The old boys of summer

Warwick Grove's 2014 stickball season is in full swing

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  • On Sunday, June 22, team members and fans assembled outside the Warwick Grove development clubhouse to celebrate the seventh annual þÄúOpening DayþÄù of the stickball season. Thirty-two members signed up for the 2014 season. And on Saturday, June 28, all who were in town that day showed up in the Park Ave. School parking lot for the first game of the season.




  • The stickball league was the brainchild of Ron Genovese, pictured here playing first base,who was raised in Manhattan, and his friend Ted Kastanis, a native of Brooklyn, who was out of town for the first game of the season.



WARWICK — On Sunday, June 22, team members and fans assembled outside the Warwick Grove development clubhouse to celebrate the seventh annual "Opening Day" of the stickball season.

Thirty-two members signed up for the 2014 season. And on Saturday, June 28, all who were in town that day showed up in the Park Avenue School parking lot for the first game of the season.

The stickball league was the brainchild of Ron Genovese, a Warwick Grove resident who was raised in Manhattan, and his friend Ted Kastanis, a native of Brooklyn.

The Warwick Grove Stickball League plays every Saturday from 9 to 10.30 a.m. and unlike the days when some of the team members played in the streets of the five boroughs of New York City, local police are unlikely to chase the players or confiscate the broom handle bats and Spaldeens.

Nor will anyone have to dodge traffic while fielding a solid hit.

And if the ball lands in a tree, what would have been an unlikely event in the city streets, it's an automatic double.

The score on June 28 was 5-2 but just like the old days, the no name teams and players were selected by placing hand over hand on the bat to decide which team captain gets first pick.

And, reviving practices that, as teenagers were an economic necessity, they still use chalk or old car mats for bases and broomsticks or even broken shovels for bats.

Aluminum, although once suggested, was ruled out.

Genovese explained that everything about the game is an authentic reminder of how things were when they were kids and the only thing new is the Spaldeen ball, which costs the league $1.99.

"When you're 60 years old and you play golf you feel like 60," he once said. "But when you're 60 years old or more and you play stickball, you feel like 16."

At the close of the season, just before school opens, the league will name its most valuable player and home run king.

- Roger Gavan

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