Apple Core! Baltimore!

Finishing my apple this morning, I remembered what used to come next. If you were with a few of your friends, someone would yell “Apple core!” Somebody would respond with “Baltimore!” Next there’d be a question: “Who’s your friend?” At which point, one of us would name somebody else in the group, for example, “Mike!” Then the person holding the apple core would throw it at Mike. This was funny stuff.

I assume this was a fairly common experience for young people in Southern California fifty or sixty years ago. Or maybe my friends and I were the only idiots who did it. I’m wondering now because a brief survey of people who grew up on the East Coast didn’t find anyone who remembered it. (It’s not the kind of thing a person would tend to forget, even after fifty or sixty years.) Presumably, if nobody did it on the East Coast back then, nobody is doing it around here now. 

I can’t remember if a particular person in the group called out the opening “Apple core!” or who would respond with “Baltimore!” Nor do I remember who had the honor of naming his “friend”, i.e. the target. But I’m pretty sure it didn’t work the way Donald Duck and Chip or Dale did it here:

Assuming this was a widespread practice on the West Coast, but not the East Coast, it’s yet more confirmation that the West Coast is the Best Coast. (I’m leaving out the Gulf Coast — nothing personal.)

For the sake of completeness, here’s the full 1952 Disney cartoon. It’s called “Donald Duck Applecore” and includes Donald’s jazzy theme song under the opening credits.

Finally, for completeness, I should point out that the “Apple core, Baltimore” rhyme appeared in an earlier, feature-length Disney movie called “Melody Time”. It was part of a dance number in the Johnny Appleseed segment. But it apparently took years for the Disney people to invent the best part (throwing the apple core at someone like Mike).

PS: Mr. Duck is very much my favorite Donald.

6 thoughts on “Apple Core! Baltimore!

  1. I remember playing this at recess in the 60’s in Montreal! My husband who grew up in Ottawa (same age) never heard of it. I had to surf the saying to prove to him it was a “thing”. Innocent times. Thanks for validating the memory.

  2. Was just finishing an apple and said to my wife (just to see what happened) “Apple Core!” Got nothing. So I had to mansplain the whole thing and of course looked it up on the internet, and Bob’s your uncle! Yes, grew up in L.A. in 50s-60s, (Sheriff John, etc.) thanks for YouTube.

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