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The West Side Boys

West Side Girls playing stickball Click for bigger picture
West Side Girls playing stickball
Once upon a time, back when cars were still a luxury and working class families filled Manhattan's West Side, stickball ruled the streets.

Some teams had official names, others were largely pick-ups, with different players in and out. Many were sponsored by a neighborhood watering hole, where in between debates about New York's best center fielder, players would celebrate their stickball victories or commiserate about a tough loss. Three teams particularly renowned for their exploits were the Rufos from West 66th, the Iona's of West 46th, and the Burney Brothers from West 60th. These former rivals are now good friends and the following stories help capture some of their stickball tradition.

  • Ray Murray talks about the Ionas and the spirit of a neighborhood
  • Mario Rufo and the Rufo brothers, the West side's most well known stickball family
  • Billy Burney of West 60th Street shares memories and great photos
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