For the record, I remember we called them “Pensa Pinkies,” but these were the same squashy pink balls that everyone seems to call “Pensie Pinkies”. They were best for stoop ball. I wish I could remember how we played, but the point in our version I’m pretty sure was always how high and far the ball went, not where you bounced it from. We always aimed at the corner of the sidewalk and the street and tried to get the ball to rebound over the heads of our opponents to the opposite side of the street. We played on St. John’s Place in Brooklyn near the Botanical Gardens. This would have been about 1965. The game we called handball was just like baseball except that we hit the ball with our fist instead of a bat.
I just wanted to put my 2 cents in from the Queens/Nassau line….In the 50’s and 60’s back there the game dictated the ball. Wall stickball, with lots of field area and several players per side – spaldeen. It went further, which was okay under these conditions. Stoop ball from one side of narrow street ( other curb = home run ) – Pensie Pinkie. It was softer, more contollable under those conditions. Life was great: stick ball, stoop ball, wiffle ball, 2-hand touch, 4 horses, Yoo-Hoos, baseball over the radio. Are Pensie Pinkies available anywhere?
As a child growing up in Queens co.,I played many baseball related games. One was stoopball where I would pitch the ball on the steps catching the rebound as a grounder or fly.It was practice pitching, but I was really simulating pitching for a big leauge time, wearing my number 41 jersey like my idol, Tom Seaver. I also played intersec- tion ball, where all 4 corners were used as bases. We used a standard bat and a tennis ball, with self pitching.In the lawn behind 3rd base was a HR with a “roofer” going for a loss.
I think people are confusing Curb Ball and Stoop Ball….Stoop ball was played against a stoop of someones house and we also played with fielders. Catch it on a fly and you’re out! Past the sidewalk on one bounce was a single, past grass a double etc. Curb ball was much the same but played ONLY against the curb while we were in the street…and there were bases that u had to run! There was no running involved in stoop ball…Dee (The Bronx)
On my block, there were a few more games played with either the Spalding ( courser better feel) or Pensie Pinkie. The first was stoop ball. On Haring Street in front of 2450 the stoop consisted of 4 steps. Each step was assigned a point value. The bottom three 100 points if hit directly on the point while the top step 500 points ( more hazardous). Games were for 1000 pts with 5 pts for hitting the stoop and catching it on 1 and only 1 bounce. 10 pts were gotten if the ball hit the stoop and caught on a fly ( not the point area). You were out if the ball was caught with more than one bounce, errored, or missed the stoop entirely(trying to hit the top stoop and failing, and finally hitting one of the elder mean you can’t play here or block the stoop from us using it to go down B00000000.Games could be either one on one or teams.Box ball ( 2 squares of concrete lenthwise), Box baseball ( 3 squares lenthwise), 4 person boxball ( 4 squares in a square pattern) and finally stoopball baseball. Finally I might add, actually the best balls for stickball off the wall was the cheaper no-name ones. They were usually 5 – 10 cents each (spalding 25 cents) softer, either yellow or pink and could be manipulated such that you could throw a really mean sinker Knuckleball, and a wicked slider that broke of the end of the table. Unfortunately they split easier too.
This all brings back many memeries of the guys on CARROLL STREET (now carroll gardens in brooklyn)playing stickball,stoopball and fistballand oh yes slapball(we called it world war three) never a game without disputes.We played against PRESIDENT STREET,FIRST PLACE,SACKET STREET AND SECOND PLASE. Stoopball was great using georges grocery store’s wall and a homer was ralpheals bedroom oh baby !!!BLUPER,BLIMP,SHEA,ERICK,UFATS,THE GANG
off 164th and the concourse, in the mid-late 50’s, we played mostly 1 bounce “fungo” (self hit) stickball with a spaldeen. hits dtermined by distance. in riverdale from 1960-69, we played with a shaved tennis ball (which curved, threw screwballs) against a chalk box in the ps 24 schoolyard. sometimes had an outfielder. that was MY game. also played bench ball, punch ball, stoop ball, and curb ball (back in the old neighborhood-the concourse). and box ball.
In the Bronx we also played curb ball – played in an intersection with 5 or 6 on a side (although sometimes played with less) – corner sewers served as bases – players typically played positions similiar to baseball (1st base – 2nd base/ss – 3rd base – outfield) – After throwing the ball off the curb you ran – Play was just like baseball with the exception that if the ball did not go fair it was a strike – 2 strikes was a strikeout.
I grew up on the lower east side of Manhattan in the late 50’s early 60’s. I am sure we called the game SKELLZIE. Our day would start off with a visit to the A&P on Bleecker and Leroy st. There we would, err……… borrow a cap from a Prell shampoo bottle, (it was plastic and tappered from top to bottom). It held lots of wax and your favorite, lucky penny. We would then go to the public park on Carmine street and play the game. The guy that worked for the parks deptartment, Rocky, was good enough to paint a Skellzie board on the ground for us. As I can remember, Rocky was a great guy always willing to do things for the kids in the neighborhood. I can’t remember the size of the board, although I’m sure what seemed very large back then probably wasn’t so. I don’t think the board could have been much more than 5’X 9′. When we tired of playing the game we would play Buck-Buck, Box Ball, Stoop Ball, and maybe if it was hot enough go for a swim in the Hudson. Things have certainly changed in 40 years, oh well! Any way, looking forward to seeing the final version of the Skellzie board. Keep the faith. Mike
July,1939,The Bronx. Six of us were playing a pickup game on Daley Ave. (between Tremont and 178th St)right in front of the “Mad Doctor’s” house because it always ticked him off. This day he called the cops. As the Squad car rounded the corner, someone yelled, “Cheese it, the Bulls” We scattered to various spots on the sidewalk and tried to look innocent, so that the cops would just keep going. But they didn’t. The stopped in front of the Doctor’s house who came out and began fingering the guys. The cops herded five of the six ( and the stick) into the Squad Car and hauled them down to the 48th Precinct Station. The 6th player (me) had ducked into a doorway and escaped notice. As soon as the coast was clear, I (like Paul Revere)sounded the alarm to a few parents who had to pay a nickle (each way) to take the Tremont Ave. trolley to the police station and “bail out” their kids. The lectures and the warning didn’t impress us because we were back the next day, right in front of the Doctor’s house playing stickball, curbball, stoopball, slugball, and/or boxball. In those days, we paid 5c for a Leader and 15c for a Spaldeen. One day we found a golf ball and used it to play stoopball until I got a great hit that broke a neighbor’s window. We scattered because we knew she was an old grouch and wouldn’t give back the ball.