SPALDEENS. A spaldeen is, to quote this wikipedia article, “a small pink rubber ball, somewhat similar to a racquetball, supposedly made from the defective core of a tennis ball without the felt”. The “yesteryear” issue (April 8) of New York Magazine is devoted to the New York City childhoods of the past. The introductory article by Jennifer Senior, after describing the numerous interviews about childhood memories, concludes: “… every kid knew (as we heard again and again) that the better way to spell Spalding is S-P-A-L-D-E-E-N….”

I lived on Downing Street in the Village from 1968 to 1973. It was only two blocks long, without much traffic, and children played in the street. One day I watched a boy of about six, playing a game with three or four children who were a couple years older. The game used a spaldeen. The boy fumbled a ball. There were jeers from the older kids. He said, loudly: “That fucking ball came like a fucking bullet!”

This entry was posted in History, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.