In my neighborhood (brooklyn and lefferts, in brooklyn) we played a game called heels. it was quite sophisticated and required a large collection of all kinds of heels, including some we doctored up. i have realized over the years, even though this game was quite sophisticated, it was very local. anyone else?
My name is Ira Gutman and i grew up in the Glenwood Projects/Brooklyn,N.Y. from 1953-1965 and i have fond memories of playing “Ringoleavio!
We played with pitching against a wall with a chalk strikezone. It was a deadend street in Brooklyn that backed onto what we called the Long Island Railroad–actually the freight line. Past the pitcher on the ground was a single, unless caught. Over the fence and down to the tracks was an out, unless it made it all the way down the hill on a fly, in which case it was a double. Up the hill on the other side was a triple. All the way across the tracks and the fence on the other side was a home run. Over the top of the 6 story building that was across the tracks on the other side was a grand slam. We used to have to stop and go down to the tracks and get the balls to restart the game. You needed 3 or 4 balls if you really wanted to play all day. The BMT was right next to the “field” on the left hand side. Foul balls onto the BMT were only chased if you were out of balls because we would catch hell if our mothers saw us climbing the fence to go onto the subway tracks. We preferred spauldings because you could throw a wicked curve with it. When we first started playing we used broomsticks, but they soon came out with “official” stickball bats. Stickball was the greatest game ever invented. Why isn’t it a professional sport?
Off The Point. Not to be confused with Off The Curb. Front of Building had an Abutment rising about 24″Inches with a angled Top. One player in Middle of street, Second player across street up against wall. You would hit The Point at top of abutment & try to hit Wall across street for a Home Run. No running. Who ever caught Ball (Spaldeen) on fly was up next. This Pink Ball was a way of life in The West Bronx.
To be able to play on Andrews Avenue (West Bronx) each player had to be able to hit a minimum of a sewer. Two Sewers and you were a Strong hitter. Ron & myself were Three sewer hitters making us the Home Run Kings. On rare occasions you hit both Three sweres & over the Six(6) story building. Rules were as previously mentioned – Down The Line – Right car was First – Second was Middle Sewer- Left car was Third. Lived for THIS game – Also same game without Bat was Punchball.
I was thinking of the games we used to play with a Spaldeen. There were games for only one person up through a full baseball team. As I remember them they were: 1 Person Catch with yourself- throw the ball up and catch it. Practicing your pitching against a box on the wall Throwing the ball against the wall to see how high you could throw it. On the roof was the ultimate Throwing the ball off the wall (or stoop) and practicing your catching ability. 2 Persons Box Baseball Hit the penny. Stickball Catch American Handball, paddle ball, etc. Off the wall Stoopball 3 Persons Monkey in the middle Running Bases Salugi (?) or keep away Chinese handball Larger Groups Punchball Slapball I’m sure there are more. But for 25 cents, nothing could beat thatbeautiful pink ball with the word Spaulding stamped on it. We didn’t need our parents making schedules, driving us all over the place. Just us and a little ball, and we were in heaven for hours. Mark Podhorzer Now of Atlanta GA, but in my heart always from Brooklyn
In our neighborhood (Boro Park section of Brooklyn) street stickball was played “up the middle.” No pulling the ball beyond the street curbs or parked cars (which were in play). It was strickly an up the middle hit or an out. We played the “one bounce” version which allowwed tricks on the ball to increase the ball movement and give the defense an edge.
I grew up on the Lower East side of Manhattan — or at least that was what WE called it. Now the section I grew up in is called “the East Village”. Sigh. Anyway, I remember three different ice cream trucks (Mr. Frostee; some other company I can’t remember; and then eventually, Good Humor) in the summer. I remember the “knish man” in the winter. He was a large, grungy-looking individual wrapped in about ten layers of clothing to withstand the cold he had to endure eight hours a day. When I saw the movie, “Fiddler On the Roof” years later, I remember thinking that Tevye looked just like the knish man! Funny how, as an adult, you think about things like where street vendors go to the bathroom and/or wash their hands. As a child, you couldn’t have cared less.
Growing up in Queens, we would also play stoopball a lot, but we played it with a baseball theme. If the ball bounced in front of the first defender and he missed it, then it was a single; between the two guys – double; from the second guy to the row of cars – a triple; and in the street was a homerun (assuming he didn’t catch it while dodging a car). Hitting a “pointer” just meant that you had a great shot at getting a homer.[