September 29, 2014


Filed under: Denis Hamill,Rae and Otto — hoopscoach @ 5:34 am
Tags: , ,

Growing up in the neighborhood if you wanted an egg cream you went to Rae and Otto’s on ninth avenue.

Well thanks to my friend Frankie for passing along this article in the New York Daily News about a new place in Manhattan where you can get an egg cream.

Denis Hamill writes about a pretty cool spot and best of all, it’s inexpensive.

Then last week my brother Brian calls me saying I gotta rush to a new joint called Hamilton’s Soda Fountain on W. Fourth and Bank Sts. in Greenwich Village.

“Egg cream as good as Sanew’s,” he said of our long-vanished soda fountain-candy store hangout.

September 27, 2014


The following dialogue is a work of fiction.

Friday night. Late September. Two teenagers hanging out on the stoop on Windsor Place. 

“Fuck Derek Jeter!” Johnny shouted.

“Whaddya mean, fuck Derek Jeter?” answered Billy.

Johnny wasn’t having any more of the non-stop coverage on the Yankees shortstop of the past 20 years.

“I’m so tired of all this bullshit with Jeter on TV!”

“Yeah well he’s one of the greatest Yankees of all-time,” Billy assured his friend.

Everything on TV was about Derek Jeter. The New York Post, New York Times, Newsday and the Daily News all had the Kalamazoo Kid on their covers this morning.


“I don’t care, and he’s not one of the best Yankees of all-time,” Johnny shot back.

Oh boy, that infamous comparison between ballplayers. You can just feel it coming. Remember Mickey Mantle, Willie Mayes and Duke Snider?

“Yeah he is,” Billy protested.

“Gimme a fuckin break Billy. Last night was bullshit. Any other manager would have walked Jeter with an open base.”

MLB Network had the game live. Bob Costas and Kim Kaat were on the call. If you were a diehard, or stuck at work, you listened to Suzy Waldman on the radio. Maybe not the radio part.

Derek Jeter had the game winning hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Yankees had a man on second. Some sports talk radio callers this morning wondered if Orioles manager Buck Showalter should have walked Jeter to set up a possible double play.

“Showalter was drunk!” Johnny babbled.

By now you could imagine, Johnny was a Mets fan who hated the Yankees. Billy was a Yankees fan and hated the Mets. But many Mets fans from the neighborhood respected Jeter.

“Look bro, it’s Babe first, Gehrig second, Mantle and then Joe D.” Billy added.

Johnny sits there waiting for Billy to say Derek Jeter is fifth, ready to jump all over him.

“And Jeter is the fifth best of all-time.”

“NO FUCKIN’ WAY!” Johnny shouted as an old lady walking across the street looked over at them.

“Whaddya lookin’ at, mind your own business lady!” Johnny screamed.

By now Billy was laughing his ass off.

“Leave the lady alone,” Billy barked. “That’s Joey’s grandmother.”

Johnny was pissed. Perturbed and steaming.

“I mean Billy, even Yankee fans are tired of all the coverage.”

“Here comes Scooter, let’s ask him,” Billy uttered.

“Fuck Scooter, he’s a Yankee fan. Whaddya think he’s gonna say?” Johnny stressed. “Plus he doesn’t even have cable.”

“He knows the history of the ballclub,” Billy reminded Johnny.

“Later for him, he’s like 90 years old!”

Scooter came walking by the boys on the stoop. He looked at them, stopped and started to talk.

“SHUT UP SCOOTER!” Johnny shouted. “I don’t wanna hear about Jeter, Yogi Berra or Mickey Rivers.”

The old man couldn’t get a word out so he continued on his way. Billy was laughing again.

“Look man, Jeter is good, I will give him that but this tribute shit is too much.”

Billy was a bit frustrated trying to get Johnny to understand what all the fuss is about.

“I got an idea. Let’s go up to Farrell’s, stand outside and ask every baseball fan that goes in and comes out,” Billy stressed.

Johnny stood up and spit the sidewalk.

“That sounds like a plan,” Johnny said as both boys made their way up to Farrell’s.

The patrons in Farrell’s were both Yankee and Mets fans. Same for football; you had Giants and Jets fans, split down the middle. The Knicks had way more fans than the Nets though. Matter of fact, many of the Nets fans were once Knicks fans but decided to switch over. With the Nets home arena on Flatbush and Atlantic avenues, it was convenient to root for the Nets.

The two teens stood outside the side door of Farrell’s on 16th street and waited for people.

“Yo, Frankie, is Derek Jeter one of the greatest Yankees ever?” Billy asked.

Frankie looked at Billy, then at Johnny.

“Of course he is.”

“Where would you rank him?”

“Top 10, maybe top 5?” Frankie answered as he spit on the curb and put out his cigarette before heading into the bar.

“Thanks Frankie,” Billy shouted as the door slammed.

“You know what, this is a stupid idea, let’s get the fuck outta here,” Johnny protested.

“Nah man, we’re gonna ask a few more baseball fans.”

“OK, you ask the question, Larry King.  I’m outta here,” Johnny teased as he started walking up to the avenue.

“Yo Johnny, where ya going?”

Without looking back, Johnny answered, “I’m going to get an egg cream at Rae and Otto’s.”

Billy stood outside Farrell’s.

“Yo Kenny, Derek Jeter a top five Yankee of all-time or what?” Billy asked another Farrell’s patron.

“Fuck Jeter and fuck the Yankees!” Frankie shouted as he walked into the bar.

But before he disappeared Kenny added, “Those scrubs are not even in the playoffs!”

Billy walked away and headed across ninth avenue to the Korean deli.

“You would think Mets fans would give Jeter some respect?” Billy mumbled to himself.

September 26, 2014


Filed under: Derek Jeter — hoopscoach @ 6:08 am

Incredible finish last night in the Bronx.

Hope you had the chance to see Derek Jeter play shortstop for the last time in his amazing career.

Weather channel was calling for rain. The talk of the town and the sports talk radio shows, “the game is gonna get rained out.”

Not an empty seat in the house.

Yankee stadium going bananas every time Jeter came to the plate.

In his first at-bat in the last half of the first the Kalamazoo Kid doubled off the left field fence.

Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth.

Derek Jeter. Daily News

Tie game.

One out and a man on second; Jeter comes to the plate. (I will miss his introduction via a Bob Sheppard recording; “Now batting for the Yankees, Number 2, Derek Jeter. Number 2.” )

50,000 fans on their feet. Not to mention I was standing in my living room. I must add my wife, who is a Detroit Tigers fan was cheering for him.

First pitch he saw he lined it to right field, knocking in the game winning run.


Jeter’s last game at Yankee stadium.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Mother Nature cooperated.

It’s a baseball game I will remember for a long time.

Boomer Esiason said it best this morning on his radio show about Jeter:

“No scandals. No arrests. No PED’s.” 

On a side note; how about this nugget from the game last night: Jeter is from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Last night two umpires doing the game are also from Michigan.

Must have been a very cool experience for the men in blue.




September 24, 2014


Filed under: Farrell's,Windsor Terrace — hoopscoach @ 8:43 am

Well lucky you.

Yeah you, the one living in the neighborhood here in 2014.

Actually, you da man if you’re raising kids in the neighborhood!


Brick Underground, a real estate website put together a list of the best neighborhoods in the city to raise a family. Windsor Terrace and Park Slope graded out well.

Click here to check out the story.

Wonder if they had this type of survey back in the day, would our parish be considered one of the best?

Of course it would!

Love this description from Brick Underground:

Low crime and sleepy streets lined with row houses also contribute to the kid-friendly atmosphere.

Plus, unlike brownstone-heavy Park Slope or Carroll Gardens, Windsor Terrace has a significantly higher percentage of three- and four-bedroom apartments—​and since they’re in apartment buildings, rather than on floors of brownstones, they’re often bigger than what you’d find in those spots, says Victoria Hagman, founder of Brooklyn brokerage Realty Collective.

Not to mention, you’re still only a few blocks away from the southern edge of Prospect Park and within walking distance of the grocery stores, toy stores and stroller-loving businesses of Park Slope’s Seventh Avenue, as well as a Main Street-like strip on Prospect Park West.

Back in the day a description of the hood would be more like;

Want to play against the best “comp” around? Head to the boys schoolyard at Holy Name. One of the best bars in the city, Farrell’s, is located on the corner of 16th street. It is there where you can order a Container to go. Walk over ablock to the parkside where you can hang out with your friends. If you dig egg creams, Rae and Otto candy store is on the corner of Windsor and ninth. Hungry for a slice? They have three pizzeria’s on ninth avenue or you can walk a few blocks to 7th avenue and visit Frank’s for some awesome rice balls.

I wouldn’t trade my upbringing on ninth avenue for any neighborhood in the world.

On the streets of Brooklyn is where I wanna be.





September 23, 2014


Filed under: Bobby Leaver,Howie Bischoff — hoopscoach @ 5:57 am
Tags: ,

Thanks to my friend Al Powers for this sad information.

Like Al said on his Facebook page, we have lost two alumni of 16th street.

Howie Bischoff and Bobby Leaver died yesterday.

Both men, members of FDNY were fighting cancer due to their time spent working down at Ground Zero after 9-11.

9-11 image

I didn’t know Bobby too well but Howie was one of my favorites from the neighborhood! Loved watching him play for Farrell’s football down at Farragut Road. Kenny Whelan also once mentioned that Howie was a heck of a Rugby player. It’s no surprise there; Howie played with a lot of heart, toughness and passion.

My thoughts and sympathies go out to both families.

I am waiting on more information.



September 22, 2014


Derek Jeter’s fabulous baseball career with the New York Yankees is winding down.

The Kalamazoo Kid will be hanging up his cleats at the end of this week.

Nineteen years in the big leagues with the same club.

Think about that for a minute.

I know there are a few New York Mets fans who read the blog so I figure they have stopped reading this entry by now. (I wonder what Carmine would think of Derek Jeter?)

Derek Jeter Book

The Baltimore Orioles are in town for a four game series. Thursday will be Jeter’s final appearance at the stadium. The Bronx Bombers then head to Boston to end the season with a weekend visit with the Red Sox. Some people are wondering if Jeter will play against the Red Sox or will his appearance at Yankee stadium vs the Orioles on Thursday be his last?

“His last at-bat should be at Yankee stadium,” someone said to me.

Sorry, butI don’t agree with that at all.

If Jeter decides to play in Boston, look for the Red Sox to show their appreciation. The city of Boston knows winners, and Jeter is a winner.

In an outstanding New York Magazine article Jeter’s former manager Joe Torre had this to say about him: “Even though it was his first year in the big leagues, Derek was a finished product as a person. Very mature, responsible.”

Torre credits Jeter’s parents for a psychological grounding that sounds simple, but isn’t. “He felt comfortable in his own skin. Other players need to be validated. Derek doesn’t need the attention.”

Jeter’s parents did a wonderful job raising their son. Saw a sign at the Yankee game on Sunday, “MRS. JETER, YOU DID THE BEST JOB!”

You don’t have to be a Yankees fan to respect Jeter and his accomplishments.  I understand some people are tired of the farewell tour but he will be missed.

I am going to treasure these last few games. So much that I ordered MLB premium so I don’t miss his last few at-bats.

Jeter did it the right way both on and off the field.

He has never been involved with steroids or crime. Has never been involved in a domestic abuse situation. His mom and dad taught him how to respect people.

The way Jeter plays the game every day should be an example to all youth athletes. On ground balls, the guy still sprints down the first base line. I mention that only because there are major league baseball players who jog.

He not only hustles, but he plays hard and is a great teammate.

Currently I work with high school basketball players. I am always looking for examples of athletes who do it the right way, it’s important. It’s important for kids growing up in today’s society to see someone who worked hard like Jeter, who stayed out of trouble and who persevered.

I’m going to miss #2 playing shortstop in the Bronx.



September 20, 2014


Filed under: Bobby Corbett — hoopscoach @ 8:27 pm
Tags: , ,

Bobby Corbett award

September 19, 2014


Filed under: Derek Jeter — hoopscoach @ 7:46 am
Tags: , , ,

Back in the mid-90’s, when I moved from Brooklyn to Michigan there was a pretty good baseball player named Derek Jeter who moved from Michigan to the Bronx.

Not a bad trade, right?



September 18, 2014


Filed under: Holy Name — hoopscoach @ 5:38 am

I have been informed that the Holy Name stickball game and family BBQ which was supposed to take place this weekend has been cancelled.


There was not enough people signed up for the event.



September 17, 2014


Filed under: Children,NFL,Wife — hoopscoach @ 8:02 am

I once read a quote from a sportswriter whose name escapes me now, “Frustration leads to anger; anger to violence. Don’t get frustrated.” 

For some, frustration can be difficult to overcome. But I am sorry, there are two things in life men should not do no matter how they feel.

Men should not hit women and they should not hit children out of anger or for discipline reasons.

A couple of years ago a friend told me I was being too preachy here on Container Diaries.

Well if I’m sounding “preachy” today, I am sorry.

In the NFL there has been a few stories about domestic abuse. I am sure you have heard. (If not just Google Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson) but how can you not? It’s been all over the news.

Now, I am sure your parents back in the day did things their way and if you are a parent, you discipline your kids your way. (I often ask friends the difference in how you were raised and how you raise your own kids?)

I have a 15 year-old daughter and have been married for twenty-years. Not once have I ever thought of striking the two most important people in my life. I experienced this criminal behavior in my own home growing up – I learned from it despite what studies show. That someone who sees abuse as a child will be an abuser. That’s crap!

Have my wife and argued?


We’ve even raised our voices, of course, who doesn’t?

My daughter and I disagree on things too, she’s a teen! But hitting them? I don’t think so.

I totally understand things were different in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s and the 1980’s. This is 2014 people, to a man, you don’t put a finger on a child or a woman, I am sorry.

Only a coward hits a child.

A man doesn’t strike the woman that he supposedly loves.

Don’t get frustrated. It may lead to anger…


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