I grew up playing this in Washington Heights in the 70’s (160th between Ft. Washington and Riverside Dr.). We used to use specificly Heineken bottles for glassies (we could never get Lowenbrau necks to break off without shattering). At one point we started using two poker chips glued together (the different color combinations helped us keep track). Anyone else use poker chips?
In Manhattan (on the West Side) in the forties, we called it Chinese school. I have no idea why we called it that but that’s what we called it. I also taught it to my grandchildren and they loved to play it in my house because we had a lot of steps.
In late 1930 there was a team in east harlem called the “Black Diomonds” they were a great team. Jimmy powers sports editor of the daily news used to write about them. Newsweek, had an artical about them also. I am 79 and remember a few of the player by ther first names. There is one player who was know as the Babe Ruth of the team.His name (only one I know by the full name)Johnny Brunelli and belongs in the hall of fame.For more info contact me at e-mail ..abbey47 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
We used to use broom sticks for bats and when someone yelled “chickie, the cops” we hid them…. for fear the cops would take them …. and i was reading somebody was looking for a aluminum bat? the game has changed…. hey i still remember the sewer is second base……sliding into the tire of a car climbing up the six flights of stairs because someone hit a home run up on the roof … we only had one ball…. great memories…. Tom Ryan 188st washington heights new york
DOES ANYONE REMEBER THE DEUCES FROM WASHINGTON HEIGHTS? FOUND MEMORIES OF PLAYING STICKBALL ON 188TH STREET. tOM ryan
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!
Anyone know a ball game named “caliente”? It was a combination of “hot piece and butter” and “freeze tag” with a spaldeen! You could play with as many people that could fit into the play ground. You would power bounce the spaldeen as high as possible and everyone rush to catch the ball – but you had to keep your distance as well, because whe the ball was finally caught – everyone would have to freeze. The person with the ball would then try to hit one of the frozen players – you could move your body but one foot had to stay “frozen” to that spot where you stopped. If you were hit you were out, if not everyone would scramble for the ball and the rest would freez – this went on until the last person was out or a tie would be when there were ten throws and no one was hit.. Francisco Valor (Kico/Cubita) – West Side of Manhattan (89th street) – St. Gregory’s – PS 166
So glad I found this site. I played Chinese handball in Manhattan in the late 70s. I remember a favorite trick among my friends was to give the ball a lot of top spin on the return hit, so that when it came off the wall, it would hit the ground and reverse direction from the receiver!
I just found this site and it’s great.We played skully for hours on end on 189th St.in Manhattan.In between,we’d play stickball,off the point(curbball)or Johnny ride the pony.Also,I noticed someone mentioned “slugs”.We called this “Chinese” which I found out was short for Chinese handball.How about that,a bottlecap,a broomstick,and a “spaldeen” was all the equipment we needed for fun from March to November.Who needs Playstation?
Yo Nieves from Booklyn.Much respect to you.But the reason You dont like the spalding is that the ones ther are making now are nothimg like the one from the days.I grew up on the lower east side in nyc in the 70s.The spalding they use to make was made in such a way that you could not squeeze it.If you played stickball or stoop it use to take off.The new ones are nothing like the old ones.If I ever get a hand on a old school ball I will write you and send one to you.Take care Ralph LES