I found a stash of new Penn tennis balls in their metal cans!

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by dak95_00, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I was visiting my friends school where he teaches and entered the storage closet where they keep their sporting goods. On a shelf were something like 50 new unopened METAL cans of Penn tennis balls. They've got to be from the 1980s. On the can, it says you can send in $6.95 with 2-proof-of-purchases and receive a Head Tennis Bag ($27 value). I'm tempted to open a can to read the details of the offer but I can't bring myself to do it.

    I haven't seen a new metal can since I was young and just started playing. The last time I saw a metal can was just a few years ago when a lady and her young daughter came to the courts I was at and she pulled some used balls out of the can. I walked over to take a look then. I've seen them on that auction site too.
     
    #1
  2. djNEiGht

    djNEiGht Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,188
    Location:
    Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, CA
    I got a can if Spaulding tennis balls for $1 at a garage sale and saw a half dozen or so at a play it one more time (again) shop. Can't remember how much it was going for.

    You should open a can! Does it need a key to open it like a can of corned beef or does it have a similar top to the cans of today?
     
    #2
  3. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,255
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    they smell good. like old mimeographs.

    made in USA i bet.
     
    #3
  4. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,437
    Definitely made in the USA. Back then China's only exports were fortune cookies, paper fans, and the clap. :)

    P.S. I do know the fortune cookie was invented in the USA.
     
    #4
  5. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,778
    can't be that old if they said "PENN" ... the real old PENN name was 'Pennsylvania' ...if it's the 80's then it might be a re-make... they already had plastic cans in the 80's ...
     
    #5
  6. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    The major US ball makers switched in the '83-'84 time frame. Of course, some retailers had the metal cans for many months after the plastic ones were introduced.
     
    #6
  7. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,721
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    True, Pennsylvania are some of the cans that collectors want.
    Most collectors only go for white balls and many do not even want pop top cans (want key winds). Many collect the cans endorsed by famous players, like the many Pancho Gonzalez cans. Vines, Tilden, Richards, and Kramer cans are more desirable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
    #7
  8. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,973
    Location:
    S. FL/Maine
    The metal can is why I like the Slazenger Wimbledon balls.
     
    #8
  9. AtTheNet

    AtTheNet New User

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    Great post, good memories of peeling the top of the old metal cans.

    Does anybody remember the reddish/pink balls that were popular for a while in the 70's? I think they were made by Spalding. Always thought they looked pretty weird, were not easy to see.
     
    #9
  10. mmk

    mmk Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    958
    I don't remember those, but in that time frame either Tensor or Tretorn had feltless, pressureless balls that I think were sort of reddish.
     
    #10
  11. texacali

    texacali Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    228
    Remember using those metal cans as water bottles back in the 70's (rinse 'em out and fill 'em up from the drinkng fountain) We used to conjecture as to whether that was safe or not (cut your lip/tongue on the edge, was there lead in the metal, etc.) but that didn't stop us from using them.

    Did you snag the 50 cans?
     
    #11
  12. texacali

    texacali Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    228
    I remember Spalding made the WCT balls, sort of a dark yellow/gold color. Came in a dark blue can.

     
    #12
  13. texacali

    texacali Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    228
    Didn't those come in a box? That's how unpressured they were.


     
    #13
  14. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I just got one. I had to for nostalgia alone. I'm not a collector but I thought this was really cool. I could probably get the rest doing a 1 new plastic can for 1 metal can if I wanted. I just couldn't get myself to open them and I don't see them as a real value or investment. 1 is enough.

    I just thought it was an interesting find. The paint and everything is flawless. They look as fresh as they were back in 1984 or whenever they were new. I saw them from across the room. It was the yellow lids that drew my attention. I don't know why but I just thought it was a little different and then I laughed when I saw they were metal. I remember going to the local Ace Hardware store and buying metal cans with either white or yellow lids signifying the color of the balls.

    If they were opened by someone else, I'd do with them what I do with some of the plastic ones I use today......piggy banks! It would be nicer to have metal piggy banks.
     
    #14
  15. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,157
    Location:
    Austin, hook 'em, Texas
    Fluorescent fuchsia...Spalding and Slazenger had them, I believe. Absolutely disappeared under the lights at night!

    Spalding also had the 'Professional' white ball with colored seams. We thought we were SUM-thin' when we showed up with those! Ca 1968-69
     
    #15
  16. AtTheNet

    AtTheNet New User

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    Yep, those are the ones. Were pretty bright when new, but got dirty really quick.
     
    #16

Share This Page