A couple of years ago I wrote some stories for the NYESL web site on
the three hardest stickball hitters I knew. One was on Biggie of the
Tigers and the ball he hit over the water tank on the Puck Building on
Mulberry Street in Little Italy in 1956. Attached is a picture of the Puck
Building showing the water tank on the high part of the building.
Mulberry Street is in the back. The Puck Building is nine or ten stories high and the
water tank adds about two more stories to its height. Biggie hit the ball
over the water tank.
If I didn’t know about that ball and someone told me a guy hit a ball over
the water tank from a block away on Prince Street, I would think he was
full of s..t. Sudi Ramirez, from the Orlando area was there that day and
he goes to the Old Timers day in Florida. If you get to meet him, ask him
about that ball.
The area around the Puck Building has become an upscale neighborhood
so I don’t think stickball could be played there today. This is too bad
since it would be interesting to see what the NYESL power hitters could
do against the Puck Building. Many of the best stickball players in the
City played on that field in the 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s. On the right
side was Old St Patrick’s Church with a cemetery around it so not many
balls were hit that way. The hits were to the left side and the third
baseman and shortstop on both teams were going to have to play some
real stickball since some bullets were coming their way. The same for
the outfielders on the left side, low line drives were coming off the Puck
The best place to watch a game was from the platform on the church
steps. It was behind first base and about twelve feet up. Overall it was a
great field to play on or watch. The field looks a lot like it did years ago
since Old St Patrick’s Church and the Puck Building are still there. One
other thing, Old St Patrick’s Church was use in a scene in the movie, The
About five years ago I got in touch with some of the old South Bronx
stickball players who were living in San Diego and Florida. A couple of
them asked about the ball Biggie hit. I was amazed that after fifty
years people still knew about it. Take care.