Things of my past.

Stoop ball is a pickup neighborhood game played on the stairs of a residential dwelling by a minimum of two players. The rules [3] are based loosely on baseball. The object of the game is to score the most runs in 9 innings.

One player is the “batter” and the other players the “fielders”. The batter stands immediately in front of the stairs while the fielders stand behind the batter across the sidewalk on to the street. The “batter” throws a pink rubber ball (either a “spaldeen” or “pensie pinkie“) at the stoop. The ball flies back towards the fielders, who are also facing the stoop. The objective is to hit the ball at such an angle and velocity so that it bounces back in the air as far as possible over the heads of the fielders, therefore registering bigger hits. The number of bases registered by a hit is determined by the distance traveled by the ball before it is fielded, unless the ball is caught on the fly resulting in an out.

The Stoopball League of America holds its annual world championships every July in Clinton, Wisconsin.


I grew up in Brooklyn, and this was the game we played.  There was another game where a person stood in front of a wall and a person would try to tag them with a big rubber ball.  Kind of like dodge ball with  the object of hurting them.  The only rule was not to hit them in the face.

We were not poor but close to it.  I remember one birthday I got a box and a razor blade in a holder.  I was told to make the box into a castle cutting it with the razor.

By the end I had done it and only had a dozen nicks and cuts on my hands.

The next day my dad bought me army men in a plastic bag to put in my castle.  He could not find knights so I used the army guys instead.

In those days we made do.  We did not need plastic toys with a big price tag.  We found ways to have some kind of fun without the bucks to go to Disney or Universal.  In fact Disney did not exist at that time.  Universal was not even a brand name.



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