I learned about stickball at 15 yrs of age from a fellow by the name of Bobby Graham, a Brooklyn guy who worked at the same place where I was doing summer jobs in Roxbury MA. We used to play after work on Fridays while waiting for our paychecks to be issued. Loved the game from the first moment I laid my hands on that broomstick.
We played fast-pitch in local schoolyards with a strike zone on the wall. Ground rules varied according to the game site, but a home run was always over the school building or across the street.
The “official” ball was the pimple ball; we only used pinkies when unable to find pimple balls at the 5&10. In fact, pimple balls ultimately got so hard to find that we would go to extreme lengths to retrieve them in the course of game. It was always a sad thing when someone hit a pimple ball right on the seam and split it. Haven’t seen a pimple ball in a LONG time, though.
I remember spending many hours practicing and perfecting my pitching technique. Those were the days when a kid had plenty of time on his hands after school and before dinner. It got to the point where I could reliably hit the door handle of my house garage door from across the street. Developed about a half dozen different pitches, including a wicked Elroy Face inspired sinker.
Had some wicked grudge match games against local neighborhood rivals. One of my great sports moments was pitching nine straight no-hitters against them. They refused to play us any more. I guess we still own the bragging rights in that rivalry.
Nice to be able to share my memories with people who remember and understand this great street sport.
Better than golf IMO.