Updated: Aug 14
Stick ball was a local game that happened in the city. All neighborhoods in all the boroughs had kids playing stick ball in the streets. We were able to play a full game of baseball innings on Brighton 3rd street, my home court. There were of course interruptions by cars driving down the street. Not only did we have to watch out for the person at bat, we had to watch out for cars, shouting "car coming."
With the manhole cover as home plate, the Buick as first base and the DeSoto as third base, we enjoyed our "baseball" with just a simple stick and a Spalding rubber ball. Getting a new Spalding ball was key, because it allowed the largest bounce when new. We all took turns buying a new ball with our own allowances. We just walked to Morris' candy store on the corner and returned with a new ball.
Our parents allowed us to unscrew the broom or mop handle and take it out to play. Then again there were times when they didn't know that we did that. We had to make sure to return it without them knowing it was used for a far greater purpose than mopping the floor.
Stick ball was the mother of all street games and then again there was Ringoleavio, but that is another story. We did not have the luxury of grass, baseball gloves and real bats. For a look at the sport stick ball and, yes it was a sport, see the video below.
Ours was the improvisation of making the best out our environment, in the streets of Brooklyn. It was indeed a wonderful past time for us on Brighton 3rd street and beyond. There were games on other streets in which we partook. Fond memories of "play ball" being called out and sometimes being tagged out. Then of course the sound of, watch out there is a car coming.