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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA
Stickball: An Urban Pastime
by Lauren Welles


Known as the “poor man’s baseball,” stickball was the brain child of kids growing up in New York City during the Great Depression. Too poor to own baseball equipment, they found another way to emulate their sports heroes—using the handles from their mothers’ brooms as bats and city blocks as fields. Decades later, older players continue to pass the game on to their sons, daughters, and grandchildren. They, in turn, keep it alive—playing every Sunday morning throughout the spring and fall, in the Bronx and East Harlem. More important than stickball itself—and what inspired me to document this urban pastime—is the sense of community created by the players and fans, all of whom share an intense passion and joy for a simple, elegant game.