I grew up in Long Beach…
I grew up in Long Beach on Long Island in the fifties, where we played the fast pitch version of stickball…a “strike zone” chalked on a wall and a long asphalt school yard to blast away at. We used the distance demarkation method for single-double-triple etc, and the same strikeout, caught grounder or caught fly for outs. There was no base running; stickball in Long Beach did little for aerobic fitness.
We used broomsticks and two brands of pink rubber balls. Preferred was the Spaulding version, prenounced “Spauldeen.” Amazingly, “SPAULDING” was imprinted on the ball, we could all read, yet swore by that pronunciation. The other ball was the less desireable Pensy Pinky, which didn’t bounce as well, and also a had greater propensity to be disassembled by a solid top-spin whack. Two halves flew from the bat. Was that a single or a double?
I was not a good hitter because I developed a tendency to flinch very early on. In my first game, as a fifth grader, I ducked a close pitch but stood up too quickly. The rebound off the wall whapped me right in the ear. Talk about sting! I can still feel it.