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Over 60…And Getting Younger: September 17, 2010


The 2010 baseball season is slowly drawing to its October close. Waiting in the wings and “rarin’ to go” are the football, basketball and even the hockey teams. America is blessed with so many wonderful sports teams and seasons to observe them.

In Europe, most countries concentrate on only one sport, soccer. Nothing diminishes or takes away from this game. In our country sport fans must go from the playoffs in baseball, which sometimes wind down in early November to the beginnings of other contests which carry us through the dark winter.

It takes great concentration and focus to end the tense baseball season and start another season.

I remember, when I was a kid growing up in the East Bronx, I would enter the streets and the gutter would be filled with kids in the start of the “Immy season.” Every kid had a pocketful or a sackful of marbles. They came in glorious colors and sizes. There were “jalopies” or huge marbles. There were multicolored marbles and there were “puries,” single colored. Then there were the “steelies” or all metal ones, which resembled ball bearings. Everyone had their own favorites.

The commencement of capitalism arrived with the Immy season. Kraft cheese boxes had one-inch holes cut in the sides. If you tossed the marble through the hole, from a distance of six or seven feet, you were a winner and would win five marbles from the cheese box concessionaire. If you missed, they would keep your marble.

Others would play “hit and span” along the curb. You had to hit the other guy’s marble and span the distance with your pinkie finger and thumb.

Then from nowhere the “ticket season” would develop. Trading baseball cards and flipping cards was the sign of great skill and talent.

I never found out who initiated these various seasons. You would descend from your apartment house and it was like a great bazaar.

Another season was the stickball season. You needed a mop handle and a “spaldeen” (pink rubber ball) and two or three sewer covers. This game was also played in the gutter between the intervention of passing automobiles.

The seasons would just come and go and soon it was time for the next season.