This summer, soccer and baseball are making it big.
In New York City, another sport has captivated neighbors for decades.
Stickball is heating up the streets across the boroughs. Manhattan and the Bronx have active leagues. The events turn into block parties.
Some Brooklyn and Staten Island teams plan games on the weekends around their boroughs.
Other games are organized at a moment’s notice by friends looking for something to do on a summer day.
Players and families help to keep alive the sport.
Carlos Diaz has been playing for more than 4 decades. He created the Stickball Hall of Fame in Harlem. A ceremony was held this month to welcome this year’s honorees.
Jay Cusato is a stickball player and a filmmaker in Brooklyn. He produced a documentary called “When Broomsticks Were King.” It has been shown at MCU Park in Coney Island before stickball games on the field. A championship series will be held in September near Deno’s Wonder Wheel.
Moses Baez can ben found practicing and playing on summer weekends. Every Sunday around noon, the East Harlem Stickball League gathers at East 109th Street and 3rd Avenue for a series of games.
Neighborhoods have unique rules and styles of play. Some of the leagues in the city are celebrating fifty years of play.
The tradition probably goes back a century or more.