Growing up in the neighborhood we played every sport known to mankind.  Well I didn’t swim, play hockey, soccer or tennis. But I knew a lot of kids that did play those sports. We stayed busy.

Baseball in the summer, cross-country in the fall, basketball and football in the winter and whiffle ball, punch ball and we ran track in the spring. We squeezed in stickball and off the point often.

When we played football it was two-hand touch but when it snowed we played rough tackle on ninth avenue. WITHOUT EQUIPMENT!

Charlie Alberti was a beast in baseball and basketball. Those two sports were the most popular when it came to the guys I watched growing up.


Detroit Press sports writer Mick McCabe recently wrote about the benefits of playing multiple sports and he also touches on “specialization.”


If you grew up in the neighborhood you played more than one sport.

I don’t remember having a trainer for a particular sport. No one pushed you or pressured you either.

Go outside and play,” was what my mother often said. Here’s a quote from the article above.

“Specialization leads to playing the sport year-round. That means not only an increase in risk factors for traumatic injuries, but a sky-high increase in overuse injuries. Almost half of sports injuries in adolescents stem from overuse.”

Yo Gerard Trapp, did you have a shooting coach when you were in high school? By the way GT, I recall you being a pretty good Tennis player…

A good friend once told me that his speed and agility drills was dodging punches from his father and running from him.