Alley bat was played in a school yard or an alley wide enough to accommodate a boy swinging a broom stick (the stick ball bat). The batter stood at a wall facing the pitcher. On the wall behind the batter there was a strike zone drawn using chalk. Usually the entire zone was chalked in. The pitcher threw fast balls, curves, etc. at the batter. Three strikes and a batter was out. Three out and the pitcher and batter exchanged places. When the ball was hit, where it landed or struck the surrounding structure determined if it was a single, double, triple, home run or foul ball. Nine innings were played as in baseball. The spaldeen was used, but a tennis ball could also be used. If the batter did not swing at a pitch, a ball or strike was determined by where it hit the wall. If out of the strike zone it was a ball and no chalk was on the ball. In the zone was a strike and the proof was in the chalk.
Original author: Joe Serino [e-mail]