Wycliffe Stiffs Honor Five New Stickball Hall Of Famers

2023 stickball hall of famers Gil Seidman, Bruce Dresner, Joel Schweidel, Phil Strassler and Howard Novick. Photo by Alan Lebowitz

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Gil Seidman, Bruce Dresner, Joel Schweidel, Phil Strassler and Howard Novick became the latest inductees into the Wycliffe Stiffs Stickball Hall of Fame.

The ceremony took place that afternoon at Wellington’s Village Park, home of the Wycliffe Stiffs Stickball League. Harry Klaff, the league’s director of operations, presided over the induction ceremony.

Seidman entered the league in 2014-15 as a member of the Bronx Clippers. His best batting average was .286 during the 2016-17 season. He has a lifetime slugging percentage of .361.

Dresner started playing in 2016-17 for the Long Island Whalers. On two occasions, he has hit .400. In the 2017-18 season, he hit .441, and in 2021-22, he hit .400.

Schweidel’s debut in the league was in 2015 while playing for the Brooklyn Bums. On three occasions, he has batted .300. His best year was 2017-18 when he batted .353 for the Long Island Whalers. From 2015 to 2022, he slugged 19 doubles.

Strassler has been playing in the league since 2015-16. His first team was the Long Island Whalers. On three occasions, he batted over .400. His highest average was .429 during the 2021-22 season.

Novick’s first team in the league was the Bronx Clippers. That was in 2016 when he batted .367. On two occasions, he has batted over .400. His best year was 2021-22, when he batted .458. From 2016 to 2022, he slugged 37 doubles.

The Wycliffe Stiffs Stickball Hall of Fame was created in 2009. According to Klaff, the purpose is to recognize the accomplishments of players who have contributed their time and effort over the years to ensure the success of the league. To be inducted, individuals must have played in at least 75 percent of their team’s games for at least six seasons. Scorekeepers and other league personnel are also eligible for induction.

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, the league hosted its first-ever Old Timers Day, where 19 players who played in the league’s first year returned for a little batting practice.

“There was no game, but they all got up for a few swings,” Klaff said, adding that they wore jerseys from the teams that played in the first year — the Flatbush Egg Creams, the Wycliffe Yankees, the Concourse City Slickers and the Coney Island Bulldogs.