Played on Garden St. in the Bronx in late 50s to mid 60s. Always played in the street, never played “pitching in” against a wall until we were several years older. In the street it was fungo — never a pitcher. The sidewalks were fair territory, as were the countless fire escapes that each apartment building had. A ball was “live” when it got up into the fire escapes. The batter was out if a fielder caught the ball off the fire escape on a fly. If it bounced, the hit was usually a triple or homer — by the time the ball bounced around the fire escape and its stairs, before finally bounding back to the field, most batters were able to get an extra-base hit with ease. Regarding a four-sewer man: if it’s true that the general NYC layout was 250 between sewers, that meant a 1000-ft shot. Think about it: that’s more than 3 football fields laid end to end. I’d have to see it to believe it.
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