NorthEast Philly and Feltonville in the late 40s and 50s. Step(stoop) ball, curb ball, wall ball, wire ball were all the best games. Many of the row houses had alleys between them, so you got points by the times you hit both walls. Only had smooth Pennsie Pink and white-pimple balls, and each had it purpose. Loved the smell of the new ball. Charlie, Mike, Leroy, Bobby all great street ballers. Richie was a big kid that usually won, and beat you up if he didn’t. Nancy was as tough as Richie and she beat us up too, but nobody cared. LOL
Great site to bring back memories, had not thought about stick ball or pimple balls in 40 years. we played same way as the stories from NY up in Boston. We also played a version of stickball with out a stick on a corner (intersection) that had 3 sewers and a manhole cover in the center. Making up the mound, first and third. The plate was the last sewer and 2nd was the curbstone. We used our hand to smack the ball and had 3 players per side pitcher and two infielders. There was a limit to how far a ball could be hit on the fly. So the game was designed to be fast and close. So most would try to hit bouncers or line drives. Pitch speed was any thing goes. When we got older we played very fast and hard. Handball was what we called it but it was the base ball rules wonder if there was a similiar version in other cities. Thanks for bringing up the memories. Oh one fast question did any one every play stick ball with a superball and cut off hockey sticks turned edge wise. Hockey sticks where a fav type of stick.
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!
OK, well, I’ll stand up for West Oak Lane and for girls, ’cause we played chink (OMG–I shudder at that name now!), wallball, pimpleball (broomstick and whole ball), halfball, and, oh Lord, who could forget Buck, Buck–a totally terrifying game if you were a girl. Also dodgeball, baby in the air, kickball. If anybody still plays any of these or other “playground” games as an adult, anywhere in the U.S., please let me know ’cause I’m writing an article on the subject (deadline: Dec. 31, 2008) We played in the streets of West Oak Lane(Tulpehocken, Rodney, Thouron, Wynsam), at the corner store, in the rowhouse driveways, in the schoolyard (Pennypacker) and at Simons Playground (where we also ice skated). The owner of the Flyers (Ed Snider) just saved Simons and 2 other rinks that were gonna close due to budget cuts. The smell of a pimpleball is like the smell of bright yellow mustard and a fresh pretzel–you can never get it out of your soul!
I lived on 10th st between Dickinson & Tasker until I left Philly in 1976 at the age of 13. Played everything up Wilder st and Greenwhich st. I completely forgot about Manhunt and Hide the Belt. We could think of anything even if nobody had a ball. Love trying to explain Buck Buck to people. I remember between 5 kids nobody had 35 cents for a pimple ball. I used to be able to climb the alleys up 3 story buildings onto the roof. I’d collect all the “roofed” balls and come to the edge and yell “Jackpot!” throwing down a half a dozen pimple balls and halfballs. Would love to get my hands on a pimple ball now just to feel it. I remember it was soft enough to pinch with your middle finger so when you pitched it for slapball it would take a crazy bounce right before the other guy could hit it. Great website. Thank you for the memories.
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
I remember playing suicide,you throw a pimple ball against the wall if it was caught in the air you have to run and touch the wall,the person who caught it tried to hit you with the ball before you touch the wall.If the person catching the ball dropped it then he would have to tag the wall.Aso a game called ass ball.It was like chink but you spell ASS if you did you had to lean against the wall while the other players got one throw at you.
Grew up in Kensington in Philly, great neighborhood, Stickball was the best. Pimple Balls were the best to play with, We’d play like 10 games a day in the summer time. They made the blue pimple balls before they stopped making them, would be nice to have one of each. We also played Freedom for hours on end. Freedom was a game where you had at least 5 or more on two teams and you set boundaries of the neighborhood, usual 2 or 3 block radius. The goal was to catch all the members of the opposite team and bring them back to base. The other members would have to touch base and say “Freedom!” and the ones that were caught would run and the whole game would begin again. Hours and hours played at Elkin School in Kensington. Oh yeah, when you caught a person you’d have to say “1-2-3 your my man no breaksies, no locksies, and throw away the key”.