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Web Site Helps Push Return of Low Tech Toy

Boot Camp feature for Monday, March 1, 1999

A low tech toy makes a come back, with some high tech help. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Spalding is officially bringing back the Spaldeen. The hollow pink balls that were first made in 1949...from the rejected inner cores of tennis balls....launched stick ball games and stoop ball. The sounds would echo through the streets of Brooklyn. But those sounds faded away in the seventies. About the time Spalding began to reconsider bringing it back, a new web site was born last fall. justballs.com. Snicker if you want to, but it's an online retailer that sells nothing but balls of all kinds. Just Balls President Jim Medalia says it wasn't long before they started getting email....

"Gee, do we carry or do we know where you can get a Spaldeen. Most of them were older guys who played stoop ball and stick ball in Brooklyn and the other boroughs and I think just for nostalgia wanted to know if they could get a hold of them."

Just Balls got in touch with the folks at Spalding...

"Once we gave them some input, they decided to start to produce the ball again."

On the website they sell for 1.75. Next month, Spalding is planning a big marketing push and will even have instructions online for the different games you can play with the good old Spaldeen. You always knew it would bounce back.