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Streetplay covers the Stickball Hall of Fame

Keeping the Tradition Alive
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Visiting from Japan, Arashi Cogan hits a home run in his first game of stickball with his dad calling the shot.

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Brooklyn Stickball Little Leaguers - click for full team shot
Saturday August 28th marked the last day of the season for the members of the Brooklyn Stickball Little League.  In keeping with the spirit of the season, the Bomber Yankees and the Bensonhurst Mets, two fairly evenly matched teams who had battled each other all summer, played the final day to a draw, each taking one game of the double header.

The Brooklyn Stickball Little League, sponsored by the NY Daily News, had about 40 participants with players ranging in age from 6 to 12.   Most players lived in the Bensonhurst area though some came from other parts of the borough such as Bedford Stuyvesant and Park Slope.  The concept originated when Curtis Sliwa, New York's self appointed Stickball Commissioner contacted Anthony Gigante (a Brooklyn resident and member of the Longball Club), John Campi, Senior VP at the Daily News and Mick Greene of Streetplay to determine if there would be enough interest in this type of program.  Based on the attendance of the children and their parents, the league was a resounding success.

Games were played on Bay 19th street in Bensonhurst. The street was closed off and while no parking signs were posted, the players still had to deal with a car or two blocking part of the field. Players learned that parked cars and other barriers of the block just added to the challenge of the game. However, one of the nice features of a sponsored league was the availability of lots of balls, thereby allowing us to forgo the need to climb up on any roofs to retrieve those long fouls.

The duty of captain was rotated amongst the oldest players so they each had a chance to lead, make the batting order and set positions. The kids were excited by the whole experience and there were a number of close games, good arguments and dramatic comebacks.

A number of the parents inquired if the league will continue into the 2005 season.  If you have an interest email Anthony Gigante

Special thanks to

  • Modells Sporting Goods for donating caps and shirts.
  • Rocco Loccisano of Casa Calamari of Bath Ave for food and logistical support.
  • Carvel of Bath Ave for donating ice cream for many of the games.
  • Mickey Oliveri of the Brooklyn Knights for offering pointers to the kids on how to play.
  • Sal Marchese and Eric Husinko for coaching the teams.
  • Paul Stingo for umpiring and all the parents for their support in organizing the events and cheering on the kids.

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