I played handball, chink, stick ball, halfball, and wireball, in Lawndale, in the 1950s. Lately I have been playing halfball, but with halved tennis balls because the “pimple balls” and “pinkies” are nowhere to be found. – MERK
Hey Bob. Saw your message about playing stickball with fading fuzz tennis balls prior to WWII. I’m a 30’s guy who played in the streets of Jersey City and scattered with the rest when the “Mickey Mouse” popped in. Great times,guys and memories there.I just found this site as I’ve been trying to find a place out here that sells those balls we used so I can infect some grandkids with those old street/school yard games. My recollection is that we used a pinkish ball which I then understood to be manufactured by the companies that manufactured tennis balls. What they purportedly did was stop the process before putting the fuzz on to make our ball. At least that’s what my understanding was. They stopped making them, I was told, in the fifties. I’ve not been able to find anything in the San Diego area yet that is described as a Pensie Pinky or Spaldeen to compare it with what I knew as THE BALL.
I’m a gal who was born & raised in B’klyn.(1953)& lived entirely in Brownsville, ENY for my entire life. You name the street game, I played it, & if it involved a ball, it was a SPAULDING,,(aka as we called it “SPAUL-DEEN”..) & I cant eva recall a “Pensie Pinkie.” There was several balls we called “Flat Balls”..but (maybe pensie pinkies..??) but were quickly replaced if somebody came in with a “Spauldeen”,cause they just didnt have the bounce. Long Live BK, BROWNSVILLE, B.R.C, BETSY HEAD, were we played like no tomorrow.
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!
I’m a woman who grew up in Queens in the ’50-’60s, actually in Forest Hills. I’m a manuscript editor who’s just come across the name Pensie Pinkie in a book I’m editing. As a kid I had a number of spaldeen balls, but I never heard of the other, so thanks to all the posters who helped me verify that Pensie Pinkies not only existed, but were rather in vogue, at least in certain circumstances!!
In Astoria, we called it Ace,King,Queen. Asses. up had to be called in the beginning. We also had rules about who chased the ball if it went into the street. Last player to touch the wall had to get the ball. Chips were often called in case the ball went down the sewer. Spaldeens were the preferred ball but sometimes we used a Pennsy Pinky. We also had a rule that if the ball hit a car after only one bounce you could hit “off the car” legally. We the “Ace” got “out” he went to the end of the line, as did anyone else who faltered. I don’t recall if only the Ace scored points but I think so. A good, low “slice” would generally take out a player. We generally used the sidewalk boxes for each players area. Sometimes we would mark it off with chalk but that usually only happened if the landlord with the sidewalk boxes chased us away!
Grew up in Clason Point/Soundview section of South Bronx in the 60s’. Played stickball at P.S. 69 (Beat that P.S). We played stickball in the street, open fields, and fast pitched against the wall against a chalk filled-in box(No strike disputes “see the chalk on the ball.. shut up”)At old 69 we would “chip in” and get as many Spaldeens as we could to get up a good game. We would stick em in a fence and line em up, no more in the fence no more game. Pensie Pinkies were for girls, sorry. No self- respecting stickball player would be caught dead with a “pinkie”. We also played Ace King Queen, stoop-ball and box-ball(My house had the best stoop and wall on the block. Also played booties up, skully in the street or on the sidewalks. Crack top, Johnny on the Pony,Ringoleaveo…Wouldnt’trade those memories for anything…..
I grew up in the Pomonok project across from Queens College in the ’50’s and early ’60’s. Where we were Pensies were rarely available, though known of. Any of you remember that spaldeens varied somewhat in pressure. I’d go through the box and find the hardest ones I could. They could be punched further, hit further, but their principle advantage was in handball, if you were over six feet. It was an equalizer when playing with a short guy with better skills. In close play, a low hit would send it caroming over his reach. By the way Geoff, you sure could split a spaldeen with a broom stick or those slightly larger stickball bats that were sold in some places. A baseball bat compresses the ball too much and creates a greater area of contact making a split less likely. We used to turn the splits inside out and throw them. they moved like maniacal frisbees and were almost impossible to catch. Any of you remember three box baseball, a pavement game we played when it was just too hot and humid to play anything else?