⇒ Skip this, take me to the discussion archive!
In 1999, we started Streetplay… and the discussion area quickly became its most popular feature. While we’re carrying on our tradition of discussion 21st-century style on our Facebook Streetplay Discussion Group, we really didn’t want to lose all the years of reader-submitted stories and questions when we closed the discussions on Streetplay.com. That’s why we’ve gathered together every non-spam message we could (our site was getting hacked left-and-right!), and gathered it all here in a new, WordPress-powered archive.
Nearly every message that was on our original discussion board can be found here. Each message is created as a blog post, and when possible, the original author is credited. Also, with the power of the WordPress platform, we’ve been able to group the messages by their original categories (see the menus at the top of the page), and also add new tags to the nearly 4000 posts we’ve retrieved… take a look at the list of tags on the right-hand side, or just look for them at the bottom of any post. Of course, you can also search for any specific words you want using the search function at the top of any page.
To get you started, we’ve inserted the first bit of the message list below, beginning with the most recent. If any message strikes your fancy, try clicking its title, or use the categories and tags to dive deep into a topic you like.
Have fun with this! We hope you enjoy exploring this unearthed corner of Streetplay as much as we do!
that was “chips on the ball!” when it was heading into the sewer (we used metal clothes hangers to retrieve from sewers)or over the garage roof into the woods. Neighbors would see us fishing the sewer (which really smelled like…a sewer) and yell at us “you boys are gonna get polio, I’m gonna tell your mother!”
I grew up in Queens Village. We played “pinkball” variety of handball at Alley Pond Park just inside the Union Tpke entrance (you went under the old Vanderbilt MotorPkway bridge). This was in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. Our courts were “one wall.” There was some alternation between Spauldeens and Pennsy Pinkies, but we finally pretty much settled on the Pennsies. It seemed the Spauldeens were being made smaller and the rubber thicker. They didn’t move as well. Now the Pennsies had a bit too much bounce to them, so we’d “pin” them. I carried a safety pin attached to my belt loop. When we got a new ball we’d simply push the pin through the skin and it then would bounce just right. We usually got our balls from Michael’s Candy Store on Hillside Avenue where Bell Park Manor and Terrace Apartments were (and are). The owners of Michael’s back in the day had a sign on the box holding the balls: “If you bounce it you bought it.” Oh, and yes sir, those were the days!
We played on Navy Street between DeKalb Avenue and Willoughby St. We played all the games you could play was with the Spaldeen. One game we played was Curb ball. Two players every bounce was a base. Catch it on a fly and you were up.
In South Philly the halfball base hits were: 1) Single if ball makes far curb without being caught 2) Double if ball hits first floor windows and not caught 3) Tripple if ball hits second floor windows and not caught 4) Home Run ball makes it to the roof and stays up there. Every one aspired to be called a roofer. One swing per at bat, wiff or foul ball your out.
Spaldings had texture so you could put English on them when you pitched. The only bad thing about them was that they split too easily—one good swing and two halves would go flying. If a couple of kids brought theirs down to play, we’d drop them all from the same height and use whichever one bounced back up the highest—then that owner would yell “chips”!
Growing up in “The Projecks” as pronounced it, the best ball for playing stoop was the Pensie-Pinkie. I’ve heard people say that these were great for punch ball also but they were harder and tougher on the knuckles. There was no feeling – or sound – like hitting a Pinkie off the “sweet spot” the protective metal on a housing project stoop.
just saw this documentary. truly great! I’m a Bronx kid, my big bro was the real ballplayer (some stick, mostly softball). Was really moved by the story of Mr. Mercado, father & firefighter who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11!! just gotta express gratitude. I’ll go say hi at his namespot at the memorial. thnx. Gianno
another vote for hit the penny here flatbush ave and rutland road mid 50’s all the italians loved hit the penny and running bases,stoop ball of course and eating red pistachios on the stoop… memories good fun…
In the Norwood section of the Bronx in the ’50’s and 60’s we played with Spaldeens or Seconds which were cheaper. Mostly punchball or stickball. The P.S. 94 schoolyard had a concrete diamond for punchball and a big concrete wall with a stike zone drawn on it for stickball.