In Washington Heights (181st Street)in the late 50’s/early 60’s, you could get both – Spaldeens were harder and cost 25 cents, while the Pennsie Pinky was only 15 cents and a lot softer and smoother. We preferred the Spaldeen for stickball and the Pinkie for punch ball. When they went “dead” and lost their bounce, the game was to “roof” the ball by throwing it onto the roof of a 6 story apartment building. Sid’s candy store on 181st street was the only place in the neighborhood that let you check all of the Spaldeens and Pinkies by giving them the “bounce test” before buying – holding a ball at about chest height and letting it go to see how high up it would bounce. I broke Mrs. Morrison’s living room window with a Spaldeen and hit the super of the building across the street with a Pennsie Pinkie!
Original author: Les Millett