I,for one, preferred the Spaldeen over the Pinkie. It lasted Longer, was harder and had a better bounce. I loved my spaldeens so much that I would wash them in the bathroom sink. Funny how I JUST REMEMBERED THAT after all these years! My sister and I never had a dull moment as long as we had a spaldeen to play with.
Well…Sure the Spalding was a higher bouncer. Sure the Spalding was a few pennies cheaper. But….The Spalding was also harder. Hence, for punch ball, it hurt like he@@. Also, because it was harder and less forgiving, it was more likely to split in half when use for stick ball. Therefore, I vote for Pensy or Pensie Pinky. It didn’t bruise the knuckles as badley and lasted much longer. That is, of course, if you didn’t lose it over the fence to some nasty’s backyard, on the roof of the school, or down the sewer. Do you remember how we would fish them out of the sewers? Ah, such sweet memories! Also, while I hear that the Spalding can be found available these days, I did come accross one recently. It was made in China. Aside from it’s spherical shape, it bears little resemblence to the original. If I could find the old ones, I would gladly buy a case or two.
In the early days in Sunnyside, Queens, when we were kids, we didn’t have a lot of space to run around in our little courtyard. Our ball games were usually against a brick wall or on concrete pavement. All the boys and girls played together – running bases, stick and boxball, single-double-triple, etc. Of course the girls did the A My Name is Alice thing, and we also played Hit the Ball on the Penny. For all these games, the ball of choice was almost always a Spaldeen. They had a good feel and a good bounce – and, as I recall, a good smell when they were brand new (that didn’t last long, maybe two paces out of the store and that was it…)
Spalding were the rejected inerds of the elite used tennis balls. We inner city kids were, in a way, also societal rejects. No leagues, no lessons and barely any grass on which to play. But when the rejected balls were paired with the rejected kids magic arose from the mix. This special bonding of two of the worlds cast-offs could never be matched by anything called a Pensie Pinkie.
I am from South Philly and I have fond memories of stickball and halfball using a “pimple ball”. I have not seen these anywhere for at least 15 years. If anyone has any idea if they are still produced, and where I can purchase a few, Please E-mail me. Thanks
“By Bruce Deitchman on Wednesday, May 26, 1999 – 12:05 am: Please allow me to share my views on the subject. IMHO, Spaldeens (as they are pronounced) are the proper tool for games such as stickball, however I have found Pennsy Pinkies more appropriate for Chinese handball and boxball.“ I gotta agree with everything the guy above me here says. Additionally, the Spaldeens were great for the game of Steem. Where a few guys choosed up sides and ya pitched the ball to the batter as if it were a hardball. A box for the strike zone was drawn on a wall with chalk behind the batter, and the pitcher paced off (I forget how many) several yards to the chalk drawn pitchers mound. Regular balls and strikes added an more action. Ground rules varied depending on how many players were in the game. This was one of my favorites when I was a young teenager. We usually played in the school yard courtyard. Spaldeens were the ball of choice because of their liveliness bouncing back to the pitcher when the batter missed your pitch. 🙂