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 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!
yes I remember, we had agame that we fondly called “off the point” played like baseball, where one would strike the ball against the cement curb WE lived in the projects in yhe Bronx where each separate building had their own playground, with each having their own dementions and ground rules. it was exciting when two buildings would battle it out, we even had a all star game and a world series, the playgrond would be packed. We would purchase spaldings for only 25 cents.
I just found this site and it’s great.We played skully for hours on end on 189th St.in Manhattan.In between,we’d play stickball,off the point(curbball)or Johnny ride the pony.Also,I noticed someone mentioned “slugs”.We called this “Chinese” which I found out was short for Chinese handball.How about that,a bottlecap,a broomstick,and a “spaldeen” was all the equipment we needed for fun from March to November.Who needs Playstation?
I grew up in Highbridge, 1944 -1966. Attended Sacred Heart, Manhattan prep and Fordham, then off to Vietnam and maturity!. It is impossible to explain to someone who didn’t exprience it what growing up in the 50’s – 60’s Bronx neighborhoods was like. I still remember the “checker” games we played on the sidewalk boards. Box ball and off the point with a pink “Spauldine” (25 cents!!) were simple games that I hope are recorded somewhere . George, 1210 Woodcrest 3C
The game called “pinners” above was a game we called “off the point” in the Bronx. We also played the other version,”off the wall” but you didn’t get a home run unless the ball hit the building across the street. You could still get an out by catching the ball off the building before it bounced on the ground. There were so many other great games. All you needed was a spaldeen and one other kid.
The PS/JHS 79 schoolyard in Da Bronx was the best place in the world when I was growing up. We had THREE fields in which to play stickball – one for fungo/running bases, two for pitching in. The fungo field became the football field in the fall and winter. We had two punchball areas, a full-court basketball area, a place to place off the point and 3 Steps to Germany… Two great candy stores, a great grocery store, two delis, a pizza place and the BEST luncheonette (the Village Green) all within a couple of blocks of the yard. What more could a kid want or need??
Off The Point. Not to be confused with Off The Curb. Front of Building had an Abutment rising about 24″Inches with a angled Top. One player in Middle of street, Second player across street up against wall. You would hit The Point at top of abutment & try to hit Wall across street for a Home Run. No running. Who ever caught Ball (Spaldeen) on fly was up next. This Pink Ball was a way of life in The West Bronx.