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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Al Ravenna, photographer. Playing ball in East Harlem, New York City, 1954. Reproduction. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (106.00.00)

Boys’ Stadium

Making one’s own baseball was one thing, but coming up with a playing field in poor, crowded living conditions, as the boys shown here in East Harlem did, was more challenging. The experience was universal and not uncommon: “We used wooden planks for bats. We painted little boxes on the road for bases,” said Carlos Carrasco, who grew up in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, and now pitches for the Cleveland Indians. “We did whatever we could to feel like the pros.”