Cat’s Cradle was a complicated game. A game that required its players to be coordinated and somewhat expert in the art of string. To play Cat’s Cradle, two pairs of hands and a long string were needed. (Bakery Box string was always best)The game was started with the first player looping the string around her hands to create a specific design. The second player was required to remove the string from the first players hands, in such a way, that she created a second design. Players took turns until no more designs could be created. I never figured out how to remove that last design. It had to be removed with your pinkies!
The Spaldeens would break more easily, but they were real. The Pennsy Pinkies? They bounced great, but we couldn’t afford them–Phil’s Candy Store on 36th St & Clara sold plain ol’ “pinkies” that were pink, yellow, or blue! They were 15 cents when the Spaldeen was 25 cents. But the pinkies were awful. Where can I buy a Spaldeen? I swear, I have taught 5 kids in Vermont to play stickball (we pitch in against my brick chimney), and they love it! With a tennis ball, no less! Help–we need a real Spaldeen!!!!
Spaldeens had a better feel to them and were much more lively. When playing punchball and the outfielder was playing deep I would hit the ball between the infielder and the outfielder and hope that the ball would bounce over the outfielders head. Couldn’t do that with a pensie pinkey.
What kind of ball was used for stickball in the 1930’s, and earlier? I saw a picture of kids playing stickball around 1910, and wondered what they were using. I’m working on a story that takes place in the ’30’s, and I’d love to know where I could find this material. If Anyone has any information, I certainly would appreciate it. Pat W.
The Pensy Pinkie was so smooth, you had to love the feel. It definitely bounced better too. Maybe now that Spaldeens are back, we can get Penn to make their balls again as well.
In the ’60’s in Far Rockaway, Spaldeens were to Pensie Pinkies as the Yankees were to the Mets. Spaldeens were the official, respected standard. Pensie Pinkie were the unorthodox, seamless, higher bouncing challenger. Personally, I preferred the livlier Pensie Pinkie. Especially for punchball. Also much easier to control in “squeeze” and “spin” games like box baseball. As I recall, the Spaldeen had a rougher, powdery-when-new feel to it. It was firmer and tended to get brittle more easily than the Pensie Pinkie. The Pensie Pinkie was smoother, super-lively when new, more easily squeezed. When the Pensie Pinkie got old, it lost much of its bounce and was very easily squeezed. Still, nothing like a new Pensie Pinkie. It would just fly off of your fist. Pensie Pinkie’s are a lot like the consistency of a new racquet ball, but pink instead of blue.