Hi to all: I grew up in the East Bronx on Hoe Avenue & 173rd Street in the early 50’s. My friends and I treasured the experience of playing stickball. You guessed right. We dismantled a sturdy mop (usually found on the closest fire escape), together with a Spaldeen(usually a high bouncer)we were then prepared for the choosing up of sides. If I remember correctly on our shoestring budget we weren’t too choosey as to what we really used. It was great fun full of memories.
I grew up in the Bronx, and learned to play all sorts of games with a Spaldeen.(I am a 49 year old woman who lived on Hoe Avenue, between Aldus Street and 163rd (Bruckner Blvd. from 1958-1963). Howevever, when it came to box baseball, we always tried to use a cheaper, therefore softer ball. This enabled us to use our knuckles to make an indentation on the ball, and hopefully cause it to curve, or dive away from the “batter”.I also played the three box version, where you pitched it to the box in front of the batter, they had to hit it back to the box in front of you, and if you didn’t catch it on a fly it was a single, double, triple or home run, depending on how many times it bounced. One ball and one friend, or just one ball, by yourself,and hours could be passed so easily! By the way, what we called “roofing” a ball was standing on the sidewalk in front of the building and seeing who could throw it up onto the roof! Five stories was as high as I could throw it onto the roof, but then, there were only five story walkup buildings on my block. We always had a kid stationed on the roof to throw the one and only ball we had among us back to us on the sidewalk.