Here’s how we played in Rochdale Village in Queens circa late 1960’s: We also used bottle caps weighed down with melted crayons. I remember Mom getting pissed when some dripped inside her newly cleaned oven. After awhile, some guys used the plastic caps that came on the “new” plastic milk containers. We quickly outlawed the larger jar caps, especially the Motts Apple Sauce caps. Our box was a prepainted “boxball” court (there’s another great game)that was approx. 6’x6′. Each numbered box, done up in chalk, was about 6″x6″. “Running out of town” was prohibited! If I remember correctly, after running 1 – 13 and then 13 – 1, you had to go around the “Skelly” before you became a Killer. You had to hit a guy three times to get him out. Obviously, you would try to line up that third hit so that you could blast him out of the playground – just to rub it in a little.
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.
In the late 30s and early 40s in Washington Hights (the upper end of Manhattan) we played a game called Baseball Off the Wall. The game was played from one side of the street to the other side of the street. The brick tenament houses had rows of inlaid bricks which was used to bounce the rubber ball off the edge of the brick. If the ball bounced onto the first sidewalk it was a strike. If it bounced on the fly to the first half of the gutter; this side of the manhole cover, it was a single. If it bounced past the manhole cover, but still in the gutter, it was a double. If it bounced on the sidewalk accoss the street it was a triple and if it hit the building it was a home run. If the ball was caught on the fly before it hit the ground, of course, it was an out. The teams were made up of one kid each. We even had leagues going. What fun!
In South Philly our ball of choice was a “pimple ball”, white or rather greyish rubber with 1/8″ dimples with bands running latitudily and stars embossed on both poles. It was used in many games, stickball, wallball, wireball, boxball, miniature,ledgies, points, dinky and the ultimate and most sublime of the street games, Halfball. In further postings I will detail the sublimities of this most enjoyable game.
Two players were separated by three squares of sidewalk pavement. One player ‘pitched’ the ball, a pinky, into the box closest to the other player. If the ball missed the box, it was a walk. If the ball landed in the box, the batter slapped the ball, trying to get it to land in the box closest to the pitcher. If he succeeded, each bounce of the ball was another base–one bounce, single, two bounces, double, etc. If the ball landed anywhere but in the box, or was caught on the fly, one out was recorded. The pitcher always attempted to ‘fluke’ the ball so the batter missed it.
two people were separated by four squares of sidewalk pavement. With a pinky, you had to bounce the ball in the boxes, without hitting the lines and without your opponent catching the ball before it bounced in the box closest to him. You had to bounce the ball in a progression, starting with the box closest to the opponent, then the two boxes closest, then three boxes, then all four boxes, with one bounce in each box only. It’s hard to explain, easier with a diagram.