In this story I hope to give a brief history of South Bronx stickball up to the start of the NYESL founding in 1985. Also, I will introduce some of the players who had a major role in making stickball what it is today.
In the early 1950’s there were a number of good stickball teams in the South Bronx. When the Korean War broke out, many of the teams broke up since the players went into the military. When they returned, some played for other teams, but most of the old teams were gone. In 1956 there were two good teams in the South Bronx that played all over the Bronx and Manhattan. They were the Jackson Knights and the Tigers. In 1957, the Knights couldn’t field a team and were gone. This left the Tigers and a young upcoming team, The Lucky Sevens. In 1958, the Tigers lost their fourth, fifth and sixth hitters and broke up early in the season. This left the Lucky Sevens as the only good team. They did not do well against a combined team of Pleasant Avenue and Mott Street and never recovered. They broke up in early 1959. In two seasons, three good teams from the South Bronx were gone and now there were none. However, there were still good stickball players from these teams around.
Bouncer from the South Bronx (Hey, we dont always make contact!)