Growing up in “The Projecks” as pronounced it, the best ball for playing stoop was the Pensie-Pinkie. I’ve heard people say that these were great for punch ball also but they were harder and tougher on the knuckles. There was no feeling – or sound – like hitting a Pinkie off the “sweet spot” the protective metal on a housing project stoop.
In the Norwood section of the Bronx in the ’50’s and 60’s we played with Spaldeens or Seconds which were cheaper. Mostly punchball or stickball. The P.S. 94 schoolyard had a concrete diamond for punchball and a big concrete wall with a stike zone drawn on it for stickball.
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…..
I grew up in Astoria, Queens 60’s – 70’s went through countless number of spaldeens (most lost on roof of P.S. 85). Played Ace King Queen, Punchball, Stickball and Russia (Russian). Have 3 spaldeen balls a 60’s, 70’s and one of the new ones probably 90’s. Moved to Malvern, PA in ’74 and nobody knew what a spaldeen was.
It was Cornelia Street between bushwick and Broadway. Stickball was king unless Mrs. Grillo (2nd floor #24 on the block) called the cops at the 81st Precinct. Mostly they just told us to quit. a few mean ones would drop the bats down the manholes. if they did that, we’d just swich to punchball. Do something about that, Mrs Grillo! When it wasn’t stickbasll or punchball it was triangl;e, stoopball, Ace-King-Queen, zig-sag-tag, johnny on the pony or ringelevio. Boxball was also popular and every so often someone would get those wooden paddles with the little ball attached. When the rubber string broke, we’d use the paddles to play a sort of tennis. Lots of fun until the guy who was losing took his paddle and hit the ball as far awy as possible. Oh well, time to play stickball again. Bill Mahan
Oh, the memories. Spaldeens ruled, anything else was second rate. I keep one in my car to this day. In the Dyker Heights section we used the Spaldeen for everything,slap ball, punch ball , handball, cather-flyers-up, stoop ball, box ball, stickball. Didn’t know pensies existed till we moved to Nassau County. We would use them if local candy store was out of spaldeens or we couldn’t put together the 25 cents for the real deal.
I grew up in Bayside, Queens in the 1950s. We used Spaldeens for stickball and stoopball. The new ones cost a quarter and bounced higher than Pensie Pinkies (which, I believe, cost 15 cents.) Girls used Pensie Pinkies for punchball because they were so much softer. For that reason, they were also preferred for box baseball. For stickball, we played “fungo,” that is, no pitcher. Toss the ball in the air and hit it. Anyone remember the term “fungo?”
We played this game back in the day in the School Yard on Hull Avenue in The Bronx;teams of 20-30 per side;we also played Box-Baseball,PunchBall,Stickball(Both Fungo Style and Pitching In Vs a Box drawn on a wall as a strike zone).Also played Ace-King-Queen with the loser playing in a game called Cans Up.Also played Stoop Ball(also called Off The Point)using Spaldeens and Pennsylvania Pinkys!
In my neighborhood (Brooklyn in the 1950’s) we played punchball. One sewer was home, the next sewer was second and the next sewer was the center field fence. Everyone wanted Sonny on their team because he could “punch two sewers”