Troy's Little Italy neighborhood group should be a model for anyone starting one up or currently running one. Movie nights, winter carnivals, bocce, bingo, and let's not forget the food.
This weekend they'll be hosting their second stickball tournament. If you've never played or watched a stickball game, after you clean up you neighborhood on Earth Day, take a ride down to 'The Market' and check out the festivities. The venue has hosted literally thousands of stickball games over the years. I have many fond memories of playing ball there as a boy, with vivid memories of watching the older guy's slam a 'spaldine' off the back of Carlo's Grill on short 5th Ave.
The tounament will benefit the local food pantry's , and is being billed as, "We Play for Food!" Games will begin at 11:00 a.m on April 25. Teams will compete over the course of the weekend with the champion receiving a large bag of meatballs made by Rocco DeFazio -- just kidding! 'The Market' is the old Troy public market place on Hill & Liberty St. Our home town Tri City Valley Cats are also involved with the event. My pal Vic Christopher, assistant GM of the ballclub is always a sure bet to make things interesting. The man is a true showman, and a master of promotion -- and does a mean Elvis impersonation to boot!
Do yourself a a favor, and take the time this weekend to make a trip down to Little Italy for the fun. Read Mike Esposito's Troy Treasures column (April 19) in the Record's archives for more information. Thanks to all involved for helping to revitilize the neighborhood. Benvenuti Little Italy!