This painting is of a game called "half ball!" The game was very popular in my hometown, East Boston, Massachusetts, USA in the late 1940's up until late 1960s!
We played the game using an old hollow beat up "pimple" rubber ball that we cut in half. We cut them in half to play half ball mainly because they lost most of the "air" inside and they were no good to play stick ball. Soon we started to cut them in half even when they were new because we enjoyed playing half ball more than stick ball! We used and old sawed off broom stick for a bat! So very challenging to hit, pitch, and catch the half ball. Best to have at least two players on a team. Pitcher and catcher so the batter doesn't have to throw the ball back to the pitcher if swung and missed. We had singles, doubles, triples, and home runs! No running of bases. Hits were determined by many varying factors! Usually the height and the distance the half ball traveled when hit! Outs were made by simply catching the ball in flight or catching as it rolled quickly on the ground. We used parked cars, telephone poles, windows in buildings and so much more to determine the type of hit!
The rules of the game varied from city to city and street corner to street corner!
If interested in the reactions to this painting from my East Boston buddies who played the game please "friend me" at my face book page "Michael East Boston!"