Thursday, January 04, 2007
A Walk Is As Good As A Hit
Yes, those were the immortal words of coaching advice from my little league manager, Harry Leibowitz, seated on the left. Harry couldn't compete with the coaching prowess and deep farm systems of the likes of St. Joseph and Transfiguration and the other teams of our church dominated little league on the lower east side. He also didn't have 11 year olds who may have known Barry Bonds' trainer and looked like they were 15. Among them were Tommy Red, Joey Maldonado, Marty Ricco (who I think knew a few Goodfellas of the neighborhood and met an early demise) and Richie LaGrippo. Tommy Red once hit a home run off of me that disintegrated a good section of rock from part of the Manhattan Bridge arch which loomed over our Cherry Street dirt field. I think the ball disintegrated as well. Otherwise I didn't do too badly by just getting the ball over the plate. Murray on the extreme right of the first row (who sent me this treasured picture) was my southpaw counterpart. He had less control, but more heat. We also won a few games when we followed Harry's advice of not swinging, since most of us couldn't hit (except for Allan Silverstein, who to this day probably remembers his batting average and slugging percentage). I'm sitting in the first row, third from left. Next to me Glenn Farber is practicing his stroke and then Marty B. is doing a more circumspect interpretation of the same. In the back row on the extreme right was our fastest runner, Marvin Kuperstein. Marvin is now the head of Portland's Jewish Center. To Marvin's left is Mr. Energy Star of USDOE, Richard (Rocky) Karney. Next to Richard is Bob Simmons. He played linebacker for Stuyvesant and was known for his acumen in stripping away the skin on your knuckles in games of Nucks. He probably also did some science experiments with stray cats. Bob's father was another coach for our team who is sitting in the first row. Mr. Simmons was Irish, but his wife was Jewish. Next to Bob is Joel Sosinsky from the Orchard Street shirt store dynasty, "Sosinsky and Sons." Joel was a pretty sick kid who had many operations. Now he is a lawyer for the Teamsters! Then (going to the left there's Stephen Liebowitz, who I will soon be seeing after more than 40 years), Professor Bobby Nathanson of L.I.U and the grim looking Stewart Brokowsky. I don't know why he's looking that way, because Stewie actually got some nooky before any of us even knew what it was. I don't remember who's next to Stewie. Next to that guy is Slugger Silverstein. Noted, but not in the picture, is Eddie Tobey. Eddie's dad was Mark Tobey who wrote, "The Courtship of Eddie's father.