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…..
Victoria, boy does that bring back memories. I taught this to my grandson when he was younger and he loved it along with hit the stick (bouncing a spaldeen between two cement boxes in front of my house)as Therese says she did with her grandson. This goes to prove that kids of all generations enjoy the simple games that kids have been playing for years. Isn’t this a great website?
I am stumped as to why no one has mentioned “Hit the Penny”, which was a popular, if rather sedate, street game when I was growing up in Brooklyn. It used the sidewalk blocks, and between two blocks (on the line) you put down a penny, nickel or quarter—and then you stood at the edge of the two blocks and hit the penny. If it turned over, you got two points—first one to twenty one wins. The catch—when either player reached twenty, they had to back up one block, thereby making it harder to hit the target. What’s the deal—how come nobody even mentions this game. I play it with my son now in LA and we have a great time.
I grew up in Brooklyn on Atlantic Ave., near Saratoga, (Bed Sty). I went to PS 87. I don’t remember a “Pinky” we all had Spaldeens. I remember the smell of a new one, just thinking about those games; stick ball, stoop ball, punch ball, box ball and hit the penny brings back fond memories. when we moved to Brownsville, all the kids there had Spaldeen’s too.
Does anyone remember playing Giant Steps? And I had great fun playing punchball, red light green light, red rover, potsy, stoop ball, I declare war on …., hit the penny, hot potato and other city kid games. We really used our imaginations, got lots of exercise, and learned how to get along with others and organize ourselves. I feel sorry for the kids today. They are so programmed by adults.
Growing up in South Philly, the pimple ball was indispensible. You couldn’t play the street games without it: Stickball (aka Fastball), Halfball, Hit the Penny, Chink, Wallball, Wireball, Babies in the Air. I find it difficult to explain to my kids just what a pimple ball was. I wish I had saved one to show them. The thing I found most interesting about it was when you pressed your index finger hard on the top of the ball and throw it hard releasing it so that it’s trajectory was toward the ground, it would almost float as it sped toward it’s target. I’ve seen guys throw them almost the length of a city block where the ball made the entire trip 6 inches off the ground.
PS 66 in Richmond Hill Queens had everything from punchball, stickball, slapball (“Slap”). basketball, off the wall, asses up, ringelevio, coco-monster, chinese, handball, whiffleball, errors, 5 boxes, hit the penny, strikeouts, to softball. I even remember the “non athletic” kids playing checkers, chess, or cards off in some corner. Out in the street were skelly games, I Declare War, Tops, and kids doing unbelievable things with yo-yos. Soemtimes we would use nearby Forest park fo ringelevio…and of course one of the Queens meccas, Victory Field. What memories. This experience of playing led me to my wonderful profession – a Physical Educator.