I grew up in Queens Village. We played “pinkball” variety of handball at Alley Pond Park just inside the Union Tpke entrance (you went under the old Vanderbilt MotorPkway bridge). This was in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. Our courts were “one wall.” There was some alternation between Spauldeens and Pennsy Pinkies, but we finally pretty much settled on the Pennsies. It seemed the Spauldeens were being made smaller and the rubber thicker. They didn’t move as well. Now the Pennsies had a bit too much bounce to them, so we’d “pin” them. I carried a safety pin attached to my belt loop. When we got a new ball we’d simply push the pin through the skin and it then would bounce just right. We usually got our balls from Michael’s Candy Store on Hillside Avenue where Bell Park Manor and Terrace Apartments were (and are). The owners of Michael’s back in the day had a sign on the box holding the balls: “If you bounce it you bought it.” Oh, and yes sir, those were the days!
I grew up on the same block as Dom Deluise. In one of his comedy routines, he talked about the pushcart and donkey right near his house. I’d get a kick out of his story because I would pass that donkey almost everyday. Well after he moved to California, I remember seeing his mom always sweeping the front yard. She was also very religious and would often sit near my mom in the church Regina Pacis which was right across the street. Whenever Dom Deluise came back to visit people would always see him buying vegetables on 11th avenue. Also I went to HS with his niece, Jean Dorio. I remember going to a party at her house on 75th Street.
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.)
how about hit the penny and box baseball. I grew up on 63rd street in Mill Basin. Best punch ball players. Other blocks would come by and challenge us. NO CONTEST. With 20 guys on the block we had lots of talent. Both balls were great and it wqas good to switch off. Our children don’t know what they missed. By the way the best handball player in Brooklyn was Al Britvan as far as a defensive player on a doubles team. The man….now 81….never ended a game without bleeding from scraping the ground. Long Live our memories…..
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
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.
I grew up in East New York, Brooklyn in the ’80s. We had the game spot near the end of our block. The garage, or the factory across the street from it, was the backstop for baseball. Flies up was played on the garage, and in the street was the skelly board. We used to use the plastic caps fro $.25 juices. We’d fill the top with wax from a 7 day candle and coat the bottom with wax to get the glide. I haven’t seen anyone play skelly in age. Kids don’t play outside anymore.