In the ’60’s in Far Rockaway, Spaldeens were to Pensie Pinkies as the Yankees were to the Mets. Spaldeens were the official, respected standard. Pensie Pinkie were the unorthodox, seamless, higher bouncing challenger. Personally, I preferred the livlier Pensie Pinkie. Especially for punchball. Also much easier to control in “squeeze” and “spin” games like box baseball. As I recall, the Spaldeen had a rougher, powdery-when-new feel to it. It was firmer and tended to get brittle more easily than the Pensie Pinkie. The Pensie Pinkie was smoother, super-lively when new, more easily squeezed. When the Pensie Pinkie got old, it lost much of its bounce and was very easily squeezed. Still, nothing like a new Pensie Pinkie. It would just fly off of your fist. Pensie Pinkie’s are a lot like the consistency of a new racquet ball, but pink instead of blue.
I think the spaldeen was made differently than the Pensie Pinkie. I don’t think the Pinkie had a 2 halves joined together like the Spalding did.
We used to play stick ball in a narrow alley at PS 208 in Brooklyn. We had a strike zone painted on the wall. On the roof was a HR, off the school 3rd flooe windows was a double. Triples were anything that hit the roof moldings. We used Spaldeens mostly, Pemsie Pinkies were too expensive, but they did seem to bounce further.
In the north bronx in the late sixties early seventies, box ball remained a game of hitting a pinky or spaldeen with your hand into your opponents box. He or she, in turn, would need to return the ball to your box before the ball bounced more than once. Points could only be scored on your serve. Depending on the differing skills of the players, additional rules governing the way the ball could be “served” applied, usually requiring that the ball be served with a certain amount of arch on it to allow the receiver a better chance of returning it.
spaldeens were definately my favorite. they lasted longer. it seened that the pensy pinkies became dead quicker. also the spaldeen was harder. and easire to control especially when bouncing to the tune of ” ‘A’ my name is Anna”
Pennsie Pinkies were made by Penn. They are the core of a tennis ball. Good pinkies were given a coat & sent to the tennis clubs. Rejects were sent to the cities to be punished. Pennsies were softer, and a little stickier, even though they were a bit smoother than Spaldeens (Spalding). Best for box baseball (easier to pinch & spin), punchball & other bounce sensitive games. Spaldeens were more likely to show up in stickball games (they were 5 cent cheaper). If money was a problem, you went into the corner store & asked for an ‘egg’ ball. These were half-price off-brand (unlabeled) balls that were kinda round, kinda bouncy, and kinda ugly (not always pink).
We preferred the Pensie Pinkie, it had more life. Who made it? Do you have a history? Also, I heard that Spaldeens are back. I’d like to get a few for my son and show him all the street games we used to play. But, I can only find cheap imitations. Does anyone know where I can find them near Los Angeles?
Please allow me to share my views on the subject. IMHO, Spaldeens (as they are pronounced) are the proper tool for games such as stickball, however I have found Pennsy Pinkies more appropriate for Chinese handball and boxball.