Another great day for the former boy’s of East Harlem. Sept 8 2002 we all gather on 117th Street with our families and friends to play a couple of games of stickball. Mike Lentini a hall of famer for the great game was the organizer and did a great job giving out the T-Shirts and laying out the delious sandwiches. To everyone’s surprize Channel 13 was there interviewing a couple of men who in turn reflected on that great game of stickball. Needless to say that when we talk about stickball our childhood days in East Harlem go hand in hand. You cannot talk about one without the other. Great stories were told that day and we all returned back to our youth. Mike was interviewed the most as his memory is unbelieable. The documentary will be shown some time next year so look for it on channel 13. All about stickball and the good times growing up in East Harlem during the 40’s and 50’s
What up people this is Mick of the Brooklyn Knights. First I’d like to holla @ all my knights in Bk and statin Island. We almost took it last year and we coming stronger for 2002. Respect to all the harlem teams especially the bad boys for co-hosting a solid world series in 2001. I hope you all got your bats ready for this season!!!! Knights are coming!!!!!
Hi Jim, The game I’ve documented is based on 1970s vintage Bronx skully. It has definitely evolved through the years, and the memory of the way you played may be perfectly accurate (though not going backwards is like a day w/o sunshine IMHO–and I couldn’t imagine not hitting another player’s cap to get into the next box). For example, putting numbers in the trapezoids around the 13 box is definitely a Bronx/Harlem thing of the mid/late 60s, and never made it to Queens. And, believe it or not, if you played with 13 boxes, you definitely were higher up on the skully evolutionary cycle–we’ve seen pictures and talked to folk who played with only 9 boxes “back in the day.” There’s really no right answer about the rules–I know for a fact that we had rules on my block that kids 2 blocks away didn’t. Now that I think of it, the “bonus boxes” around “13” were introduced to my block by a kid who moved from another part of the Bronx! Please feel free to try the rules as we have here, or play the way you remember, or take a hybrid of both–just don’t change rules in the middle of the game! -Hugh McNally hmcnally [at] streetplay [dot] com
I live in Alpine but grew up in NY in a place called Spanish Harlem. I can remember as a little girl going into other neighborhoods to watch my father and his buddies challenge other teams. Most of the games were played on Sundays and the people would all take the cars off the block so the guys could play. I was Daddy’s girl and also the son he never had. Most of the games were played for big money, each man putting up a certain amount. My favorite place was Little Italy. They played right on Mott and Hester Street and I remember having a huge crush on a player from the other team. I was all of 8 years old. Those were the good old days. People would be hanging ot windows and families would be on their fire escapes with salami sandwiches to cheer their teams on. Win or lose, everyone had a good time and never did I witness any fights or hard feelings. I was always proud of Daddy and even though he is to old for stickball I’m still proud to be his little girl.
I grew up in the Highbridge area of the Bronx. I lived at 1050 Anderson Ave and 901 Woodycrest Ave. What great times and great memories. Playing stickball in PS73 school yard, hanging out down by the Harlem river and running around in the abandoned subway “The Shuttle” than ran under our neighborhood. Nothing in my life has topped those times and if there was a time machine I’d be there now. Rob Auerbach Colleenandrob [at] yahoo [dot] com
Started playing stickball in the 30’s in Spanish Harlem. In the 40’s I moved to the Bronx. Played with the Jackson Knights. In them days we had some great teams in the Bronx. Such as the Dukes from Wales Ave, Lucky Sevens from Macy PL, The Boas from Tiffany St. plus some other that I don’t remember there names. We played hitting by ourself. When we played in Manhattan we played pitching in. Today in Florida we have a yearly oldtimers weekend at Stickball Blvd in Miami. Our oldest player is 76 years old. Our next tournament is April 29th to the 30th, 2000. Regards, Bennie from Florida Oldtimers Stickball
Our present team is made up of former kids from the Bronx… we played with our father “Bouncer” who loved stickball. When our parents moved to Florida, he formed a team (still called the Florida Kings). Soon after he and a couple of friends (Larry and Pete) began games between the Florida Kings and the Young Devils of Manhattan… traveling between the two states. As a result of that, there are now many teams participating in twice a year tournaments between the States and, as of this year, California. My Dad died on a stickball field… he was as close to heaven as he could be at the time… he loved the game… he was with his sons and good, long time friends… doing what he loved… so… he was blessed. We go on playing… we love the game as he did. We recognize the close relationships that these games have produced… the friendships that will never fade, the memories that will never fade… We remember the Bronx streets… the streets of Harlem… Mott Street… We will never forget where we came from. Our children have now become a part of it too.
Weather is hot today. Well over 90 degreed. A large crowd turned out to participate in the stickball contest and Five teams registered. In the first 2 games the scores were Old Timers 4 Bad Boys 3 Washington Bombers 10 Harlem Heat 1 Winners were Washington Bombers and Old Timers. The Bombers then went on to play te Clean Machine. Old Timers played the Bad Boys in a classic stickball game. Looked as though old timers had I made, leading 3-1 going into the th and last inning. But the Bad Boys weren’t about to give up. With some good hitting and an error, the Bad Boys scored 2 runs and sent the game into extra innings. Bad Boys were able to recover and take the game in the 9th. Due to the heat, and the length of th games, the final matchup between today’s winners, to determine the Manhattan championship will be played at the end of August