SpaldeenWe all know the single name for the pink rubber balls once sold in every candy store in America for a dime, reason enough to celebrate


Pronounced “spaldeen” by young boys, the Spalding High-Bounce Ball is the perfect ball for every urban sport from stickball to stoop ball, handball, catch-a-fly, or just bouncing one off a wall for an hour by yourself.

The Spalding is named after Albert Goodwill “Al”  Spalding (b. 9/2/1850), a phenomenally successful pitcher (252-64, best winning percentage ever) in the early days of professional baseball, who was also the first baseball star to wear a baseball glove.

Not only that, he was part owner of the Chicago White Stockings (the current Day White Sox) and a partner with his brother Walter in a string of sporting goods stores that grew into one of the largest manufacturers of sports products in the world, A.G. Spalding & Co.

Which is nice and all, but nowhere near as amazing as Al Spalding’s 65 complete games in 1874, or his 54-5 season the following year. Or the best toy ever invented, the Spaldeen.

•Suggested Activities: Playing boxball, looking up Al Spalding.

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