We played with pitching against a wall with a chalk strikezone. It was a deadend street in Brooklyn that backed onto what we called the Long Island Railroad–actually the freight line. Past the pitcher on the ground was a single, unless caught. Over the fence and down to the tracks was an out, unless it made it all the way down the hill on a fly, in which case it was a double. Up the hill on the other side was a triple. All the way across the tracks and the fence on the other side was a home run. Over the top of the 6 story building that was across the tracks on the other side was a grand slam. We used to have to stop and go down to the tracks and get the balls to restart the game. You needed 3 or 4 balls if you really wanted to play all day. The BMT was right next to the “field” on the left hand side. Foul balls onto the BMT were only chased if you were out of balls because we would catch hell if our mothers saw us climbing the fence to go onto the subway tracks. We preferred spauldings because you could throw a wicked curve with it. When we first started playing we used broomsticks, but they soon came out with “official” stickball bats. Stickball was the greatest game ever invented. Why isn’t it a professional sport?
Original author: Bill Weintraub [e-mail]