Strikers, Hurlers, Ace, It’s Vintage Baseball
If terms like Hurler, Act and Cranks are a bit strange to you chances are you have never been to a Vintage Baseball Game. Vintage Baseball, using rules from 1864, was played this past weekend in French Lick Indiana at West Baden Springs. It was a hoot.
Players wore traditional wool uniforms in the 100 degree plus heat. The field was all grass. The bases are 90 feet apart, just like today. The pitcher (hurler) stands a mere 45 feet from home plate and pitches underhand. (The modern game puts the pitcher 60 feet 6 inches from the plate). One cool this is that fair or foul balls caught on one bound (bounce) were outs. Base Ball didn't permit overhand pitching until 1885. It wasn't until 1886 that the pitcher could deliver the ball with one foot off the ground.
Base ballists caught the ball with bare hands. It was the late 1870's to 1880 when catchers and first basemen had gloves. Balls were a bit larger and heavier but also softer than a modern hardball. It hd a rubber core surrounded by wool yard and a one piece leather cover.
At the Vintage Base Ball event Saturday and Sunday, (yes, it was two words originally) 6 teams competed.
The North Division included: Indianapolis Hoosiers, Batesville Lumbermen and West Lafayette Couriers.
The South Division included: White River Base Ball Club, St. Louis Unions, and Indianapolis Blues.
I took several photos and if you look closely you can see the slow moving ball in several of the pictures.
I discovered I am not the only one who has discovered Vintage Base Ball. The video below explains it a bit more.