Friday, June 6, 2014

For the Love of the Game - Vintage Baseball!

Our family just discovered Vintage Baseball and are we glad we did! There are currently six teams in the Bay Area Vintage Baseball League (BAVBB) who have been playing by the rules of 1886 for the last ten years. What does this mean? I'll show you in words and pictures . .

Reproduction uniforms from the 1880s . .

Note the painter's cap, knickers, colored stockings and high tops.

Reproduction Equipment:

The vintage style bat weighs around 44 ounces!
Bases are 15" square bags filled with sawdust or similar material.

The full fingered leather glove. Fingerless gloves also allowed.

Due to the extremely light padding, broken fingers are common in these games!

The ball is similar to today's but less dense. It gets softer as the game progresses.
A padded catcher's mitt, lightly padded chest protector and fencing style mask.

1886 Rules -

For instance - seven balls not four; a foul ball is not counted as a strike; no time outs (only the club captain can ask the umpire for a time out);  no intentional walks; no spitting or swearing (esp. when a lady is present); and the umpire (addressed as Sir) is "given unquestionable respect and full authority." There are many other rules which can be found here.

For the Love of the Game -

These guys are not getting paid; they play because they love it. What a refreshing concept! They're good too! And as a spectator, I can say that for me, it was much more enjoyable to watch than a professional game. These guys played straight through. There were no annoying conferences at the pitchers mound, no endless time outs, no referee disputes, no unruly crowd . . just a great ball game under the California sun.

The game we watched took place at the baseball field in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. We watched the San Francisco Pelicans beat the Fremont Aces (no one was quite sure of the score, but it was close). Spectators were few but committed. There was even an enterprising boy selling bags of peanuts and sunflower seeds! We bought one of each.

The baseball field in GG Park SF,  not far from Stow Lake.

There's plenty more games to watch this summer and they are free! Here is the BAVBB summer schedule.

Now let's step back in time and play ball!

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