We played a game called Box Baseball. You would play with another person between 3 boxes. Someone would dig their fingers into the “pinkie” or spaldeen and throw it into the box in front of you. You then would slap it into the box in fron of you opponent. If he caught it, you’re out. If it bounced once, a sindle 2 bounces, a double, etc. Great game to play anywhere there was concrete sidewalks. Anybody remember this game?
We played a game called Box Baseball. You would play with another person between 3 boxes. Someone would dig their fingers into the “pinkie” or spaldeen and throw it into the box in front of you. You then would slap it into the box in front of your opponent. If he caught it, you’re out. If it bounced once, a sindle 2 bounces, a double, etc. Great game to play anywhere there was concrete sidewalks. Anybody remember this game?
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.
I grew up in the Bronx, and learned to play all sorts of games with a Spaldeen.(I am a 49 year old woman who lived on Hoe Avenue, between Aldus Street and 163rd (Bruckner Blvd. from 1958-1963). Howevever, when it came to box baseball, we always tried to use a cheaper, therefore softer ball. This enabled us to use our knuckles to make an indentation on the ball, and hopefully cause it to curve, or dive away from the “batter”.I also played the three box version, where you pitched it to the box in front of the batter, they had to hit it back to the box in front of you, and if you didn’t catch it on a fly it was a single, double, triple or home run, depending on how many times it bounced. One ball and one friend, or just one ball, by yourself,and hours could be passed so easily! By the way, what we called “roofing” a ball was standing on the sidewalk in front of the building and seeing who could throw it up onto the roof! Five stories was as high as I could throw it onto the roof, but then, there were only five story walkup buildings on my block. We always had a kid stationed on the roof to throw the one and only ball we had among us back to us on the sidewalk.
On my block, there were a few more games played with either the Spalding ( courser better feel) or Pensie Pinkie. The first was stoop ball. On Haring Street in front of 2450 the stoop consisted of 4 steps. Each step was assigned a point value. The bottom three 100 points if hit directly on the point while the top step 500 points ( more hazardous). Games were for 1000 pts with 5 pts for hitting the stoop and catching it on 1 and only 1 bounce. 10 pts were gotten if the ball hit the stoop and caught on a fly ( not the point area). You were out if the ball was caught with more than one bounce, errored, or missed the stoop entirely(trying to hit the top stoop and failing, and finally hitting one of the elder mean you can’t play here or block the stoop from us using it to go down B00000000.Games could be either one on one or teams.Box ball ( 2 squares of concrete lenthwise), Box baseball ( 3 squares lenthwise), 4 person boxball ( 4 squares in a square pattern) and finally stoopball baseball. Finally I might add, actually the best balls for stickball off the wall was the cheaper no-name ones. They were usually 5 – 10 cents each (spalding 25 cents) softer, either yellow or pink and could be manipulated such that you could throw a really mean sinker Knuckleball, and a wicked slider that broke of the end of the table. Unfortunately they split easier too.
we played 3 box and 4 box baseball on davidson ave in the bronx in the late 60’s both games have been described pretty accuratly we used to straddle the corners of the box in front of you to get a better reach into the box but tried not to put ur foot in the box hey harvey remember me we played 3 box all the time and i used to get u bus passes at clinton!!! lol those were the days of innocence jim
There were 2 versions of ‘Box Baseball’ that was played in the Bronx in the late 60’s – ‘Three Box’ in which one player ‘pitched’ underhand while the other player tried to hit it into the third box (closest to the pitcher) hits were determined by the number of times the ball bounced (1 for single – 2 for double etc) – ‘5 Box’ was played by bouncing the ball in the 5th box (furthest from you) then the 4th & 5th (only one bounce in each) etc and then reversing the pattern – the other player was allowed to play defense – that is – without going over the line you may stretch to prevent the ball from landing in the box.
In the ’60’s in Far Rockaway, Spaldeens were to Pensie Pinkies as the Yankees were to the Mets. Spaldeens were the official, respected standard. Pensie Pinkie were the unorthodox, seamless, higher bouncing challenger. Personally, I preferred the livlier Pensie Pinkie. Especially for punchball. Also much easier to control in “squeeze” and “spin” games like box baseball. As I recall, the Spaldeen had a rougher, powdery-when-new feel to it. It was firmer and tended to get brittle more easily than the Pensie Pinkie. The Pensie Pinkie was smoother, super-lively when new, more easily squeezed. When the Pensie Pinkie got old, it lost much of its bounce and was very easily squeezed. Still, nothing like a new Pensie Pinkie. It would just fly off of your fist. Pensie Pinkie’s are a lot like the consistency of a new racquet ball, but pink instead of blue.
Pennsie Pinkies were made by Penn. They are the core of a tennis ball. Good pinkies were given a coat & sent to the tennis clubs. Rejects were sent to the cities to be punished. Pennsies were softer, and a little stickier, even though they were a bit smoother than Spaldeens (Spalding). Best for box baseball (easier to pinch & spin), punchball & other bounce sensitive games. Spaldeens were more likely to show up in stickball games (they were 5 cent cheaper). If money was a problem, you went into the corner store & asked for an ‘egg’ ball. These were half-price off-brand (unlabeled) balls that were kinda round, kinda bouncy, and kinda ugly (not always pink).
Sedgwick Projects on University and 174th from 1960-1968 — I was box baseball champ and set a season record for punchball homers — the signs said “keep off the grass” but I guess it’s safe to say now that we used to play football on it all the time (statute of limitations)– all those skills were pretty non-transferable when we moved to Los Angeles in 1968, but even at 44 years old I’ll bet nobody could hit my “stop-and-go”!!