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!!!
I grew up in the South Bronx during the seventies, less than a half mile from Yankee Stadium. We played a version of stoopball where there were delineations across the street at different heights of the building which indicated singles, doubles, triples, and homers. Outs were only made by catching the ball in the air, or by catching three balls on the bounce (or, three strikes.)
I grew up in the Bronx from 1950-1964. For some reasons I thought if you couldn’t afford a Spaldeen you got a Pencie Pinkies. Remember you used to call out a word (maybe tibs) if the ball was yours and it got lost, over a roof or in the sewer, they had to buy you a new one. What a blast those times were. I loved growing up in the Bronx. I lived on Noble Avenue from 1950-1960 and then the Castle Hill Projects from 60-64. On Noble Avenue we had a stoop and we would play stoopball and all the other games you guys mentioned. All great memories.
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
I grew up in the area 10th st, ave a in manhattan. late 50s to late 60s. All those games, mostly street stuff. from puchball stickball, stoopball, spaldeen was the only choice. Ace king queen, nyc, what memories, i would trade everything i own. for one game, with my old pals.
On our Queens street in the ’60s and ’70s we played both the baseball version of stoopball, which I think we called Single-Double-Triple, as well as what Joe H. described, which we called 5-10-20. I’m surprised no one mentioned the problem of the spaldeen going forward over the roof rather than bouncing back. In Single-Double-Triple we’d often aim for the edge of the step in order to get the powerful return, but this also meant we’d sometime miss the edge slightly high, resulting in a ball that would go up but also continue forward and either bounce off the house or go up on the roof. With luck the spaldeen would continue to bounce on the roof, and go completely over, so we could retrieve it from the backyard. The balls that didn’t make it to the backyard were bad news. Not only did they end the game, but also it meant they’d gotten stuck in the roof’s gutter, from which they’d eventually go into the downspout and then clog our house’s drainage plumbing. For some reason this would upset my otherwise patient Dad. 😉
I used to play stoopball in Rochdale Village. there were these small little areas where the maintenance crew could access the building. you would go down this small flight of stairs which was partially enclosed and played up against the stairs. I remember if you hit the edge of the stair and caught the ball you would get extra points. this was in the mid to late sixties. We would also play off the wall against the buildings. What great days.
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.
when i was a child we played a game called new york we would bounce a tennis ball off a wall or side of a house their was a number of way to catch the ball one bounce two bounce behind back etc if you missed you lost your turn it was great i would like to share this with my kids but have forgotten the sequence can anyone help