Before we played a game of stickball or softball, before we would choose up sides, what was the one thing the owner of the ball would scream out?
“CHIPS ON THE BALL!”
Playing a street game that included a rubber ball, if you happened to lose the ball you had to pay the owner to replace it.
In the girls schoolyard playing stickball, if someone hit the Spaldeen over the roof on 9th avenue; pay me Reggie!
If you played baseball in the lot and out fouled off a pitch over the fence, game over. Chip in for a new baseball!
Down at P.S. 154’s if someone “roofed” the softball you had to ante up. That is unless Joey Stasiak, Richie or Phillip Mullins were around to climb the roof and retrieve the ball.
To be honest though, I don’t ever recall anyone chipping in to buy a new ball.
Do kids still call, “chips on the ball?”
Let’s not forget the alert, smart aleck kid prior to the game screaming out, “NO CHIPS!”
When many kids growing up in the neighborhood had a backyard to run around in, I had a fire escape.
When Mother Nature was kind to us we would often be found hanging out with some blankets and pillows and even a small radio. I once placed our black and white television on the window ledge and watched a baseball game. The black steel ladder led to the roof top where we would venture up to check out the sights. At night, the view of the Lower Manhattan Skyline was breath-taking.
If someone playing stickball across the street hit a shot from the schoolyard across the street I’d head up and retrieve it. I was the unofficial ‘ball-boy’; one of the many benefits of living across the street from Holy Name was never having to buy a Spaldeen from Ray and Otto’s.