Replaying The Old Ball Game

Replaying The Old Ball Game” – Karin Crompton/The Day

“No gloves, no helmets, pitchers throwing underhand and no walks. You call this baseball? Actually, it’s base ball, two words. And Sunday afternoon, it came to Fort Trumbull.

The Thames Base Ball Club, sponsored by the New London County Historical Society, played its first “home” game Sunday at the fort. The team competes in the Vintage Base Ball Association, whose members play the game according to 1861 rules.”

Batter Up!

Batter Up!” – Kathleen Edgecomb/The Day

“What’s become of America’s favorite pastime? Once a “healthy recreation for gentlemen,” now it’s a multi-billion dollar business rife with inflated egos and salaries, and abuse of drugs and alcohol.

When baseball was invented in 1861, there were no gloves, so it was permissible to catch a ball on the first bounce for an out. Strikes had just been invented as a way to punish batters who refused to swing at good pitches. Underhanded pitching was the norm. The ball was close to the size of softball.

The New London County Historical Society is bringing back the more genteel game. The Thames Base Ball Club will face the Connors of Waterbury during the Thames’ first home game at 2 p.m. Sunday at Fort Trumbull State Park. Players will be dressed in vintage-style uniforms. There is no admission fee.

“I just wanted to try to reinforce the message that history doesn’t only live in historic houses; it can be experienced directly. And it can be fun,” says Edward Baker, executive director of the historical society.

A league of vintage clubs exists in southern New England with members from New Haven, Hartford and Waterbury in Connecticut; Coventry, Bristol and Providence in Rhode Island; and Melrose, Danvers and Lynn in Massachusetts. The New London club hopes to be admitted to the league for next year’s season.

Thames Club will play the Connors of Waterbury in a vintage baseball game at 2 p.m. Sunday at Fort Trumbull State Park, New London. There is no charge to watch the game. Call the New London County Historical Society at 443-1209.”

Vintage Baseball Arrives At Fort Trumbull

Vintage Baseball Arrives At Fort Trumbull” – The Day

“In baseball’s infancy, the game was played without gloves, without called balls and where fly balls caught on one bounce were considered an out.

That will be the version of the game that will be on displayed Sunday (1:30 p.m.) at Fort Trumbull State Park, where the Thames Base Ball Club of New London will host its first home game against the Connors of Waterbury.”

Introducing the Thames Base Ball Club!

The Thames Base Ball Club will make its debut at the Vintage Base Ball Tournament at Old Bethpage Village on Long Island tomorrow. The tournament features 14-teams from New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration is the birthplace of vintage base ball, It was first played there at a Civil War Re-enactment in 1979 leading to the founding of a league in 1980.