Thats chinese handball! or ace, king, queen. I dont remember it being called slug. Names of games changed in all areas of ny in the 1960’s.In QUEENS it was,hey you wanna play ‘chinese’. We played in the school park against the brick wall of a park bathroom building.We used a spaldeen.It was a very fast game,played low to the ground,and wore out alot of Keds sneakers. You had to find a good place with a wall or fence in back of you,so you didnt have to chase the ball.
PS 186 bellerose,glen oaks, queens 1950’s 1960’s.We played it behind a small brick school park building.Only enough room for two players.Thats the only way i played,one on one,a very fast game,one side of your sneakers allways wore out.And scrapping you fingers on the cement didnt help.The big kids had the little black hand ball,rock hard,with a glove,that was what every kid wanted,that ‘BOSS’ hand ball and special handball glove.And a ten speed bike too!
This is a South Bronx tale: the setting is mid to late ’60s, Kelly Street 10 hundreds block = longer than most with wall to wall five story tenement buildings. We played stickball starting from the second fire-hydrant sewer lid (homeplate) towards the end of the block. Anything over the “wire” not caught was an automatic homerun. Only two guys ever hit the ball onto the roof of 1069 thanks to a favorable wind: Manny and Junior. We seldom played pitch ball but rather bounced the ball before hitting it or hit it in the air. Balls stuck on fire-escapes or on the roof before the “wire” were outs, down the basements were doubles. sidewalks were all you can run. The wire was a cable hanging across the street behind the second sewer lid which was a few feet behind second base. Only players from our street were allowed to toss their sneakers onto the wire. Those trophies were never taken down. When there weren’t enough guys to play a game, two guys with bats would hit the ball back and forth one from homeplate and the other from the third sewer lid towards homeplate. Spaldeens were the prefered ball, used also for slugs off the wall of Mr. Friar’s building 1045 Kelly Street; or hitting off the stoop of 1048 Kelly Street. Louie, Jorge, Mickey, Augie, Joel, Victor, Junior, Moses, George Pinocchio were the regulars. Stickball on Kelly Street died in 1978 when the whole block was nuked for redevelopment. We also played a mean game of skelzies and had the best aerial kite battles between glass-cord diamonds and razorblade sneekies. Those were the days!
I grew up in Jersey City in the 70’s and we played this game called Caps(Skully) it was fun and I ruined many gallons of milk by stealing the tops of the containers. I also ruined a lot of pairs of sneakers dragging my feet across the board. We used play dough or melted wax with a penny in the middle to add extra weight. Also i dont remember all the rules you have listed here so I beleive we played a modified version sure brings back memories
Hi All, I’m a Queens raised guy who remembers getting tire-treads vulcanized to a pair of Puma sneakers in the late 60’s/early 70’s at a shoe repair shop in the Bronx. Anyone know about this? Thanks, Grape
“Kick the can” was also a Bronx game. The kids on my block use to hide our cans so that we wouldn’t have to go scurrying around looking for one the next day; Because the last one to tap their can was it. That was my favorite game, back then. We did all types of cheap tricks, like changing sneakers and hiding inside the garbage can closest to the “can”. And if we didn’t really like the kid that was it. We would run through the backyards and wind up on the other street, leaving the kid all alone for what seemed like hours, trying to find someone. oh, it was the best. I’m glad I not the only one that remembered this game. Thanks for the memories…..Vanessa (32)
Many things come to mind when I think of skelly. Here are a few: 1)New Jersey, 1964. We stopped at Tony’s Hot Dogs near lake Hopatcong on a Sunday as I recall. I asked the man behind the counter, actually my dad asked the man, if we could have some bottlecaps. I guess some meant all because he filled up a couple of paper bags full. It was a great ride home as a 7 year old digging out all of the cork and couldn’t wait to show my friends my motherlode of caps. 2)I can still remember the smell of melted crayons in my friend’s garage as we readied our bottlecaps for action. We lived in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn and if it wasn’t stickball or Spud it was all day skelly marathons. 3)About 1970 or thereabouts during my last glory days as a pre-teen and the end of skelly as a pasttime, I pulled one of the biggest miscues of my life, to that point. My dad had just bought me a new pair of Pro Keds and I proceeded to wear out the sides in a matter of days due to several skellythons. Needless to say, it was back to discount sneakers for me. I wish this generation could experience all of the great street games that I grew up with in Brooklyn and Queens.
Let’s not forget about shining up those bottlecaps by scraping them on the cement sidewalk till the name was erased. Then we’d choose our favorite crayon colors and melt the crayons in the caps over the stove. (What a mess for Mom!) The crayons really made the caps soar smoothly down the cement. Between handball and “skelly” I went through a pair of sneakers a month. And our fingers bled too until they became calloused from the caps. Winners kept the looser’s caps! Woodhaven rules!
Platform shoes were the bane of my existence as a youngster. By the age of 13 I was 5’9″, and the guys really hadn’t caught up with me. I soon leveled off at 5’11” and pretty much stayed in my jeans and deck sneakers and sandals till age 18, when finally I started dating someone three inches taller than me who was into all that John Travolta garb when we went out. In his platforms he was about 6’4″, so I could wear whatever shoes I wanted (by then, of course, plain old pumps and flats were back in vogue). Sometimes in high school I would wear clogs (they made a great banging sound on the all-metal staircase running up to the 7th floor tower, where my homeroom was). That was fun. We could all recognize each other by the sound of our shoes, so to speak, and stop to meet and hang a bit in the stairwell on the way up to class.
Born in Brooklyn in 1959 and grew up in Sheepshead Bay around Ocean Parkway between Y & Z (Manhattan Court). I moved to Rochester, NY in 1980 after graduating from college to work for Eastman Kodak. I am 39 now with two kids and my boy is 9 years old. We where home (I still call Brooklyn home) this weekend and I played stickball with my son. The school yard (PS 209) I used to play in is under some kind of destruction/construction so this was just an introduction. It was great to be out there again. Can’t wait until I get my hands on a Spalding though. Pensee-pinkie’s where better. The Spalding’s used to crack in half. I still have my stickball bat from the 70’s so I remembered to bring that along. Remember how many sneakers we used to go through because the toes would be gone from pitching. I remember begging my Mom to buy me PUMA’s when they first came out. I never liked those heavy ADIDA’s. They where $20.00 back 25 years ago. After our little stick ball game I introduced him to PUNCH BALL. We then went home and played “HIT THE PENNY”, “5 boxes”, and “Box Tennis”. I even had a chance to grab a Nathan’s frankfurter and a BAG of fries in Coney Island. I think they still use the same grease for the fries.