso win $2 Million in his consecutive MLB Home Run Derby Titles. Alonso also signed autographs and took photos with many fans in Coney Island. Haley Walsh who is engaged to Pete is very involved with Pete’s Charity endeavors.
Attorney Ben Pinczewski and Mets Superstar Pete Alonso are doing a mammoth job in promoting Baseball throughout the 5 Boroughs of NYC.
Photos by James Dombrowski