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Stickball Hall of Fame: Neither a Hall, nor Famous (Yet)

Friday, July 09, 2010

WNYC

During the week, 60-year-old Carlos Diaz works as the community liaison for the Archcare nursing facility in East Harlem.

But among the stacks of papers and file folders in his office, he also has little, pink, rubber balls  and a felt banner that reads "Champs, 1992," at his desk.

On weekends, Diaz is the proud President of New York City's Stickball Hall of Fame.

Diaz started playing stickball at age 12, and still plays in East Harlem on Sundays, with teammates ranging in age from 16 to 80.

"There's nothing like playing with your uncle," Diaz says. "There's nothing like competing with your dad...and they love it because they're playing the same sport they played 30 years ago, playing with their grandson, and playing with their sons."

The Stickball Hall of Fame is not actually a hall (it doesn't have a physical space) but it is famous (in some circles).

People from all over the country, as well as Puerto Rico and Panama, nominate their fathers and grandfathers to the Hall. Diaz says elderly players are often surprised and deeply touched by the gesture. So far, Diaz has never denied a nominee.

Diaz will inaugurate some of these older players, as well as New York Yankee Mariano Rivera, into the Stickball Hall of Fame this Friday at 6 p.m. at the Museum of the City of New York.

 

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Comments [4]

Ray Feliciano from St. Augustine, Fl

Hello Samantha,
Recently read your wonderful article on the Stickball Hall of Fame and its founder Carlos Dias. It bought back fond memories of the game, the friends and the fun times of the 50s. If possible, can you please let me know where he can be reached. I will be visiting NY in September and where to find the Hall of Fame.
Many Thanks

Aug. 12 2013 03:53 PM
Catherine Giannone from 1359 Crosby ave. Bronx

My brother was Stickball hall of famer Vito Giannone known as the Iron Man . He was with Minton's play house. When he was a little boy about 7 he was hit by a car chasing a ball. He was taken to Lincoln Hospital in the bronx where we lived. He held on to that ball through out his ordeal. So you see he was destined to play ball.

Feb. 05 2013 09:45 AM
Daviel (Pino) Pinol

What's Up!

How are you doing Charlie? it's me Pinol from the Minotaurs, don't forget to nominate me into the hall of fame/shame, listen maybe we can have an tournament here in south beach, it will be an great idea maybe i can touch base with the people here at city hall since i work here. It will have to be on a weekend holiday

Jun. 29 2011 01:46 PM
Stan Green from West Long Branch NJ

My father played stickball in the 40's - I played it in the 60's (as did my brother and sister).
A great tradition.

Jul. 10 2010 12:12 AM

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