I grew up in Queens Village. We played “pinkball” variety of handball at Alley Pond Park just inside the Union Tpke entrance (you went under the old Vanderbilt MotorPkway bridge). This was in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. Our courts were “one wall.” There was some alternation between Spauldeens and Pennsy Pinkies, but we finally pretty much settled on the Pennsies. It seemed the Spauldeens were being made smaller and the rubber thicker. They didn’t move as well. Now the Pennsies had a bit too much bounce to them, so we’d “pin” them. I carried a safety pin attached to my belt loop. When we got a new ball we’d simply push the pin through the skin and it then would bounce just right. We usually got our balls from Michael’s Candy Store on Hillside Avenue where Bell Park Manor and Terrace Apartments were (and are). The owners of Michael’s back in the day had a sign on the box holding the balls: “If you bounce it you bought it.” Oh, and yes sir, those were the days!
Growing up in “The Projecks” as pronounced it, the best ball for playing stoop was the Pensie-Pinkie. I’ve heard people say that these were great for punch ball also but they were harder and tougher on the knuckles. There was no feeling – or sound – like hitting a Pinkie off the “sweet spot” the protective metal on a housing project stoop.
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.
Grew up in ENY Brooklyn in the 60s … Pensie Pinkies were better for the games girls played like “A My Name is Anna …” and “Composition Letter A, May I repeat the Letter A” (does anyone remember these games by the way!) And if you were a beginner in Handball, the Spalding was a much faster ball …
The spaldeen was the only ball to use for street games. The pinkie was too mushy. I guess the pinkie would have been better for box baseball games, but you could put enough spin on the spaldeen. Stickball games ended when we lost all of the balls. We played in Bensonhurst.
I played stickball on 61 street between 6th and 7th ave in Brooklyn in the late 50’s. Home plate was either the sewer near the Gooch’s house, or up by the lot near sixth ave. The latter was better because the outfield spread out at sixth ave. The leaders on the apartment house were the foul posts. The outfielders had to dodge traffic on the ave. Spaldeens were better. They didn’t egg as easy as the pennsy pinky. Max’s candy store on seventh ave would let us test bounce the balls to get the best one. Spaldeen 25 cents. Pennsy pinky 15 cents. Remember when they started to sell stickball bats with the black tape for grip. No more broom handles.