I’m Tony from Astoria Queens. We used to play with Spalding Balls and played stick Ball, Strike Box (AKA Alley ball), Stoop Ball, Box Ball, Handball, and all the others mentioned. One thing I haven’t heard about the spalding’s were the types or classes of each. I can remember there being four to choose from numbered 1-4. They went from #4 being softer (less air) to #1 being the hardest (most air). When you bounced the #1 you could hear the p’ing’ or ‘ting’ sound it made from it being so tight. In stickball, I could hit that ball for two blocks in the air and it would bounce for about five more blocks! Telling my kids this seems unbelievable to them; and if you really think about it, you start to second- quess yourself about being able to hit it that far–but you know you could. I think we (ALL) were the true superheroes of NYC and the Tri-State area. Never forget where you came from is my moto!!!
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE BALL GAME CALLED “I DECLARE WAR” WHERE A LARGE CIRCLE WAS DRAWN IN THE STREET WITH CHALK AND PORTIONED OFF LIKE A PIE FOR THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS EACH OF WHOM WOULD CHOSE A COUNTRY TO REPRESENT THEM AND WRITE THE NAME IN THIER COUNTRY IN THAT SECTION….THE BALL WAS BOUNCED AS HARD AS THE FIRST PLAYER COULD BOUNCE IT YELLING “I DECLARE WAR ON (WHATEVER) COUNTRY HE CHOSE” AND EVERYONE WOULD SCATTER. THE DECLARED COUNTRY PLAYER HAD TO RETRIEVE THE BALL AND YELL FREEZE (EVERYONE FROZE STILL). HE THEN TRIED TO HIT A FROZEN PLAYER WITH THE BALL…IF HE WAS SUCCESSFUL HE GOT TO CARVE OUT A PIECE OF THAT PLAYERS COUNTRY (USUALLY THE SIZE OF HIS FOOT SQUARED) AND WRITE HIS COUNTRY’S NAME IN IT…IF HE MISSED WITH HIS THROW THE PLAYER ATTACKED COULD CUT OUT A PIECE OF THAT PLAYERS COUNTRY AND CLAIM IT AS HIS….AND SO ON TILL THE WORLD WAS OCCUPIED BY THE BEST PLAYER (OR YOU MOTHER CALLED YOU HOME FOR SUPPER OR DARKNESS)…LET ME KNOW IF YOU REMEMBER THIS GAME. ANDREW BROOKLYN 1949 – 1962
The only other ball game we played not listed here was called something that might have been spelled “sluuuugie”, which was played with 2 teams. Each team would throw the ball to only their teammates, while the other team tried to steal it. Stealing the ball often was physical rough housing allowed. One last game also unmentioned, but played with out a ball was johnny on a pony, usually we played against a johnny pump (fire plug), but sometimes against a telephone pole. Charlie from Ozone Park 1965-1978
NorthEast Philly and Feltonville in the late 40s and 50s. Step(stoop) ball, curb ball, wall ball, wire ball were all the best games. Many of the row houses had alleys between them, so you got points by the times you hit both walls. Only had smooth Pennsie Pink and white-pimple balls, and each had it purpose. Loved the smell of the new ball. Charlie, Mike, Leroy, Bobby all great street ballers. Richie was a big kid that usually won, and beat you up if he didn’t. Nancy was as tough as Richie and she beat us up too, but nobody cared. LOL
how about hit the penny and box baseball. I grew up on 63rd street in Mill Basin. Best punch ball players. Other blocks would come by and challenge us. NO CONTEST. With 20 guys on the block we had lots of talent. Both balls were great and it wqas good to switch off. Our children don’t know what they missed. By the way the best handball player in Brooklyn was Al Britvan as far as a defensive player on a doubles team. The man….now 81….never ended a game without bleeding from scraping the ground. Long Live our memories…..
Grew up in ENY Brooklyn in the 60s … Pensie Pinkies were better for the games girls played like “A My Name is Anna …” and “Composition Letter A, May I repeat the Letter A” (does anyone remember these games by the way!) And if you were a beginner in Handball, the Spalding was a much faster ball …
Spaldeen – no contest. Christmas was when the school janitor went up on trhe roof and threw off the dozens of foul balls hit up there. We all grabbed the spaldeens first. To us, Pensie Pinkie was a derogatory term for any ball not a spaldeen!
The spaldeen was the only ball to use for street games. The pinkie was too mushy. I guess the pinkie would have been better for box baseball games, but you could put enough spin on the spaldeen. Stickball games ended when we lost all of the balls. We played in Bensonhurst.