Play Ball! -- Like They Did in the 1860s

Baseball the way it was meant to be played

By Tim Furlong
|  Tuesday, May 26, 2009  |  Updated 10:00 AM CDT
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Play Ball Like Your Great-Grandfather

No gloves allowed in this game.

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Play Ball Like Your Great-Grandfather

Ever wonder how America's pastime was played in the 1800s? Well you can find out as these chaps reenact the original game.
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At one point, baseball wasn’t about big dollars and steroid rumors. It was groups of local guys in small towns meeting after work just for the heck of it.

Before long baseball got formalized -- umpires, uniforms, and rules caught on quickly.

If you’re looking for a bit of that old-time baseball nostalgia -- we’re talking pre-Babe-Ruth-old school-ball -- you should really check out the Newark (N.J.) Eureka and the Flemington (N.J.) Neshanok.

The vintage baseball clubs would be happy to come play ball at your next event. The teams are composed of normal, typically older, guys who just love to play -- and talk about -- baseball history.

They play the 1860’s version of the game, which means players don’t get to wear a glove (barehanded catches- OUCH!) and balls caught on one bounce count as an out. That said, the crowd is instructed to boo and call players “unmanly” when they catch a ball on the bounce.

The Memorial Day game in Newtown, Bucks County, the teams drew quite a crowd. Hundreds came out for good old-fashioned baseball, 25-cent hot dogs and plenty of Americana.

It might not be a trip to Citizens Bank Park, but it was certainly an enjoyable trip back through baseball history. And oh yeah, Brad Lidge didn’t blow another save.

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