John Marzano Half Ball Tournament

An Italian Market Tradition

Created in 2009 at the S. 9th Street Italian Market Festival, the John Marzano Half Ball Tournament marks another year with a lineup of the city’s best players at Philly’s favorite street game.

Play begins at 9 a.m. in the schoolyard of Christopher Columbus Charter School, Christian St. between 9th and 10th. Players will enjoy the competition when they’re not sampling the food and entertainment at the festival.

5-Person Teams (fielding 3 players at a time) will play in the tournament and compete in this celebration of community and precision that is the legacy of South Philadelphia’s native son, John Marzano.

Johnny Marz, as he was commonly known, was a major league catcher for more than 8 seasons, and never forgot the game he enjoyed playing while growing up in his rowhouse neighborhood.

The tournament is a great way for families to pass along the tradition of Philadelphia’s greatest street game.

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