Easton brings back vintage baseball
Updated 3:27 pm, Friday, July 12, 2013
Enjoy a day in the park with America's favorite pastime -- baseball, but only if you play by 1860 rules.
Lisa Burghardt, the president of the Historical Society of Easton, is teaming up with Karen O'Maxfield from Friends of Vintage Baseball in Hartford to pull together a game on Saturday, July 13, that follows 19th-century rules and have players wear the same type of uniforms worn way back when.
The historical society was particularly enthused to bring this sport to Easton because they had their own 19th-century team -- the Bluebirds. The team name perseveres via a country-style diner in the town.
Not only does Connecticut have the Bluebirds in Easton as part of vintage baseball history, but it also had Daniel Lucius "Doc" Adams, who lived in New Haven with his family for some time. He was recognized as contributing to the creation of the shortstop position and was a part of the New York Knickerbockers club, according to O'Maxfield.
Burghardt and the historical society join with other organizations so local residents can find fun in pieces of the past.
"We like to work together with other groups; the willingness to communicate is important for sharing an event, so folks who are far away from Hartford can appreciate the people from Friends of Vintage Baseball and all they do to bring the game to life."
O'Maxfield said vintage baseball is not a new program; it started around the 1980s in Long Island and there are hundreds of teams all around the country who don uniforms like those worn by Civil War-era players.
The reenactment group orders different parts of their uniforms either from Newtown and Orange or from Long Island.
In the vintage game, the rules of play are different, the uniforms are different and, most importantly, the sportsmanship is different than in modern baseball.
"There's not a lot of ego; it's true team work," O'Maxfield said.
She said she believes the old game is really about camaraderie and team spirit, not just about beating the other guys.
There are two games on Saturday and in between them guests are invited onto the field to learn the rules of the past.
There will be vendors at the game, so spectators also can crack open a vintage soda pop to further the historical feel of the game. Guests are asked to bring blankets and chairs to sit on.
"It's a day in the park, watching a very leisurely pastime," O'Maxfield said.
Veterans Park, 360 Sport Hill Road, Easton. Saturday, July 13. Games: 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. $5, under 5 free. www.historicalsocietyofeastonct.org/