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Spalding Hi-Bouncers?

Making a comeback?

What great news!

Think this is where I came in.

I wonder if I still have an arm. It used to be pretty good. I could pitch high and inside and strike a lot of guys out, when they weren't pounding my pitches onto the PS29 roof, for a ground rule homer. Break the school window and it was a ground rule everybody run like hell.

We called them Spaldeens, and rarely saw a new one. But if someone came up with one, we'd play stickball against the school wall, painted with a strike-zone and a big "S." When the ball hit the wall it often left a mark, so you could sometimes confirm the pitch was a ball or a strike. Hit hard enough, they'd split in two. If you ever got up on the school roof, you could find them by the dozen, weather worn and good for one last hit over the fence.

A good stickball bat was a thing of joy. The cheapo bats were your mother's broomstick. Better used for stickball than for disciplining unruly boys. The really good ones were a little thicker, made of harder wood, that didn't split so easily when you made a hit. Sometimes you wrapped the handle in black electrician's tape, to improve the grip.

It was a lot easier to put together a stickball game with kids you found in the neighborhood or up at the schoolyard because you only needed two to play, a pitcher and a batter.

I never saw a girl play stickball.

I'm glad the Spaldeen is coming back. That and a 26" Schwinn bike were two of the good things that a lot of kids had in those days.

What else was as good, I wonder.

What do kids have today that compare? A computer and a 21-speed? Are todays kids having any more fun?

I wonder.

-rs




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