• Teixeira’s A Stick Ball Wizard?

    Posted by on March 26th, 2009 · Comments (9)

    Via the Tampa Tribune:

    Here’s a traffic delay more at home in Brooklyn than Tampa: 9th Avenue will be shut down Friday between Republica de Cuba and 13th Street because of a stickball game.

    That’s right. A film crew will be on hand to capture the 90-minute promotional event by Yahoo! Sports, dubbed as “old school” versus “new school,” or stickball veterans against upstarts.

    Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is expected to play, although it’s questionable whether the Annapolis, Md.,-born Major Leaguer will be as prodigious in a street game as on the baseball diamond.

    Stickball, a favorite in New York, Boston and Philadelphia neighborhoods, typically involves a rubber ball or tennis ball and a broomstick. In Philly, the ball sometimes gets chopped in half, transforming “stickball” into “halfball.”

    The game is set for 12:30-2 p.m. The road will be closed longer, however, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to give the film crew time to set up and take down its equipment.

    The five- to 10-minute video eventually will run on Yahoo! Sports, producer Corrin Arasasaid. She expects about 10 players, all Yankees fans, to play.

    What’s next, bocce with Derek Jeter?

    I think the last Yankees stickball legend was Joe Pepitone, no? Maybe Tex should get a replica of Pepi’s rug and wear it in the game for luck?

    Comments on Teixeira’s A Stick Ball Wizard?

    1. March 27th, 2009 | 7:26 am

      I didn’t grow up in a city (well, it counts as a city where I’m from, but not it wouldn’t in most places), so I never played stickball. But this nonetheless sounds like a very cool thing they’re doing.

    2. MJ
      March 27th, 2009 | 10:23 am

      I think the last Yankees stickball legend was Joe Pepitone, no? Maybe Tex should get a replica of Pepi’s rug and wear it in the game for luck?
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Pepitone was a bit before my time but I’ve seen him at Old-Timer’s Games and he still has the great hairdo!

    3. March 27th, 2009 | 10:27 am

      Back in the day, when I was a kid, we used to play stickball. Not the stickball game that you always see in those Willie Mays film clips from the ’50’s. (Teams playing each other, with bases in the street.) We played one-on-one, where a wall was your backstop and the pitcher threw to a box on the wall for a strikezone. You hit it – if he (the pitcher) fielded it, you were out – if not, it was a hit (and the distance determined the type of hit).

      But, we also played a “short court” version of this game – called “Yankee Doodle.” In this game, the batter FACED the wall (standing about 10 feet back from it) and the pitcher stood (about 20 feet) BEHIND the batter. The pitcher would throw the ball (from behind the batter) against the wall. The batter would then have to hit the “pitch” as it bounced off the wall – back towards the wall. And, then, the pitcher would have to field the batted ball as it bounced off the wall. Same rules – catch was an out, miss was a hit (of some kind).

      We also had a game called “Ace, King, Queen” where we would line up side-by-side, shoulder to shoulder, usually 4 or more, facing a wall (about 8 feet away). The guy on the far left would start off by throwing the ball against the wall. If it came to you, on the bounce or fly, you had to catch it cleanly. If you did, then you got to throw it against the wall. Miss it, and you had to move all the way to the right (end) in the row. Best and hottest catcher was always to the far left (hence he was the Ace). Last guy with a miss was always at the end – as the Queen, Jack, or 10, I guess.

    4. Corey
      March 27th, 2009 | 11:12 am

      i played stickball all the time (and i don’t live in the city), we just took a broom stick and some tennis balls and went to the back of the school and played all day everyday…i miss it a lot

      we used to have teams, and we used to take chalk and make a batters box on the wall of the school, but we didnt have bases we played more like wiffle ball rules in regard to runners (we also played a lot of wif)

      we would pitch to each other as if it were normal baseball as well, and we had fielders (usually we played 3 vs. 3 so 2 fielders and a pitcher) and if the ball dropped it was a hit, if it was caught it was an out…we used to even keep stats and stuff, it was a lotta fun

    5. March 27th, 2009 | 11:30 am

      I should say, I did play wiffleball all the time. (I’d like to see some big leaguers doing that.)

      We also occasionally tried to play baseball with a wooden bat and a tennis ball, but you can hit a tennis ball a mile with a regular wooden bat, so we didn’t really have a yard big enough for that sort of thing.

      If we were feeling really industrious, there were a bunch of ballfields around. But we weren’t usually that industrious.

    6. Corey
      March 27th, 2009 | 11:41 am

      we had fields around us too, but we didn’t have enough guys for that…plus theres just something fun about having 3v3 weekend tourneys

    7. March 27th, 2009 | 1:56 pm

      we had fields around us too, but we didn’t have enough guys for that
      Absolutely. Used to have the same problem. Basketball lends itself to pick-up games a lot easier than baseball does. I hear the kids are into soccer these days, too.

      I’m not old. I swear!

    8. butchie22
      March 27th, 2009 | 7:42 pm

      I met Joe Pepitone at a club on Long Island and he is one of the biggest characters I’ve ever met. He bought our table champagne, he was a very cool guy.We talked about a lot of things but not stickball. He lives very close to me so the next time I run into him I’ll ask him about his glorious days playing stickball……

    9. April 9th, 2010 | 4:38 pm

      […] at your skill level, a “comebacker” is the next best thing. Brings me back to my Ace, King, Queen days… Filed under Random Thoughts ·  Print This Post ·  Email This […]

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