I grew up on Linden Avenue…
I grew up on Linden Avenue in Belleville, NJ. My neighborhood friends and I all played punchball with the Pensy Pinkie. They were the best!! Back then it was almost a right of passage as each new generation of street urchin claimed rights to the open spaces between parked cars. As others have said the Spaldeen is harder than the Pensy, so better for stick ball. We used wiffle balls for stickball. We had houses with windows on both sides of the street and parents to answer to when we broke those windows. ( It seems like that happened at least once a year.)
The Pensy was a great ball just to practice eye/ hand coordination by yourself. Throw it up as high as you could than catch it. Bounce it while you walked. Bounce it against a wall as you walk and than catch it. Bounce it between yourself and a friend and play catch walking down the street to get a Coke at the corner store. Pop it out in front of you with as much backspin as you could and make it come back to you. See who could bounce it the highest. And don’t forget “Keep Away” when you just had to pester one of your friends who just got a new Pensy.
I am now 49 and living in North Carolina. I recently picked up the Pink Ball Book that has a Spaldeen in it. ( The first pink ball I’ve seen in 30 years.) I’ve been using it to play with my 11 year old nephew who had never used a pink ball. He loves it now! I like the Spaldeen a lot but if I could find a Pensy I would buy it.