NorthEast Philly and Feltonville in the late 40s and 50s. Step(stoop) ball, curb ball, wall ball, wire ball were all the best games. Many of the row houses had alleys between them, so you got points by the times you hit both walls. Only had smooth Pennsie Pink and white-pimple balls, and each had it purpose. Loved the smell of the new ball. Charlie, Mike, Leroy, Bobby all great street ballers. Richie was a big kid that usually won, and beat you up if he didn’t. Nancy was as tough as Richie and she beat us up too, but nobody cared. LOL
We used to play Off the Wall, which we called Flies Up, in East New York, Brooklyn in the ’80s. We also had a very mean version called suicide. In this version, if you touched the ball but didn’t catch it you had to run to the wall and yell “SUICIDE” before someone picked up the ball and threw it at you. If you got hit by the ball before you touched the wall, you had to take your lumps. You had to stand nose to the wall while each player took turns throwing the ball at you. The meaner kids would take a running start and throw the ball as hard as they could either at the small of your back or your butt. Once each player got a chance, play resumed with with you being the new “it” and throwing the ball.
Grew up in S/W Schuylkill (56th & Paschall ave) We played all the street games listed back in the 50’s and early 60’s. Hide and seek was referred to as “Ring up” wall ball was referred to on some corners as “chink” Loved them all! We also nailed the broken bats, taped the ball playing Hard ball, Buck-Buck, baby in the air and alot of half ball in the summer and “two hand touch” in the winter. Great era and a great time! They actually had “box ball leagues” in the summer at the Mitchell school yard at 56th and kingsessing ave!
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.
I grew up in Summerdale (Oxford Circle) in the early-mid 80s. We played: * wireball * suicide (we called it “sooey”) * pitched quarters * flipped baseball cards * stoop ball (no one called it “step ball”) * Deadbox (not in Summerdale, but played with my * older cousins in Harrowgate) * Wall ball * Hand ball * stick ball * halfies * hose ball (my father grew up in kensington and taught us that) * wiffle ball (regular wiffle ball and padded bat with tennis ball — a lawn chair for the strike zone) * Spring * Freedom * Knock Knock Zoom Zoom * King of the Hill * hide and seek in the back alley/cubie holes * kick the can * foot hockey * 2 hand touch/1 hand touch * steal the bacon * straw races (when someone turned on the fire plug and we’d race drinking straws all the way down the street to the sewer) I can’t count how many pinkies, tennis balls and pimple balls I roofed from the age of 5 to 13!
I remember growing up in Brooklyn playing stickball, handball and off the point during the sixties and seventies. I was the king of fishing up spaldeens from the sewers on our block with strung together wire hangers. it was a real art to get the ball to hold in the hanger as you carefully pulled it up from the darkness. then we would boil them to rejuvenate them so they could bounce again.
I grew up in Olney in the late 70’s through the 80’s at 2nd and Albanus. We played tons of street games such as; -Wire ball -Step ball -Light ball -Homicide -Suicide -Dead box or bottle caps -Wall ball -Box ball -Stick ball -Halfies -Hose ball -Wiffle ball -Hide the belt -Kick the can -Spring -Catch one catch all -Keep warm -Pile on the rabbitt -King of the hill Those were the days!
OK, well, I’ll stand up for West Oak Lane and for girls, ’cause we played chink (OMG–I shudder at that name now!), wallball, pimpleball (broomstick and whole ball), halfball, and, oh Lord, who could forget Buck, Buck–a totally terrifying game if you were a girl. Also dodgeball, baby in the air, kickball. If anybody still plays any of these or other “playground” games as an adult, anywhere in the U.S., please let me know ’cause I’m writing an article on the subject (deadline: Dec. 31, 2008) We played in the streets of West Oak Lane(Tulpehocken, Rodney, Thouron, Wynsam), at the corner store, in the rowhouse driveways, in the schoolyard (Pennypacker) and at Simons Playground (where we also ice skated). The owner of the Flyers (Ed Snider) just saved Simons and 2 other rinks that were gonna close due to budget cuts. The smell of a pimpleball is like the smell of bright yellow mustard and a fresh pretzel–you can never get it out of your soul!
I grew up in Ozone Park section of Queens, PS 60 and PS 110 area. We played this very similar variation and called it “off the point”. The community parkhouse had a lip of about 3″ that was the building footing. If the ball strike was perfect, the spalding would fly some 40 ft or so and score a HR…we would mentally score the game as well…single, single, double scored one run etc…..We would play up to three per team. Ground balls had to be caught, if error then that throw was a hit…Switching was always fun….where the third out meant teams switched sides quickly…catching the ball and racing toward the point to get a hit while teams were in transition.
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!