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2000 Welcome back to Brooklyn Festival
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Back to Brooklyn 2000
Section guide

• 2000 Back to Brooklyn Home

The Streetplay Scoop
• Joe Viterelli: the basics
• Lenny Wilkens & stickball
• Orphans of the Steeplechase

Photos
• Celebrity Path
• The Games
• Festivities
• A Star Studded Evening

Related links
• 1999 Back to Brooklyn


Streetplay events: Section guide

• Streetplay Events home
• Bronx Street Festival '05
• Bronx Street Festival '04
• Back to School '04
• Back to School '03
• Williamsburg's 100th
• PS 56 After School
• Skully at the AMNH
• NY Historical Society
• Smithsonian Festival
• Back to Brooklyn '00
• Back to Brooklyn '99
• Back to Brooklyn '98

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Learning the Fundamentals

Joe Viterelli recalling childhood days of stickball
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Joe Viterelli recalling childhood days of stickball

Joe Viterelli was an actor well known for playing mobsters, like "Jelly" in Analyze This and "Vinnie the Shrimp" in Mickey Blue Eyes. At this Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival, Joe spoke about a childhood memory of playing stickball and getting advice from his dad.

Sadly, Joe died on January 28, 2004. We at Streetplay remember him for his kindness towards us. He will be missed.


We played stickball in the street. We could play all day. The door of a Ford might be first base, the sewer second, and the tire of the Kaiser Fraser was third. We'd often put some money on the game, to make it more interesting.

I remember one game when it was $2 per player for each guy, not a bad amount. It was a tight game, we were behind by one run in the bottom of the ninth. There were two outs, men on second and third. All I needed to do was get a hit and we'd win.

Just as I step up to the plate my father comes by. Now my dad was " knock around guy," if you know what I mean. He'd do a little of this, a little of that. Anyway, he's standing there watching me and I end up striking out. That's it, we lose.

After the game my father comes over to talk. He sees I'm upset and asks if he made me nervous. I say no that wasn't it, I'm just upset that he saw me strike out and that I let down the guys. He puts his arm around me to give me some fatherly advice and says, "Joe, always remember, it's not about who wins or loses, it's the point spread that counts."

"Come on, I'll buy you an egg cream."


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