Back in Philly we played stickball much the same wall, but we had an additional variation. We would find an old mop or broom handle. (sometimes it wasn’t that old). But we used the cheap rubber balls that had pimples (that’s what we called them) and we cut them in half. (old tennis balls were the best). Our game was called half ball. The same rules applied as stickball (distance determined postion on base, etc). We had no strike box, we would play against a wall or just on the street, much like streetball. We also had variations of the way the half ball was thrown. You could pitch the ball, mostly underhanded, like softball sometimes with an arch or fast and straight , so that the ball appeared to be whole as it approached the batter. Or it could be pitched sideways, so that the ball came at the batter like a flying saucer. A pitcher could actually make the ball rise or drop. The games usually ended whenever all the balls had been hit for homeruns and were on the rooftops. From time to time whenever a roof repair was being made in the neighborhood, the first thing we would ask the guy on the roof, was if there were any balls that he could throw down. My step-dad was usually the guy on the roof. So I always got first choice. As I got into my teens, and helped out I became the guy on the roof and would thrown the balls down to the younger neighborhood kids.
Original author: Dewy Brooks [e-mail]