Imagine my delight when I discovered this little thing called Tennessee Vintage Base Ball. It is my new favorite obsession. Click on the link to see their website - seriously it is so cool. I also now follow them on twitter because I am a nerd: @taovbb TN Vintage Base Ball.
Brian and I took the kids to a game between the Knoxville Holstons and the Nashville Maroons in World's Fair Park. It was amazing. They play by 1864 rules. Gloves and mitts were not invented until the 1870s, so they catch bare handed. Insane.
Here are some of the fun facts I learned:
- The league runs throughout middle and east Tennessee and is expanding. All the players are volunteers. Apparently, there are hundreds of these teams in the country (how did I not know about this??).
- Since they catch bare handed, a catch off of one bounce counts as an out. We saw both shortstops catch line drives straight from bat to hand. It was impressive. They didn't even flinch.
- The terminology is a bit different: the bases are called "sacks", the batter is the "striker", the players are "ballists", the umpire is the "arbiter" and there is only one of them (close calls in the field are agreed upon by the players). Also, when someone is out, they say they are "dead", like "two dead!" instead of "two down!" or "two out!"
- Baseball back then was two words. Nuts.
- Still 3 outs per inning, 9 innings. They don't call balls and strikes, though. And if you are hit by a pitch, you just keep batting.
- No stealing bases, but you can lead off.
- The purpose is to spread good sportsmanship and civility while entertaining spectators. How cute is that?
- They stay "in character" all the time. When they wanted to roll their sleeves up since it was so hot, they had to ask the permission of the ladies in attendance.
- They are really nice. They pose for pictures, talk to kids, and congratulate the other team on good plays when they get them out.
- I love them.
It is almost the end of the season, but you better believe I will be at more games next year. Oh, did I mention it is totally FREE? Yeah, love. True love. Let me know if anyone wants to come with me to a game next season! They have teams throughout middle and east TN!
|it was sunny - hence the weird faces - but aren't they cute?|
|people all over the place on the grass having fun!|
|kid feet make me happy|
|Violet made a friend|
|look at that catcher - no gear at all!|
|they even drink out of tin cups!|
|crazy girl - jeremy refused to get a photo with the players, so this was my compromise|