Devin102 9/13 Year of the Plague

Philly had the smallest streets and near Bache Elementary across from our row house was a tight one lane street side street off 22nd Street. At the corners of the side street were two old brick apartment houses. The entrances to these 3 story brick apartment houses were on 22nd Street. So the windowless side walls to these buildings were on the side street.

Half-ball. A real city game was played between the 2 facing walls. The pitcher stands on one sidewalk and pitches across the small street to the batter on the sidewalk across the street.

Using a “stick” bat, a broom stick perhaps 3 feet and pimple balls cut in half (or tennis balls). Yes, cut in half – Half-ball. You pitch by holding the half-ball along the edge with your thumb and first finger and you “sail” it (like a frisbee) underhanded across the street slowly in an arc. You can have a chalk circle strike-zone on the wall behind the batter. So you have balls and strikes.

If the batter hits the half-ball into the street it's a foul. Also foul if it goes too far to the right or left.

The sidewalk across the street from the hitter is a single, the first floor wall is also a single, the second floor a double and the third a triple. And if the half-ball makes it to the roof behind the pitcher, it is a home run. If the defense catches the hit off the wall in the air it's an out.

Similar to this is stoop ball; played on a similar field but with a stoop (stairs) where the batter stands.

With a whole ball, not a half-ball. No pitching, no bat. The batter faces the steps and throws the ball into the steps & if it doesn't make it across the street it's a foul, the sidewalk and first floor are a single, etc.

Devin played both these games in Queens....