Six vintage base ball clubs from Minnesota will gather in Stillwater on Saturday, July 22. The teams will participate in a series of one-hour exhibition matches at the Old Athletic Field, which is located at the corner of Orleans and 6th Ave.
Clubs from Anoka, Arlington, Afton, La Crescent and around the Twin Cities will play one-hour exhibition matches for crowds that will line the baselines and cheer the great display of defense and hitting — exhibiting the game as it was meant to be played.
The St. Croix Base Ball Club, an educational outreach program of the Washington County Historical Society, is in its 19th season. The St. Croix’s are the reigning vintage base ball champions of Minnesota and have been since 2002.
Vintage Base Ball uses the rules set by Henry Chadwick in 1860. Some of the more curious rules of the game that have since left the rule book include:
• There are no balls or strikes called.
• A batter is out if the ball is caught on the fly or first bounce.
• Fielders do not use gloves — all barehanded.
• The pitcher pitches the ball underhanded to where the batter would like it.
“This type of base ball allows people from age 7 to 70 play and have a great deal of fun,” said WCHS Executive Director Brent Peterson. “It is a great way for one generation to connect to another using the game of base ball as the link through their history.”
The matches are a part of Stillwater’s Lumberjack Days celebration, which runs July 21-23.
The matches are free to the public. Just bring a lawn chair and a few friends and watch base ball as it was meant to be played.
For more information contact the Washington County Historical Society at 651-439-5956 or email at: [email protected].org. The Washington County Historical Society collects, preserves, and disseminates the history of the county and state of Minnesota.
Founded in 1934, the Washington County Historical Society is a donor-supported nonprofit organization with more than 750 individual family and business members. WCHS is supported by individual gifts, membership fees, and foundation grants. For more information, please visit www.wchsmn.org.
Vintage base ball schedule for July 22
All games at Old Athletic Field in Stillwater
Rum River Rovers vs. Afton Red Socks 11 a.m.
La Crescent Applejacks vs. Arlington Grays noon
Quickstep BBC vs. St. Croix BBC 1 p.m.
Afton Red Socks vs. Arlington Grays 2 p.m.
Quickstep BBC vs. Rum River Rovers 3 p.m.
St. Croix BBC vs. La Crescent Applejacks 4 p.m.