Ouch, that Buick hurts!
by Rich "Bearsy" Gray
From the time I could swing a bat, we played stickball, punchball, and
running-bases in Flushing, NY (P.S. 22). The big game back then was
"Strike-Out," played mostly in the school yards with the strike-zone drawn on
the wall. Another was called "Great Stadium," played under the overpass of
the L.I. Railroad (158th St.) when you had fewer players, or when it rained.
I'll always remember the championship stickball game: the "Grand Slammers" vs.
the "Fuzzy Wuzzies," the last game we played before returning to school from
summer vacation. The "groundskeepers" (the New York Dept. of Sanitation) had
just finished sweeping the streets. Mikee was pitching, Red had first, Mousie
at third and Babala caught. I had center field, behind the third manhole
We were all tied up going into the last inning when Big Frankie connected with
a monster shot to left-center. With my back to the plate I was on my
horse--had it all the way--never taking into account the '56 Buick that had
parked in left center the end of last inning! Yup, I hit that baby in full
stride. If the Buick rocked, I sure didn't remember it. Was like hitting a
brick wall. The last thing I remembered was instant fear. The Buick cost me
2 teeth, 7 stitches, Pride, my "horse," and, oh yeah...
"Big Frankie" cleared the bases!
More Bearsy stuff
Bearsy gallery #1
Bearsy gallery #2