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.
I’m Tony from Astoria Queens. We used to play with Spalding Balls and played stick Ball, Strike Box (AKA Alley ball), Stoop Ball, Box Ball, Handball, and all the others mentioned. One thing I haven’t heard about the spalding’s were the types or classes of each. I can remember there being four to choose from numbered 1-4. They went from #4 being softer (less air) to #1 being the hardest (most air). When you bounced the #1 you could hear the p’ing’ or ‘ting’ sound it made from it being so tight. In stickball, I could hit that ball for two blocks in the air and it would bounce for about five more blocks! Telling my kids this seems unbelievable to them; and if you really think about it, you start to second- quess yourself about being able to hit it that far–but you know you could. I think we (ALL) were the true superheroes of NYC and the Tri-State area. Never forget where you came from is my moto!!!
Great site to bring back memories, had not thought about stick ball or pimple balls in 40 years. we played same way as the stories from NY up in Boston. We also played a version of stickball with out a stick on a corner (intersection) that had 3 sewers and a manhole cover in the center. Making up the mound, first and third. The plate was the last sewer and 2nd was the curbstone. We used our hand to smack the ball and had 3 players per side pitcher and two infielders. There was a limit to how far a ball could be hit on the fly. So the game was designed to be fast and close. So most would try to hit bouncers or line drives. Pitch speed was any thing goes. When we got older we played very fast and hard. Handball was what we called it but it was the base ball rules wonder if there was a similiar version in other cities. Thanks for bringing up the memories. Oh one fast question did any one every play stick ball with a superball and cut off hockey sticks turned edge wise. Hockey sticks where a fav type of stick.
Played on Garden St. in the Bronx in late 50s to mid 60s. Always played in the street, never played “pitching in” against a wall until we were several years older. In the street it was fungo — never a pitcher. The sidewalks were fair territory, as were the countless fire escapes that each apartment building had. A ball was “live” when it got up into the fire escapes. The batter was out if a fielder caught the ball off the fire escape on a fly. If it bounced, the hit was usually a triple or homer — by the time the ball bounced around the fire escape and its stairs, before finally bounding back to the field, most batters were able to get an extra-base hit with ease. Regarding a four-sewer man: if it’s true that the general NYC layout was 250 between sewers, that meant a 1000-ft shot. Think about it: that’s more than 3 football fields laid end to end. I’d have to see it to believe it.
I grew up in Manhattan om the lower east side…Jacob Riis Projects….We played there and then as I grew older we played on 13th St between Ave A and 1st Ave…. I just recently found a Spaldeen ball… and I;m looking to start a league here in Virginia…Today is only the second day of this adventure…. My goal is to get a team up and match up with those in NYC… and so on… To eventually play in Puerto Rico’s World Series… I use to play all version’s of this game… and now that I’m 55 years old and in relatively good shape.. I’m looking to play once again!!!!
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.
I GREW UP IN THE 50’S, IN EDENWALD PROJECTS, 225TH LACONIA AVENUE. WITH 2 OLDER BROTHERS AND ONE GIRL[ME],PLAYED ALOT OF STICKBALL [ WITH THE SPALDING OF COURSE] AND HAD THE HANGERS READY. MY NAME IS SONIA SANTIAGO BROTHERS:JUAN SANTIAGO EDDIE SANTIAGO BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE, BEST ERA THERE’LL EVER BE. OF COURSE I LOVE MY DOO-WOPS OH, IF I COULD ONLY TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME
The spaldeen was the only ball to use for street games. The pinkie was too mushy. I guess the pinkie would have been better for box baseball games, but you could put enough spin on the spaldeen. Stickball games ended when we lost all of the balls. We played in Bensonhurst.
What is the usual distance between man-hole covers in Brooklyn? As a boy living in Brooklyn, that was the criteria for measuring most street sports Stan G