Sunday, August 3, 2014

Vintage Baseball

Tonight we had the fun experience of watching a vintage baseball game. We had heard that there were teams that played in vintage costumes via vintage rules and were delighted when we found out that they would be playing in Torrington at Fuessenich Park. We got to see the Simsbury Taverneers vs. the Connecticut Picked Nine from Woodstock.

It was a fun evening and the entertainment was enhanced by the presence of President Abraham Lincoln (Howard Wright) who threw out the first pitch and local Civil War round table members who came in period costumes. Performer Thomas Hooker Hanford sang the Star Spangled Banner and entertained between innings. It has now come back to me that we have heard this talented singer years ago and I remember how impressed we were then with his smooth voice. Tonight he entertained with period songs including "Beautiful Dreamer" and of course, "Take me out to the Ballgame". President Lincoln  also told a couple of stories in between the innings. We have also been fortunate enough to have seen Howard Wright give a presentation as Abraham Lincoln in the past. He has been doing it for years and extremely well.

Abraham Lincoln on the ball field.

Thomas Hooker Hanford singing the "Star Spangled Banner"

The rules were told to us as things happened during the game. These brave players played without baseball mitts and one even played without shoes. The ball was leather and the bats larger than those used now. There were women on the team too.

barefoot player comes home

The terms (pitcher was the hurler, catcher was the behinder, just a couple for example) were fun to learn. It was also entertaining seeing them play by these old fashioned rules. If a ball bounced and was caught on the first bounce, it was an out. They could also do some trickery moves--like throwing an onion and not the ball to fake out the other players.

Rather than telling you all about it, I highly recommend you attend one of these extremely entertaining games if you have the chance. I appreciate the players who have kept this living history alive.

We sat behind Abraham Lincoln. Felt funny sitting behind him and "shooting" his picture.

These ladies sat in front of us too.

Thomas Hooker Hanford


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