I grew up in NJ in the 80s but one of our teachers grew up in Hell’s Kitchen in the 50s and taught us this great game. I remember the time I spent at night trying to perfect the best skelly cap using a soda bottle top, penny in the bottom and melting (and trying to swirl) various colors of crayons. My skill at this rewarded me with my first business venture, charging 50 cents to a dollar for my product!! I can’t wait to teach my children this game!!
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.
I grew up in Hell’s Kitchen. There would be a bunch of us (boys and girls)We were about 14 and 15 yrs old and I can remember that our parents would give us maybe $2.00 to go to the movies on the weekend (and not every weekend) We would go to the movies on 42nd St. Back then it was about .75 and back then 42nd St. had lots of arcades and I remember a freak show with a bearded lady and a two headed sheep. We were a roudy bunch, laughing and having a god time but all in good fun…Although times were often tuff, I remember those days with a smile!!!!