: "Back in the Bronx" Brooklyn response

Peter Farruggio pfarr at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU
Sun Jan 30 20:27:24 UTC 2000

Speaking of the Back in the Bronx word list,  From Vol. III, Issue IX, pg. 10:
>  num. 21 "Curb Ball"

What about stoop ball, which was pretty popular in Brooklyn neighborhoods
ca. 1950s?  I believe Brooklyn had more "private" houses, which were
usually two-story, two family houses (landlord lived downstairs, rented the
2nd floor) which had 7 or 8-step front stoops.  Also, there were (still
are) many neighborhoods with brownstone houses, which also had large
stoops.  These stoops were usually made of concrete, sometimes stone.  To
play stoopball, the "batter" threw a rubber "Spaldeen" (Spalding high-
bounce tennis ball without fuzz covering, also used for playing outdoor,
one-wall handball) against the steps and the "fielder," who stood behind
the batter, had to catch the ball on the rebound to get the batter
out.  Did they not play this in the Bronx?

What about punchball?  ( a baseball-style  team game played with a Spaldeen
on an asphalt baseball court, wherein the batter threw the ball up in the
air, like a tennis serve, and had to punch it)

Pete Farruggio

At 11:43 PM 1/29/00 , you wrote:
>      This book turned up at the local Barnes & Noble booksellers.  It's a
>collection of the first three volumes (12 issues total) of the periodical
>BACK IN THE BRONX.  Dates (for the book and for the issues themselves) are
>missing, as is the price of the book ($34.95).  Is it worth $35 to find
>William Safire's name on their Bronx High School Honor Roll?
>21. Curb Ball...Hit the ball off the curb, the four corners were the bases

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