I grew up in Gravesend, Brooklyn (West Street and Ave. U) in the 50’s. I remember Spaldeens being our ball of choice for almost all street games. I also remember using Pensie Pinkey’s but I dont remember them being more expensive than a Spaldeen. We would only use a Pensie for box ball or in situations where a Spaldeen ball could be easily lost or stolen. By the way, does anyone remember 4-box baseball and War?
IT WAS THE 60’S. Growing up in Mid-town Manhatten, East 79th St. to be exact. EVERY SINGLE DAY after school (PS 190 on 82nd st.) the Chinese Handball Games got started. It was me and Dennis Gross, Toby Edwards, Cam, Seth Rosten, and some other guys. We would play for hours. 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock, 4:45 pm we would start to leave, but there was always a couple of guys who would hold out until the very end… right up til the time the streetlights would come on. Once they started to flicker, you better run home, because it meant you were right at the supper deadline. If you were late, you didn’t eat. That was the rules. Anyway, Chinese Handball ruled, and we didn’t like it when the losing kids would leave early, because it meant we couldn’t nail ’em with Asses Up. Man, those were the days – so innocent. It seems like a dream. But, it really happened. I was there. I saw America when it played – before it lost it’s soul. I grew up in an America that had heart. Now, people just want to have virtual fun, play artificial games, and rather than having the heart to pursue their own passions, they sit at home, content to watch reality shows in which other people pursue their passions. Man, I would love to play just one more game of Chinese handball with Dennis and Toby. You guys out there, anywhere?
I grew up in NJ in the 80s but one of our teachers grew up in Hell’s Kitchen in the 50s and taught us this great game. I remember the time I spent at night trying to perfect the best skelly cap using a soda bottle top, penny in the bottom and melting (and trying to swirl) various colors of crayons. My skill at this rewarded me with my first business venture, charging 50 cents to a dollar for my product!! I can’t wait to teach my children this game!!
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 grew up in Bayside, Queens in the 1950s. We used Spaldeens for stickball and stoopball. The new ones cost a quarter and bounced higher than Pensie Pinkies (which, I believe, cost 15 cents.) Girls used Pensie Pinkies for punchball because they were so much softer. For that reason, they were also preferred for box baseball. For stickball, we played “fungo,” that is, no pitcher. Toss the ball in the air and hit it. Anyone remember the term “fungo?”
Hey does anyone remember JOhnny On The Pony. I grew up in The Bronx. It would usually take 4 or 5 players on each side. One team would line up against the wall. One player would face the others with back against wall and the rest of team would face him and would bend from the waist one behind the other holding the waist of the one in front of them. The other team would run and jump on the backs of the team trying to land as far forward as he could. The object was to make the team holding them to break under the weight of the jumpers.
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!
Regarding the queries about Russian and 7 Up. When I grew up in Brooklyn in the early 1960s, we called the game Russian 10. You had to do task 1 one time, task 2 two times etc. until the 10th task which you had to do 10 times. Unfortunately I don’t remember all the tasks. Following are the tasks I can remember, but the order may be incorrect. 1. Throw Spalding against wall and catch on fly. 2. Throw ball at wall, let it bounce once and catch 3. Throw ball at wall, clap and catch on fly. 4. Throw ball under your leg and catch on fly. 5. If right handed: put left palm against the wall and hold arm straight. Hold ball in right hand and toss it from under your left arm over your outstretched left arm and catch it. 6. Throw ball at wall, spin around and catch on fly. 7. Throw ball at wall, clap hands in front of body, behind body and in front again and catch ball on fly. (You have to clap very quickly!) I believe a player’s turn lasted until she missed catching the ball. On her next turn she had to start from the step she missed on. This is as much as I can remember. If someone out their in cyberspace remembers all 10 tasks, please e-mail!