In South Philly the halfball base hits were: 1) Single if ball makes far curb without being caught 2) Double if ball hits first floor windows and not caught 3) Tripple if ball hits second floor windows and not caught 4) Home Run ball makes it to the roof and stays up there. Every one aspired to be called a roofer. One swing per at bat, wiff or foul ball your out.
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
Anyone remember the game called Dead Man’s Box using a soda bottle cap. The cap would be moved by the player’s index finger in a snapping motion to move the cap to different boxes in the corners and at the end of larger box with a skull in the center.
I grew up in South Philly around 21st and Mifflin, born in 1953. For some crazy reason I could never figure out, we had names for some games others referred to differently. Sometimes I thought it was an East of Broad, West of Broad thing. For example, instead of Chink we called it Dinky. Instead of Hide the Belt we called it Hot Beans. Instead of Jailbreak we called it Releasio. Any input on anyone for this? Also, anyone remember making Bottle Top Shooters?
Great site! A favorite game in the 50s in Mayfair was called “Three Feet Across The Ice.” Everyone stood along the curb and “It”, who stood in the street, called out “Take (1, 2, or 3) feet across the ice!” The players would then take the designated number of steps off the curb into the street and were safe until they moved off their mark, making a run for the safety of the opposite curb. If “It” tagged you off your mark or off the curb, you became the next “It.” Anyone who had reached the safety of the opposite curb could keep a foot or hand touching that curb, stretch out his/her hand and escort any player safely to the curb. But “It” could try to break the grip with karate chops, which caused a lot of bruised arms! I remember there was a game called “Spring” (as above) but cannot remember how it was played. I’ve also been trying to remember a game we called “Clock” that we played on the steps after everyone’s dad came home and parked their cars and we couldn’t play on the curbs anymore. After dinner, the sun would start to set and we’d light our punks to ward off the mosquitoes and play “Clock” but for the life of me, I cannot remember it now. Sound familiar to anyone else?
I grew up in Frankford and I was just telling a friend, there should be a site archiving the games we played on the “Streets of Philadelphia” I did a search and here it is!!! How cool is that!? Would anyone remember the rules for “Spring?” Please post them or you can email me direct. skylertking [at] yahoo [dot] com
Grew up in S/W Schuylkill (56th & Paschall ave) We played all the street games listed back in the 50’s and early 60’s. Hide and seek was referred to as “Ring up” wall ball was referred to on some corners as “chink” Loved them all! We also nailed the broken bats, taped the ball playing Hard ball, Buck-Buck, baby in the air and alot of half ball in the summer and “two hand touch” in the winter. Great era and a great time! They actually had “box ball leagues” in the summer at the Mitchell school yard at 56th and kingsessing ave!
I grew up in SW Philly near 68th and Woodland Avenues. We played Buck-Buck, but the first person on the team being jumped on wrapped his arms around a telephone pole. Once, one of the guys on the jumping team jumped so far he knocked himself out when he slammed into the pole. My friend’s brother broke his instep when he was the last guy bending over and the last jumper missed the stack and landed on his foot, which had the toes to the ground and heel up in the air. Ouch! The younger kids in our neighborhood played “shadow tag” at night. If you were “it”, instead of tagging someone you had to step on their shadow. Another game for younger kids was “Red Light, Green Light”. We also played various forms of “chicken”, which usually involved running in front of a car and seeing how close you could get without getting run over. In the winter if there was snow on the ground, we’d “ski” on the streets by grabbing hold of the back of a bus when it stopped and getting pulled along when it started to move.