For the fifth year in a row, dozens gathered in Homecrest Playground (Homecrest Avenue and Williams Court) to play softball in remembrance of Anthony Senisi Jr., a 44-year old father of two who was tragically murdered six years ago.
Senisi was on his way home from a grocery store on Brighton 6th Street when he was stabbed in the back. He collapsed in front of his house in view of his son, and died in his father’s arms.
Making the crime even more senseless, authorities believed Senisi was mistaken for someone else while buying milk for his Sunday morning ritual of coffee with his daughter.
Senisi, a Yankees fanatic, was raised playing baseball at Homecrest and other parks in the area. As he grew older, he and his friends attempted to organize softball games, but often couldn’t find the time.
Senisi was a plumber and hard worker, often working 14 hour days. When he wasn’t working, he spent his time caring for his young son and daughter. His death came as a tragic shock to everyone who knew him. In 2008, one year after his death, lifelong friends Howie Sosner, Billy Fallon, and Gary Friedman organized a softball game for Senisi’s friends and family to stay in touch and do something he would have enjoyed.
“We tried to organize games before he died and it didn’t work. Unfortunately, it took his death for us to finally come out here and get a game going. This is a way for us to stay together,” explained Sosner. “The first year we had about 40 people show up. The second year, it rained all day but we played anyway. Close to 80 people were there that day. Since then, we’ve had almost 100 people show up each year.”
Senisi is honored by his friends and family every year because of the kindness he showed others. They describe him as loyal, caring, and by his friends’ sides in times of need.
“Anthony would give you the shirt off his back,” said Fallon. “When my father died, he was there with me every second of the way. He was the best friend you could ask for, that’s why we come out here every summer and play for him.”
As for the future of the game, Senisi’s friends insisted it will go on no matter what.
“We’ll be here the first Sunday in August every year until we’re too old to play,” said Fallon. “And then, we’ll think of something else to do instead.”