I can picture a brand new spaldeen vividly today, almost smell it. What a great feeling to go to the local “candy store” and buy a new spaldeen. Always preferable to a pensy pinky, which were also good.We used spaldeens in stickball, punchball, fungo, slapball, A’s-up,stoopball, and different “box games”-boxball, box baseball, five boxes, hit the penny, etc., in Bayside, Queens. As far as Johnny Pump goes, it brings to mind the old game “Johnny on the Pony”. I would love to buy some spaldeens, if there is a place to order them, I’d like to know.
Pete,Sunnyside,Queens 1951-58 Two people stood on the edge of a sidewalk box facing each other,each having one box in front of them.On the line between the two boxes a “GOOD HUMOR,Popcicle” stick was placed at right angle to and on the line between the two boxes.The mission was to hit the stick and move it towards and at long last over the line at the edge of your opponent’s box.I don’t recall any points just win or lose. I came to this site via N.Y.TIMES story looking for CHINESE HANDBALL. I see ACE-KING-QUEEN which was the positions of the boxes but did not find anything. Any help anyone???
In Queens in the 60’s, we played the five box version of boxball described above. Two players stood with five boxes between them; you would first bounce it once in the box closest to your opponent (your fifth box), and then once in each of your fourth and fifth boxes, and so on. I’m not quite sure if I remember the ping-pong style of two box that Connie describes above. We didn’t play hit the stick, but I do remember playing hit the penny. I think you scored one point if you hit the penny, and two if you flipped it. Players stood with two boxes between them, and put the penny or other coin on the crack between the two boxes. We didn’t like to use nickels because they were heavy and more difficult to flip. :^) This was a mostly a game for younger kids, whereas I remember still playing boxball into early adolescence, when we weren’t playing wiffle ball or stick ball or just hanging out. Another favorite game of childhood was ring-o-levio, which I played from early childhood right through high school. Those later HS games were neighborhood-wide.
Born in Brooklyn in 1959 and grew up in Sheepshead Bay around Ocean Parkway between Y & Z (Manhattan Court). I moved to Rochester, NY in 1980 after graduating from college to work for Eastman Kodak. I am 39 now with two kids and my boy is 9 years old. We where home (I still call Brooklyn home) this weekend and I played stickball with my son. The school yard (PS 209) I used to play in is under some kind of destruction/construction so this was just an introduction. It was great to be out there again. Can’t wait until I get my hands on a Spalding though. Pensee-pinkie’s where better. The Spalding’s used to crack in half. I still have my stickball bat from the 70’s so I remembered to bring that along. Remember how many sneakers we used to go through because the toes would be gone from pitching. I remember begging my Mom to buy me PUMA’s when they first came out. I never liked those heavy ADIDA’s. They where $20.00 back 25 years ago. After our little stick ball game I introduced him to PUNCH BALL. We then went home and played “HIT THE PENNY”, “5 boxes”, and “Box Tennis”. I even had a chance to grab a Nathan’s frankfurter and a BAG of fries in Coney Island. I think they still use the same grease for the fries.
In my day the 50’s we played hit the penny. You would use two sidewalk squares with the penny starting on the middle line of the two boxes. if the thrower hit the penny he got a point. if the penny turned over you got two points. First player to reach 11 or 21 won the game
I grew up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I also remember playing “hit the stick”. We also played with the icecream stick, standing on opposite ends of 2 cement squares, and trying to hit the stick with a “spalding” ball. I think the winner would be the first one to score 10 or maybe 20 points.
Ever play Hit the Stick We would take a stick from an ice cream bar and put it on a crack between two cement pads on the sidewalk. Standing at the end of the cement pads each player(2 players)on opposite sides, would try to hit the stick with a spauldeen. Bounceing it back and forth.. I don’t remember how the game was won.. Anyone??
The girls in my neighborhood…the lower East Side of Manhattan played a game where we put down a penny on the sidewalk. They stood apart from each other, usually using two square cement blocks of sidewalk. One girl would stand on the right of the penny and the other on the left. And you bounced the ball hoping to hit the penny with the ball to get a score. If the penny flipped over, you got a higher score. Don’t remember anymore of the particulars. Does anyone else remember this game.
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