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.[