I grew up in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia and we would lower the liitlest guy by his feet to scoop up all the pimple balls. Took great courage and faith in those at the ankles to come back up with a coupla’ balls we could cut in half to play Halfsies. I guess our sewers weren’t as deep as yours; about 5 feet to the water line. Well we were close to the Delaware River too!
I have at last got my pimple ball. I can now die in peace.I bought some from a guy named Marc Polish.Iam 82 years old and played punchball, we used to call it fistball in south brooklyn red hook. they sure were great games. if interested Marc Polish has some Ph. 609 823 7661 or e=mail mpolish [at] verizon [dot] net frank oropello e-mail oropello [at] aol [dot] com
I played stick ball all summer as a kid. Our field was in the middle of the street with the light pole being the home run fence. It was not far or high but if you hit the ball to high you hit the tree that covered home plate. The best thing about a pimple ball was that if you didn’t hit it exactly right you would “EGG” the ball. This was the challenge. We played halfies into a chair. You got one swing. If you didn’t swing and the halfie hit the chair you were out. Once pimple balls left the scene, tennis ball took over. we lost interest in playing because any idiot could hit a tenis ball. Halfies with tennis balls was just not the same. Unfortunatly, Sony playstation has taken over kids spare time. How long before they have Sony PSP Halfies 2007 ?
Great site. I learned about stickball at 15 yrs of age from a fellow by the name of Bobby Graham, a Brooklyn guy who worked at the same place where I was doing summer jobs in Roxbury MA. We used to play after work on Fridays while waiting for our paychecks to be issued. Loved the game from the first moment I laid my hands on that broomstick. We played fast-pitch in local schoolyards with a strike zone on the wall. Ground rules varied according to the game site, but a home run was always over the school building or across the street. The “official” ball was the pimple ball; we only used pinkies when unable to find pimple balls at the 5&10. In fact, pimple balls ultimately got so hard to find that we would go to extreme lengths to retrieve them in the course of game. It was always a sad thing when someone hit a pimple ball right on the seam and split it. Haven’t seen a pimple ball in a LONG time, though. I remember spending many hours practicing and perfecting my pitching technique. Those were the days when a kid had plenty of time on his hands after school and before dinner. It got to the point where I could reliably hit the door handle of my house garage door from across the street. Developed about a half dozen different pitches, including a wicked Elroy Face inspired sinker. Had some wicked grudge match games against local neighborhood rivals. One of my great sports moments was pitching nine straight no-hitters against them. They refused to play us any more. I guess we still own the bragging rights in that rivalry. Nice to be able to share my memories with people who remember and understand this great street sport. Better than golf IMO.
What an excellent site. I was just talking to a co-worker about pimple balls and decide to do a search. I came upon this site. Man, in Mayfair/Holmesburg life was great in the 70’s and 80’s. Wall ball, ass ball, step ball, wire ball, stick ball, half ball, homerun derby, man hunt, hide the belt. All classic games only played in Philly as far as I knew anyway. Oh, can’t forget wiffle ball. We had the perfect field for wiffle ball. We would play ovet at Forrest Elementry at Cottage and Bliegh St. We played between two buildings. Hitting the ball past the defense and the ball hitting the wall below the ledge was a single, above the ledge but below the window was a double, in the area where the window was, was a triple and above the window was a homer. The defense could catch it off the wall and it was an out. If they missed it and it hit the ground then it was a hit. Great game!