In The “Stickball Originals” Series – Part 4 Kenny Lowman described the difference he sees between the players from his time to the players of today. He also went into detail as why the players back then were better. Albie Santiago Jr. took him up on that challenge and wrote a brief reply and came back with his own challenge for Kenny.
Mr. Kenny I want to extend a Thank you for bring us into the past and re-living the days of my father and uncle which I have heard so many stories of before I was old enough to see it for myself.
I consider myself one of the few modern day stickball players that still plays the style of Stickball you describe so vividly. I learned this great game from my father, uncle and many of the guys that you mention in your stories as I grew up playing the pitching in style and graduated to the fungo style we play today.
I understand that you basing your judgment on the only video sent to you, but that is only 2 teams which sounds like it was on a Memorial Day Tournament. I would like to extend you an invitation to our Memorial Day Tournament that we compete in every year in the Bronx. If you can come out to our tournament I promise you will meet players from the past that are still blessed with the abilities to compete and come out and support along with today’s stickball players and once you see all the teams and players from all over the country then I think you can make a fair assessment. I know several players in our league that hit exactly the way you describe and there are others that have their own style.
Our illustrious tournament host 17-18 teams and its a action packed weekend of competition and reunion amongst an extended family of stickball players. I would love to meet you in person to talk about my uncle Chibbie, and my dad his older brother Albie Santiago. I am sure we can share some stories. Thanks again for explaining in words why we all love and play this wonderful game of stickball. Yours truly Albie Jr.
*** Thanks Albie for your contribution to the site