I see the messages above about Charlie Ballard, and the one way up top about my Dad Vito Giannone…… it makes me think about Charlie, and John Stephens, and my Dad. Those were great days, watching you guys play…and laugh…and live! You 3, and so many more of the oldtime stickball players, were all so great ! ! ! Thinking of ALL of you today….Happy 77th Birthday Dad – Feb 3rd, 1933.
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.
THERE’S NO MENTION OF THE SIXTYBOYS THAT PARTICIPATED IN THE YOUNG BLOOD LEAGUE IN THE EARLY 80S — WHICH IN 6 YEARS CAPTURE 4 TITLES — THEY WERE FROM THE BRONX AND PLAY HITTING BY YOURSELF NOT THE YOUNG BLOOD STYLE WHICH WAS PITCHING IN ONE BOUNCE — NOW THATS SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT — WHICH IS NEVER MENTION,, ONLY MENTION IS THAT WE ARE IN THE STICKBALL HALL OF FAME — WE WERE GREAT — I THINK THE GREATEST STICKBALL TEAM ASSEMBLE IN ANY ERA (HITTING BY YOURSELF OR PITCHING) …
My great uncle, Charlie Ballard, inspires me everday whether is be from sports to living my life to the fullest. This year is my first year as a coach and I have decided to dedicate it to my great uncle for inspiring me to play with my heart in any sport and dream I had in my life. He was such an inspiration….as all of you know…Thank you for giving him so many memories and great stories to share with us all!!!
My Uncle, Charlie Ballard passed away peacefully February 14th. Uncle Charlie’s greatest love was playing stickball. The love he had for his fellow players can not be put into words. He lived a full life to age 89. He lived with no regrets and only fond memories. He loved you all!
My name is willie Gregory. brother of Lefty Gregory. Our Team the Home relief from 114th & Madison Ave. In the middle fifty’s we went down to Hells Kitchen in the 60’s to play an allstar team which consisted Snookie and Alby from Pleasant Ave. Guy’s from the Locomotives and the greek brothers Mario, etc. The game was worth $1,500 dollars. Top of the ninth, no score up comes Lefty Gregory and gets a hold of one that not only goes 3 sewers when it crosses the Ave.,but reaches the 4th sewer,we won 1 zip
In late 1930 there was a team in east harlem called the “Black Diomonds” they were a great team. Jimmy powers sports editor of the daily news used to write about them. Newsweek, had an artical about them also. I am 79 and remember a few of the player by ther first names. There is one player who was know as the Babe Ruth of the team.His name (only one I know by the full name)Johnny Brunelli and belongs in the hall of fame.For more info contact me at e-mail ..abbey47 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net …
Stickball is a GREAT game! It is sure better to have the kids playing stickball, than sitting around the house playing video games. I am trying to help revive the game. I purchased a large quantity of the original SPALDEENS, or “Pinkys.” I also carry the “official stickball bats” made by Spalding. As you may know, these are VERY hard to find!! If anyone is interested, you may contact me at mlbbaseballs [at] aol [dot] com for more information. Keep on playing everyone!! …
MY BROTHER HECTOR JOHN ARROYO,PLAYED STICKBALL FOR A TEAM CALLED THE PRESTO’S FROM 114TH ST.BET 5TH AND MADISON AVE.A FEW OF THE PLAYERS FROM 1930 TO 1941,WHERE HECTOR ARROYO,ROBERT(LEFTY) GREGORY I CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST NAME OF THE FOLLOWING BUT IF YOU PLAYED AGAINST THEM YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THEM. THERE WAS RENE,GILBERT,KIKE,LOUIS THE BARBERO, TO NAME A FEW. WE PLAYED AGAINST THE DEVILS WITH THERE PLAYERS SUCH AS BENNY,RALPH,VINNIE ETC. WE ALSO PLAYED AGAINST THE ORIGINAL MADISON FLASHES ,WITH BUGGIE,GEORGE ETC, MY BROTHER IS AN ARTIST AND IS LOOKING FOR ANY PHOTOS OF THE YEARS 1930 THRU 1940OF THE HOUSES OR STICKBALL GAMES OR JUST ABOUT ANYTHING IN THE ERA.ALSO IF AVAILABLE A PICTURE OF THE FIREHOUSE ON 114 NEAR MADISON AVE.
My grandfather (from La Fontaine Avenue, Bronx NY) Vincent ‘Jimmy’ Provenzano played on a baseball team known as the “Kroywens” back in the early 30’s – and later. He also played stickball. He passed away a three years ago and I would love to hear from anyone that played with or knew him. He played a lot of semi-pro baseball, including two games against the Sing-Sing inmates. I also currently play semi-pro ball. Ray T