In the 1950’s there were great Stickball teams in New York. In the South Bronx(Jackson Knights, Lucky Sevens, Tigers), Italian Harlem (Pleasant Avenue), Spanish Harlem (Prestos, Home Relief, Devils), Little Italy (Mott Street), and Hell’s Kitchen (66th Street). These were tough smart teams that knew how to win close games, especially low scoring games. Many of the South Bronx players were still playing in the 1980’s and winning when they were well past their prime. Every good team thinks they were the best ever, but it would be interesting to hear from people who saw the Sixtyboys and the above 1950 teams play to get a real comparison. The Knights, Tigers, Sevens and Pleasant Avenue played hitting by-your-self and on-a-pitch. Mott Street played hitting by-your-self and the Prestos, Home Relief, Devils and 66th street played on-a pitch.
In my neighborhood (Manhattanville), the guy to watch out for was “Sam the two-dollar man”. I never actually saw him, but the guys in my crew would occasionally say something like “Sam the two-dollar man was around yesterday, I think he was talking to Junior”. Then Junior would have to fervently proclaim he never got in the car.
I grew up on New York’s Lower East Side 80 years ago. About 40 years ago, I was amazed when a woman friend, reminiscing about her childhood in Winthrop Mass., north of Boston, sang a group street game chant: “Oh, Oh, the ring we leave-o!” It struck me immediately that her “Ring we leave-o” was obviously the phrase that somehow morphed into the Italian-sounding “Ringoleavio” in the streets of New York. It may or may not have been exactly the same game. Does anyone know? How did they play The Ring We Leave-o in Boston in the 1930s?
wowwwwwwwwwww–l.e.s talk on here,,,i play handball at grandt st,chinatown,,and all these sites brings me back,,from the fish market(which is very much alive til this day)to restaurants to franks bike shop,lolo,,,
I was from the area of simpson and westchester avenue.in the 50s we played all the city games talked to all the girls and busted out those doo-op songs in every hallway every night. The popular songs were oh what a night, maybe,the wind, shout, tears on my pillow, i only have eyes for you, why do fools fall in love etc. Then we went on to salsa dancing at the tritons, hunts point palace, cuban club, tropicoro, international, yorkville casino, manhattan center, the corso, cheetah,the 3101/2, the shay jose, the gallery,terrace gardens, embassy ballroom etc. The boys on the block were manny, cookie, pucho, lefty,louie, fingers julio, tito flat top, frenchie, chickie, joe nose, thurman, mr. lee, lil diaz etc. some people talk about bad childhoods but I thank God for growing up in the Bronx. A lot of good memories a lot of good friends. Hopefully people pass on this sight to others so that we can start to find old friends through their stories. I am a young 63 that is a prime example of a city boy who now lives in the country.I went to ps 20 then to jhs 40
Fireworks…by the middle of the afternoon in my neighborhood on Staten Island, South Beach projects you couldn’t even see the smoke was so thick and fireworks were illegal!!!! Actually the fireworks for the 4th usually started going off around June 20th (right after we got out of school) and we’d see all the people coming up from the South (where fireworks were legal) opening up their trunks and selling fireworks to anyone who had money…one summer we bought a mat of firecrackers (144 packs)…I was so tired of them after that!! Blue Angels always few at South Beach every 4th of July and you could see them from the roof of our projects…1976 4th of July was awesome…one of the best other than 1986 when the Statue of Liberty reopened after being renovated…one million people in downtown Manhattan…if you were claustrophobic you would have died! Bud beer being sold out of garbage pails in Chinatown…what a city! I live in California now and would never move back but my childhood was the absolute best! maryfinn
I lived in NYC on 162nd st. in Washington Heights and we played stickball quite a bit during the late 40’s and 50’s. I remember we had a team called the COMETS. It was a rather loose organization and some of us had blue t-shirts with the name in red while others had no team shirt at all. The “Spaldines” spent quite a lot of time on the roof of Jumels Garage, which is still there by the way. Every so often someone had to go up to the roof of an adjoining apartment house and jump from a fire escape to the roof of the garage to retrieve some so games could continue. It’s been 50 years but I can still conjure up the sounds of the bats hitting the ground after a solid hit and the smells of the hot tar street baking on a sultry summer afternoon. Not to mention the occasional sound of breaking glass as someones window became a sacrifice to the game.
lower east side e.4th st.p.s. 25 schoolyard late ’40s early ’50s. johnny on the pony was a big favorite,but none of the girls would play (watta disappointment)it would have been alot more fun. when you were talking with your friends if your sister walked up and one guy cursed right away it was “hey watch ya language”. there was a little more respect in those days,but we had tons of fun. some guy on one of these sights said ” if i could go back,i’d go in a flash. i feel the same way. take care.
OH, SKULLY.brings back such fond memmories of my childhood playing in the street in N.Y.C ,in the 74-78 era my name is henry from 96st west side of manhattan,i play’d SKULLY with the boys on my block and kid’s i went to school with,Back in the days when there was no cell phone ,Pc’s laptops and video games only attari pong ,and if you did have it you were one prrrichivilleged Kid!anyways gonna try to bring this skully game back for all to enjoy!If you lived in this area at that time,send me an E -mail like to here from you [dot] henryfleitas [at] yahoo [dot] com