Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A spaldeen (product called Spalding High-Bounce Ball) is a small pink rubber ball somewhat similar to a racquetball, and supposedly made from the defective core of a tennis ball. These balls were commonly used in street games in the mid-20th century, such as Chinese handball (a variation on American handball) or stickball (a variation of baseball).
The term most likely arose from a New York or Brooklyn-accented pronounciation of Spalding, the sporting goods company that produced the balls. The name has become so common that Spalding actually uses it in marketing, and it is now a registered trademark.
History and attraction
Spaldeens were easily available from the 1950s to the 1970s to city kids. In urban areas sparse in grass, spaldeens became integral to many street games due to their bounciness and light weight. For reasons unknown, Spalding took the ball off the market in the 1970s, but it returned in 2000 to much fanfare.
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