Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Baseball, 1860's style

Whilst perusing through the community events section of a local parenting/family publication, my eyes landed on an ad for a vintage baseball game to be held at Fort Vancouver National Historical Site. Knowing Adam would love it, I told him we were going on a surprise date. The only clue I gave him was that it was baseball related. After many tries, he did eventually guess, but he was still surprised and excited for the event.

So what's the difference between modern baseball and 1860's baseball? Back then it was two words. Base ball players were called "ballists", and they played barehanded--no gloves were allowed. They could not catch with their hats, either. The "hurler" (pitcher) pitched the ball underhand. An out resulted from a ball being caught on the fly OR after the first bounce. The umpire explained the calls he made throughout the game.

The warm up

There were many people in costume

The entire game was "serenaded" by the brass band.

The "home team"

The visiting team, the Occidentals

The game began with a cannon shot

The guy with the top hat is the umpire and would periodically explain rules as the game went on.

The players were reminded that if they scored a run to "kindly" talk to the scorekeeper to make sure it was recorded.

The bats were hand crafted by a member of the team.

I gotta post one shot of my cuties at the game!

After the game was over, Adam had some questions about the ball, the bats, etc. As we walked around, one of the players asked if we had had a good time. We said yes, and I commented how Adam was interested in playing. Thinking it was only for employees and volunteers of the historical site, we were surprised when the guy simply turned around and pointed at the man Adam should speak to to find out about playing. After conversing for a while, they began to throw the ball around. Their game of catch ended with an invitation to practice with them. Adam was able to practice with them once. Sadly, we were out of town for the final game of the season, but Adam may be able to play with them next summer!


Glenda said...

What a novel and interesting thing to watch. How fun for Adam.

Erin H. said...

That's so cool!

Meg said...

Okay that is awesome.

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