I knew from the moment that I met my husband “Red” that we had a lot in common. Creative mind? check. Animal lover? check. Lover of anything antique? check. Weird sense of humor? check & double-check. College football fan? 1/2 check for being a Ohio State fan. Vintage Base Ball fan? Huh?!
When “Red” first introduced me to the notion that he played vintage base ball – all kinds of weird things crossed my mind. The first and foremost thought was – does he reenact old games – BORING. I grew up a Yankees and Islanders fan …although not many folks in the South can appreciated a good game of hockey – but that’s a discussion for another time. While I love a good game of modern baseball, I wasn’t so sure about this vintage base ball thing. I prefer the idea of playing for “real”, not reenacting some old game where we already know the outcome.
Fortunately, what I envisioned and the reality – were two entirely different things. Turns out there are a large number of vintage teams across the country that actually play games by the OLD rules. No gloves, no catcher’s masks and an assortment of other rules that pretty much make modern players look like a bunch of spoiled kids with their aluminum bats, gloves, and other protective gear. And, just so you don’t think that vintage base ball (and yes, it was originally two words) is a sexist sport – there are also a number of women’s teams out there that play in the full garb of the 1800’s – personally I don’t know how they can run in those long skirts – I’m not that coordinated.
Since my first introduction to the “gentleman’s game of base ball”, I’ve been to no less than five vintage base ball tournaments and have LOVED every minute. The friends that “Red” first introduced me to while we were dating – have now become more like family to me. They are a brotherhood and sisterhood resembling a close-knit community …and they always welcome new comers and love to talk about how the game was meant to be played.