This weekend we are thrilled to be hosting our first “Vintage Base Ball Invitational” at Sauder Village. On Saturday afternoon (July 30th), guests can watch as the great Black Swamp Frogs from Toledo, the Ohio Village Muffins of Columbus, along with the Spiegel Grove Squires from Fremont take the field for a vintage base ball tournament using rules from the late 19th century.
Wondering what those rules and customs might be? We thought we’d help you get ready for the games by sharing just a bit of history as well as some rules and customs from the 1860s.
The New York Knickerbockers, the first club to write down the rules of what has become modern baseball, organized their team in 1845 in the Lower Manhattan area of New York City. Base ball soon began to spread with other clubs forming along the East Coast. The Civil War promoted the growth of the game as soldiers played base ball for recreation in their free time in camp. When the war was over, dozens of new clubs were formed throughout the Midwest. The emphasis in the early game was on courtesy among the gentlemen and occasionally, ladies. Historically only a few rules governed a match with the rest left up to the players’ sense on honor and good sportsmanship. Club players conducted themselves in a sportsmanlike manner that created an atmosphere where spectators cheered for good plays by either team.
Historically (and this weekend at Sauder Village), the fans cheer teams on with loud "huzzas" for a good play by either side and running to first would be urged by, "Leg it, leg it, leg it." Hand shakes from opponents and a good word are earned by a ballist making an exceptional play. We hope you'll join us this weekend for fun-filled Vintage Base Ball Invitational at Sauder Village!
Want to learn more about Rules of the 1860s and customs of the time? Visit the Ohio Village Muffins website!