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Spaldeen on Bennington

Posted by Jim Botticelli  October 2, 2013 08:51 AM

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StickballBenningtonStEastie.jpg
Stickball played on Bennington St in East Boston

"One (wo)man practicing sportsmanship is better than a hundred teaching it." ... Knute Rockne
Stickball is a street game that looks like baseball and was most popular here in the Northeast. The equipment consists of a broom handle and a Spaldeen (accent on 'deen'), a.k.a Spalding. The rules come from baseball and are modified to fit the situation. A manhole cover could be  a base, or surrounding buildings used as foul lines. It's a street twist on stick and ball games dating back to at least the 1750s. The game was popular with the kids until the 1980s. What happened is anyone's guess. But kids aren't as free to play in the streets any more. That we know.

Bennington St. is one of East Boston's main streets, running almost the length of the residential part of town. It begins in Central Square as a narrow two-way jammed with shops and houses. It crosses Chelsea St. at Day Square. From there it widens into a tree lined street with two lanes of traffic in each direction separated by an island. It goes through the center of Orient Heights and curves left past the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, enters Revere and ends in Beachmont Square.

Thanks to Wikipedia for some essential details.

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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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