Gut Rumbles
 

September 09, 2004

half-rubber

I've blogged about this game before, but that crap is somewhere in my vanished archives, so I'm going to do it again. A lot of yankees coming to Blogtoberfest have suggested that the name sounds like a defective birth-control device, so I fart in their general direction.

Half-rubber is a lot like yankee stickball. You play it with a broomstick for a bat, but the tricky part of the game is that you pitch rubber balls cut in half. A good half-rubber pitcher can make one of those things do incredible tricks. Phil Neikro didn't have shit for a knuckleball. Try to hit a good half-rubber pitcher with a broomstick. THEN you'll see some squirrly balls.

The game requires three people to play, but you can add as many as you want to. The rules are simple. You have a pitcher, a batter and a catcher. If the pitcher throws a screaming meemie that dives through the air like a quail with its ass on fire and the batter misses a swing, he's OUT... if the catcher catches the ball. The only thing more difficult than HITTING a half-rubber is CATCHING one, because you play the game bare-handed (and usually bare-footed) and a well-thrown half-rubber puts quail with flaming asses to shame.

If you hit a grounder, that's a single. You stay at bat and call "man on first." If you manage to knock the ball over the pitcher's head on the fly, that's a home run and everybody "on base" scores. You don't have to run and you can drink beer while playing this game.

You can also look like a goddam fool doing it. Heh. Wait'll the yankees get a dose of THAT.

Comments

"You can also look like a goddam fool doing it. Heh. Wait'll the yankees get a dose of THAT."

Bah, we are used to southerners making fools of themselves.

Posted by: rightisright on September 9, 2004 10:49 PM

Yeah, verily, A-Man. The only other rules? You only hit singles or home runs. No doubles, triples. There is no foul line, usually. If you hit it in front of you, it's a single.

And, most importantly, if you are batting and tip it, and the catcher still catches it, he gets TWO outs when his at-bat comes up.

Of course, these rules are malleable, but it's best to lay the ground rules before the drinking starts.

Posted by: Velociman on September 9, 2004 10:53 PM

When I was a younger man, we use to play it in Washington square, Savannah Ga. Fun and very hard, sometimes, Cat.

Posted by: Catfish on September 9, 2004 11:24 PM

Ok, I think I have it, the weird flight and strange bouncing of the half-ball negates baseball skills, so that any doodah can participate, and have a good time.

Sign me up!

Posted by: Justthisguy on September 9, 2004 11:46 PM

Sounds like a game of cricket with the players all drunk, i.e.

Incomprehensible.

Posted by: Henry Blowfly on September 10, 2004 12:09 AM

Rob, IF you can get Mama to play this game you HAVE to get me some pics, I need something to hold over her head the next time she catches me in of MY more "hilarious" escapades! LOL

Posted by: delftsman3 on September 10, 2004 01:31 AM

Velociman is correct. Anything hit in front of you is a fair ball. If the catcher snags a tipped ball, he gets an extra out. Pop one up to the pitcher and HE gets an extra out.

Singles and home runs only.

Posted by: Acidman on September 10, 2004 07:14 AM

... outstanding... I can't wait to play...

Posted by: Eric on September 10, 2004 07:39 AM

A couple of additions: If the pitch bounces in front of the batter, it's a free swing. ALWAYS swing at a bouncer. Also, we've always played that the ball has to come to rest at least a bat length in front of the batter to be considered a hit.

The best pitches hug the ground and then RISE toward the batter, usually breaking away from a right handed batter when thrown by a righty pitcher. A tailwind is the pitcher's friend. Don't forget to teach the "egg ball" throw (catcher to pitcher), or you'll be chasing balls all day instead of playing.

Most broom handles these days are too thin, so my stick is from a Craftsman steel tooth garden rake, around 1.25" in diameter, with the handle wrapped in several layers of medical tape.

I hope y'all have a good time teaching and playing the Great Game. If a yankee wins, don't bother coming home. ;-)

Posted by: tybee mike on September 10, 2004 09:29 AM

I KNEW that anybody named "Tybee Mike" was a half-rubber expert. YES! Always swing at a bouncer. I've played the bat-length rule for a hit, too, and damn nearly got in a few fights when the ball spun backward and made that issue subject to intense debate.

Oh, yeah. Somebody who can really throw a half-rubber starts it out almost into the ground, and the fucking thing rises and curves, like a crazed frisbee. Always swing at a high ball, too. It'll be over the catcher's head, but you just might reach it with a broomstick.

Catcher to pitcher: egg-ball throw, most definitely.

Posted by: Acidman on September 10, 2004 12:48 PM

Hey, hey. I'm a Damn Yankee and I've play the game. And you are right on every count. A heel of a lot of fun. And you can drink too.
For some reason, that seems to help the game out.

Posted by: Wichi Dude on September 10, 2004 06:12 PM

Tybee Mike's rules are correct. The egg-ball pitch will eventually be given to the person who can't hit the real deal. Everybody should connect at least once. I ain't chasing it, though. And I pitch leftie, ha ha ha!

Posted by: Velociman on September 10, 2004 06:31 PM

OK, let's see... Flaming quail asses, balls cut in half, rake handles ....Oooooookay.

Do you guys (or is it y'all?) fling cow turds and toss dwarfs when you're not swinging a rake handle at flaming-quail-ass-mutilated balls?

Hell, I'm in. Besides, Acidman promised me a beer.

Posted by: Jim on September 10, 2004 10:36 PM

After you whup them yankees at half rubber get some dominos and clean em up at Wolf! That'l larn em.

Posted by: Old Fat Sailor on September 11, 2004 08:20 PM

http://www.halfball.com/about.htm

I used to love to play this game as a kid growing up in Boston. We played against a wall, usually a neighbors house. Hit it to the sidewalk for a single, first floor for a double, second a triple and over the roof for a homerun. Lots of fun, easy to play.

I highly recommend it. Check out the website.

Posted by: David on October 16, 2004 12:23 AM

I tried half rubber this weekend and need to get some half balls. Where can I buy some off the net?

Posted by: carl on April 28, 2009 10:42 AM

check out my improvisation of the sport/game;
by that i mean" i played the sport when i was an 8yr old boy in Savannah,Ga.around w.51st
/hopkins st..it emerge from the orphanage;
Greenbriar Childrens Home..i am now 50yrsof age -studied the rules-found errors-
i then alter created a better play..copyrights(reg no#..TXu-1-289-527) i was born in Sav.Ga. my sis,bro and son lives-in Sav.Ga. and Hilton Head Island S.C...I know you had some 9 tournaments..i do expect a respond..i have future plans for the sport-which i persistantly practicing some 2 wkly..yet no disrespect vector! do you thing..i would like to aid /support the emergent game-with other ideas...waiting for your email..

Posted by: Nathaniel Snyder on December 1, 2009 02:53 PM
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