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Jamelle Nelson and the rest of the Alphas were watching balls fly out of Darby Park. The Alphas, who have won the Frat Games title two years in a row, have the top seed heading into championship Sunday. Photo by Jason Lewis
Former Inglewood Mayor Danny Tabor will lead the Kappas against the Omegas for a chance to play the Alphas in the championship game. Photo by Jason Lewis
Kevin Williams must have gotten in the Sigma’s heads, as the Omegas grabbed the No. 2 seed and knocked the Sigmas out of the playoffs. Photo by Jason Lewis
Frat Games championship Sunday
Softball playoffs and Greek picnic highlight the day at Darby Park in Inglewood.
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
The brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, and Phi Beta Sigma have been battling it out at softball for weeks now, and it all comes to a conclusion this Sunday at Darby Park in Inglewood.
The day will also feature a Greek picnic, hosted by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, where members of all of the black Greek fraternities and sororities will be on hand.
The Frat Games has brought together the black fraternities and sororities in the Los Angeles area for several decades, with softball being one of the most popular sports.
Kevin Williams of Omega Psi Phi has participated in the Frat Games since 1989, when he was a 25-year-old neo.
“The Frat Games is an experience of black men and women cheering on their families, their fraternities and sororities, and their brotherly and sisterly love,” Williams said. “That’s what we do out here. It’s the only opportunity in Los Angeles for us to express who we are, our families, and let our families blend.”
Williams reps his organization with pride, but he also has great respect for the other fraternities.
“My Alpha Brothers and Kappa Brothers and Sigma Brothers are out here,” Williams said. “I’ve been down here for 20 years. I have no other family down here except my black fraternities and sororities. So I call on them and they call on me.”
The Frat Games showcases the positives of black culture.
“One of the knocks on young black men is that we can’t get together,” said former Inglewood Mayor Danny Tabor, who is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, and their starting pitcher. “That we can’t be spiritually competitive in any environment. But out here we’re all trying to win. We’re all serious about our play, but there is a bond and respect because we all have pledged a fraternity, we’ve all had that college experience, and we’re all now developing future careers, and we have a common interest, which is to give back to our communities.”
Tabor enjoys the crowd that the Frat Games attracts, and he often sees plenty of old faces.
“It is truly a family type environment,” Tabor said. “We have youngsters who are not yet in school, we have grandparents watching their grandkids play. I saw some cats that I went to undergrads with at Long Beach St. who I haven’t seen since the early ‘70s. This is a good league for a third year, and it’s good to see kids who are playing in the league, and I call them kids because some of them played little league for me, one on my team and one on the Alpha team, that I’ve known since they were nine and 10. It’s exciting to see that next generation of young black men coming up.”
The purpose of the Frat Games is to bring together the black Greek community, but competition is at the forefront.
The Alphas have won the title the past two years in dominant fashion, and they are the No. 1 seed heading into Sunday. There will be two games played on Sunday. The second seeded Omegas will play the third seeded Kappas, and the winner will play the Alphas for the title.
Williams is not bashful about his abilities or of the abilities of his team.
“I’m the Barry Bonds of the league, and I say that confidently,” Williams said. “Nobody has hit more homeruns on 90th street, and nobody gets walked as much as me. Everybody respects me by not pitching to me. They pitch to me, I’m hitting it out. If you park on 90th right next to the park, Kevin Williams is going to put a ball through your window.
“Chance for a championship this year? It’s like everybody else, it’s one in four, but the bruhs, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, 100 years old this year, 1911, we’re going to be number one this year, we’re winning it!”
Williams had a first hand look at the competition that his team will be facing on Sunday. This past Sunday the Alphas took on the Kappas, with Tabor on the pitchers mound. The Alphas sent a number of softballs onto 90th Street.
The games and picnic start at 2 p.m.
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