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.



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  1. Jim Casey says:

    Gerard couldn’t shoot a lick until he came under my tutelage

  2. George Farrell says:

    I am starting up the way back machine again. You played every game that you could and learned from the older guys. You watched and practiced and practiced until you finally were “chosen in”. Many disappointments early on when one of the big guys did not choose you but you knew it was fair. You just dug in harder and practiced harder until your turn came. The really great athletes made it look easy but many hours of practice and prep went into honing those skills. I can remember tieing a rolled up newspaper to use as a football on Windsor Place. In the huddle every guy had a pass route based on specific location. ” Hey Red, I want you to buttonhook by the johnny pump in front of the Bannon house…Bunky, do a crossover from Bannons to Old Lady Galligan’s house. The rest of you stay busy!” And we had definite seasons for sports: May to Sept was baseball/stickball, football was October to Christmas and then hoops until April. My Dad was a huge college hoops fan and many a night or weekend we’d walk over to the Armory and catch the St. Francis games. Al Inniss, Hank Daubenschmidt, Tony D’Elia, Les Yellin for the Terriers versus the O’Connor brothers from Manhattan College, Ed Conlin and Jim Cunningham from Fordham, Walt Dukes from Seton Hall, Dick Duckett from St. Johns. Great memories!

  3. Andrew Purdy says:

    There were many great athletes in different sports from the neighborhood, but three guys quickly come to mind who could play most sports really well:

    1) Lou Mastrandrea
    2) Eddie Cush
    3) Stephen Griffin

  4. Lenny says:

    I was a handball player in Lincoln Terrace park.The best player i ever saw at that park was a guy about 6’6 named Myron.

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