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Thursday, April 12, 2012


My recent post “GARAGE-WALL BALL” elicited several interesting comments. 
 JohnD from down-under commented:

We played street cricket - two garbage bins for wickets a fence paling for a bat and a tennis ball. A hit over (any) fence was an automatic out - each batsmen faced 12 balls (2 overs) and whoever could score the most runs won the match. If a vehicle came down the street the 'keeper had to grab the batsman's wicket (bin) and the bowler the other bin at his/her end.

I'm sure there were more rools but they were the basics - we were flexible with rools and made them up to suit the circumstances - like we had one kid in leg braces so he didn't have to run between wickets.

As you can imagine, with the passage of time, the bins became very dented so my brother and I were always careful not to choose the bin from our home. LOL!

I have no idea about cricket, but I love how everyone is included when kids make the rules.  If one kid is a cripple, then he doesn’t have to run.  When adults run youth leagues these simple adjustments to a game take months to pass.

Then there was this from Katrina at

Anyone lucky enough to get comments from Katrina knows her comments are sometimes longer than a typical post:

Fun post!
I love how kids make up their own versions of team sports. When I was a kid, we lived on a cul-de-sac street in southern CA. Our cul-de-sac wasn't all that large and so a game of baseball could not be played (without a parked car's window getting smashed) so instead we played Kick Ball. I loved kick ball!! I was good at it, too. I think they should have Kick Ball as a professional sport. It has all the good stuff that baseball has - running bases, a pitcher, players on first, second, third and in the outfield. Catch a fly ball and it's an out. Tag the runner with the ball and it's an out. Three out's and the other team is "UP" to kick. Why don't we have a professional Kick Ball League? I'd buy a ticket to be there. I'd watch it on ESPN. I'd even wear a team kick ball hat.

I remember kickball when I was a kid in San Marino California and I responded to Katrina:

That must be a So. Cal thing. I lived in San Marino from 5-8 and we played kick-ball all the time. Never played it when we moved back east. Did you get to call your pitch? My favorite was

"Fast with baby-bounces."


I loved Katrina’s response.  I suggested she use it for a post or I would steal it.  She gave me permission to post it here:

Yes, we got to call our pitch! Mine was "Fast, no bounces." But it's very hard to pitch fast without a little bit of bouncing happening, and you needed just a little bounce to give the ball some lift so your toe could get under it, so I bet my pitch was probably the same as yours!! Because there was always a little bit of bouncing going on.

The faster the pitch, the farther the ball would go. We used to play this during recess at school, too. I remember that whenever someone with a lame kick was up, everyone from the infield and outfield would come in, up close...and it was always such an insulting thing to do. But we all did it, because kids don't care. And then when the next kicker was up, and if he or she was good, they'd all say, "Get BACK!!!! Get BACKKK!!!" and everyone would go out in the outfield farther, anticipating a big kick.

 Well, in the first and second grades, I used to be one of the lame kickers. My pitch back then was "slow, no bouncing." The pitcher would do one of those grandma-blowing pitches at me. I was always last picked for a team back then. Ugh.

Then I played soccer that summer before third grade.

 When school started up again in the fall and we went out for recess and started a game of kick ball, they all came IN when I was UP. The pitcher didn't even let me call my pitch. He just pitched one very slow. I scooped it up in my hands, threw it back and said, "Fast, no bouncing" and the pitcher gave me a look like "Oh...really?" and then everyone yelled, "Get BACKK!!! Get BACKKK!" but before they could, he pitched the ball (John McGowan, I still remember who pitched it to me) and I kicked it waaaay over the center outfielder's head. A home run. I can STILL remember how good that day felt. I have that down as one of my top ten BEST DAYS EVER. LOL

I love that story!
Anyone else have any youth baseball/kickball/garage-wall ball/cricket memories to share?


  1. Yay! I love that you posted my comment :)
    I think what made me love this post's topic so much was that it took me back to my youth, to a time when kick-ball and kicking it over everyone's head at recess was the main thing on my mind all day, all week long. My main worry/concern was kick-ball - can you imagine such an easy life, when your main thing is a game?!!! Not bills, not a mortgage, not your healthy, not your marriage, not your own kids' health and issues - but a game! I guess I sort of miss those days. And I talk about my youth all the time to my kids. They hear my stories over and over and still ask to hear them some more. That's why I enjoyed your book so much. You did a very cool thing by writing down so many of your childhood memories. I might do the same thing one day.

  2. Just think of baseball but played in the narrow confines of a roadway

    You (the batter)run 15 yards straight up and back between two garbage bins. To be run out the fielder had to gather the ball, return it to either the bowler (pitcher - but no throwing allowed) or the keeper and have you stranded out of your ground between wickets. To be bowled out, the bowler (who is permitted a run-up if desired and has to deliver the ball overarm) has to cause a miss-hit by the batsmen and strike the wicket (garbage bin).

    For our friend with leg braces, no run ups allowed and slow balls were the order of the day but you were allowed to put curve or spin on the ball.

  3. Kickball was huge on my block. We played until the street lights came on. The game would be called because of darkness. Who ever was ahead at that time was the day's winner.

    In the beginning of one of the innings we would let a younger brother or sister come up for their "turn". The ball was gently pitched and they would kick away. We'd let them run the bases. Older siblings who were 'watching them' were off the hook. The game could continue as the younger ones rooted for their favorite team.

    My favorite rule was "in-tree-ference". That's when the ball was kicked into one of the trees lining the street in the infield and it was unplayable.
    No one ever argued it.

    I grew up in NJ. So kick ball might just be the street national pastime.


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