Vintage Base Ball Game: A Trip Back to the 1850sOn Sunday afternoon, I had the chance to experience a bit of time traveling. No DeLoreans or phone booths were required. Simply a trip to Elmhurst's Berens Park. For a few years, I've heard about baseball leagues that are organized and play using Civil War-era rules. That's when baseball was base ball. Yes, two words.
Before attending the game, I researched the rules and differences from Major League Baseball as we know the game today. OK, somewhat researched. Honestly, I watched Conan O'Brien's sketch from his Late Night days several times. When I worked at the Downers Grove Park District, they had a vintage base ball team, the Plowboys, that played on behalf of the historical museum. So going into the game, I knew what to expect.
Sunday's game was between the Chicago Salmon and the Elmhurst All-Stars. The Salmon have been playing for a while, and they were decked out in era-authentic uniforms. Elmhurst's team is still in its infancy. Perhaps authentic uniforms will follow in the future.
Overall, the concept of the game is the same. Teams play nine innings and attempt to score more runs, or aces to be authentic, than their opponents. Nine players take the field at the time. Other than that, the rules are vastly different than the contemporary game. For a full break down of 1858 rules, it's easier to refer you here.
What an interesting experience. I've posted some photos, too.