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Wall Ball

It was around the time the San Francisco 49ers beat Dallas in football with 'The Catch' 1981. I missed it. I was playing Wall Ball in the street by myself. Everyone else was inside watching the game on TV and I could hear the shouts of joy, the boos, the cheers inside the houses close by. I couldn't watch it. It was too nerve racking for me.

I would buy these plastic balls down at the dime store at Mission and twenty-ninth turned hardware but now gone burned out, about the size of a soccer ball but really light. On Winfield Street one house over was an uneven stone wall thickly painted dark blue gray. There was a wide side-walk approximately eight feet that curbed at the street with a eight inch drop. The street was narrow, one driving lane and one parking lane on the north side.

The ball was served and played from in the street. The ball had to first hit the side-walk before the wall but one could run up onto the walk to make a shot. The ball could be hit with the palm or the fist of the hand either on the bounce or the fly. Generally the ball was served and hit underhand and skimmed close to the walk but so as not to hit the elevated curb.

I followed the Oakland A's not the Giants whose owner was so cheap and besides I had always been an American League fan following the Chicago White Sox when a kid and when kids were expected to memorize baseball players batting averages. I thought the National League was over managed the players being told even when to swing.

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