I grew up in Summerdale (Oxford Circle) in the early-mid 80s. We played: * wireball * suicide (we called it “sooey”) * pitched quarters * flipped baseball cards * stoop ball (no one called it “step ball”) * Deadbox (not in Summerdale, but played with my * older cousins in Harrowgate) * Wall ball * Hand ball * stick ball * halfies * hose ball (my father grew up in kensington and taught us that) * wiffle ball (regular wiffle ball and padded bat with tennis ball — a lawn chair for the strike zone) * Spring * Freedom * Knock Knock Zoom Zoom * King of the Hill * hide and seek in the back alley/cubie holes * kick the can * foot hockey * 2 hand touch/1 hand touch * steal the bacon * straw races (when someone turned on the fire plug and we’d race drinking straws all the way down the street to the sewer) I can’t count how many pinkies, tennis balls and pimple balls I roofed from the age of 5 to 13!
I played handball, chink, stick ball, halfball, and wireball, in Lawndale, in the 1950s. Lately I have been playing halfball, but with halved tennis balls because the “pimple balls” and “pinkies” are nowhere to be found. – MERK
Our wireball rules were a little different. Single, Double, etc were determined by the height of the wire hit either on the way up or on the way down. The highest wire being a home run. Same applied for halfies ansd hosies…you had to find a 4 story warehouse or school and then a aingle would be off (uncaught) the 1st floor and a double off the 2nd. Now a Homer got interesting because there were 4 stories, a ball could come down and get caught therby negating the HR…but naturally when you “roofed” it, it was “Outta’ Here”!!
I grew up in South Philly, in the 70s/early 80s … I STILL HAVE A PIMPLE BALL !!! I kept it knowing that one day, people all over would be looking for one — wish we could still buy em. I remember learning ‘Chink’ on the corners. We simply called it ‘Chink’ and it was the most simple, fun, yet competitive games ANYWHERE !! We played it on the corner, and we played to 11, or 21 if you played doubles and allowed ‘slams’ – meaning the ball could go PAST the curb and into the street, provided there wasn’t a parked car in front of that curb. My memories from the neighborhood also included: – Halfball (of course) – Handball – Running the Bases – ‘Atlantic City’ — which was a variation of Chink AND Running the Bases – very fun game – Jailbreak (surprised I haven’t seen this mentioned elsewhere – you had teams of people and you had to ‘free’ the person in ‘jail’ — which was someone’s front step – you would grab the railing, yell ‘jailbreak’ and all your teammates could leave jail. If you got caught by the other team, you were ‘dragged’ into jail. We usually had a member from each team ‘guarding’ the jail area!) – Wireball – Stepball – Fastball (a variation of stickball/halfball where you pitched a tennis ball into a ‘strike box’ painted on a wall and played with out and runs rules similar to halfball) – Wall/Suicide (simply throwing the ball against the wall, and having someone catch it – if you missed it you had to run to the wall and touch it and yell ‘Wall/Suicide’ before someone picked up your missed ball and BEANED it at your ass! – Dodge ball (played with the big red ball!) – Street football (we actually had an entire street block spray painted with yard line markers, logos, out of bounds markers, end zones, etc!) I’m sure there were plenty of others but this is all I can think of right now !!!
Growing up in South Philly, the pimple ball was indispensible. You couldn’t play the street games without it: Stickball (aka Fastball), Halfball, Hit the Penny, Chink, Wallball, Wireball, Babies in the Air. I find it difficult to explain to my kids just what a pimple ball was. I wish I had saved one to show them. The thing I found most interesting about it was when you pressed your index finger hard on the top of the ball and throw it hard releasing it so that it’s trajectory was toward the ground, it would almost float as it sped toward it’s target. I’ve seen guys throw them almost the length of a city block where the ball made the entire trip 6 inches off the ground.
i live in philly, and i’m 20 years old, we still play all old street games, our fav is wireball, you play we go into the night just playing that game, we once had the cops coming around and kicking us off the street because it was so late, another favorite game is half ball, we cut a tennis ball, or a racketball in half, if we can find pimple balls we use them, and hit it off the wall of an old prison on fairmount ave. so all you guys that think none of these games are still played, guess again, just come to fairmount ave. in philly and join us
What about “wireball” where you would stand on the sidewalk under the electric wire that ran down the street and throw the ball vertically up at the wire. If it hit the wire it was a home run-but only if the other team did not catch it before it hit the ground. If they caught it you were out. If it didn’t hit the wire then you got a single, double, or triple depending on how far into the street the ball went,but only if they didn’t catch it.