We played a game like that but we called it “pinners”. Basically it was baseball,if the ball landed before the sidewalk that passed the front of the house it was a base hit, if the ball landed on the sidewalk it was a double, if the ball landed in the grass between the sidewalk and the street it was a triple if the ball landed in the street it was a homerun. the foul lines were the width of the steps. also if you catch the ball on a fly and you throw the ball and hit “only the second step” it was a double play.
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.
If we caught a line drive, it was 50 points, but if you caught a ‘pop up’, it was 100 points.
Stoop Ball — As played in the early ’60’s on Ave Z and E. 13 Street. Our stoop was a brick structure 5 steps high. We had to stand at least 2 “boxes” (lines in the cement) back. You threw the ball at the stoop, and had to catch the bouce-back in no more than one bounce. Catching it on one bounce was 5 points, with no bounce, 10 points. If the ball shot back, straight at you because it hit the tip of the step, and you caught it “on the fly”, it was 50 points. — Very hard to do. You continued your turn until you couldn’t catch it on the first bounce. Usually 100 points won the game.
Off The Point. Not to be confused with Off The Curb. Front of Building had an Abutment rising about 24″Inches with a angled Top. One player in Middle of street, Second player across street up against wall. You would hit The Point at top of abutment & try to hit Wall across street for a Home Run. No running. Who ever caught Ball (Spaldeen) on fly was up next. This Pink Ball was a way of life in The West Bronx.
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