Some of the cops and firemen have been whacking the ball pretty good. So far the furthest shot was 260 feet. Several of the players hit it 200+ feet, lots of whiffs though. Each player got 6 swings. Total distance from the best swing of each player will be computed to determine the winner.
Well the celebrities got to bat first, and they’re clearly rusty. Willie Randolf struck out, so did Art Shamsky. Ed Charles got a couple of good cuts, as did Joe Torre – but none of the former pros really whacked it. Best shots from the 1st crew were by the non ballplayers like the VP of Modells Peter Lindenbaum and Chris Waldeck, from Spalding. Each of these guys connected for about 175 feet. Lindenbaum whacked a few. Hey Pete – forget about this business stuff – the Mets could use another slugger!
Curtis Sliwa, the Stickball Commissioner is now at the mike. “I’d like to thank all the people for coming out and celebrating what this little pink ball meant for us growing up in the streets of NYC. Stickball in the streets, stickball in the schoolyard, punchball, handball, boxball, and the 100 different games that we played. This ball was an important part of what it meant to grow up in the City of New York, then, twenty years ago it vanished like the Dinosaurs of old. But thanks to Spalding it’s now back Thanks to John Campi of NY Daily News who understood the importance of these games to the youth of our city, and how they actually helped make the streets safer because people were out there playing the games. Today’s contest is the kickoff for the competition that will be taking place in NYC and Hudson County. Today is an exhibition -a distance contest. We’re going to see if the people can hit the legendary 3 sewers. Stepping up to the plate will be 10 members from the Fire Department led by the Commissioner Tom Von Essen, 10 members from the Police Department, led by Commissioner Howard Safir and a celebrity team lead by the greatest manager of all Joe Torre. The celebrities will bat first.
John Campi VP for the News Public Affairs has introduced on Rober Merrill who is singing Take me out to th Ballgame accompanied by the Dodger Sym-Phony Band. After the rendition was complete Campi said “When you sing there’s nothing like being accompanied by a great band, and this is nothing like a great band.”
The festivities are about to get underway. Curtis Sliwa has marked off the field. Spalding rolled in with a truck full of balls. The Daily News crew is setting up the stage and the old Brooklyn Dodger Sym-phony Band has started playing – “When You’re Smiling.”
The Stickball Classic is Kicking off on Tuesday June 29. Streetplay will be covering event and capturing the action.