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October 22, 2014

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Take me out to the ball game - 1860s style - Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Dan Groman provides the following information on the old-time baseball game scheduled at the village park (across the interstate). The game is at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Here are the team players for the Shannon Sodbusters and the Wyandotte Ghostriders. (Apparently nicknames are required.)

Shannon Sodbusters
Evan "Twinkletoes" Skilliter
Devin "Paydirt" Kisor
Joel "Rod" Groman
Dennis "Numbers" Gallant
Andy "Fingers" Chappell-Dick
Justin "Scooter" Shannon
David "Rip" Glick
Steve "No Muff" Yarnell (Muff is the name for an error in 1860 baseball.)
"Professor" Dave Bracy
Clay "Off the Wall" Wannemacher
Todd "T-Bone" Phillips
Logan "Long Ball" Steingass
Bruce "Bruiser" Steingass
"Dangerous" Dan Groman (Coach)
Dave "Crackerjack" Kisor (Asst. Coach)

Wyandotte Ghostriders
Kent "The Crusher" Shane
Jesse "Impatient" Shane
Jim "The Butcher" Shane
Brad "The Bull" Shane
Ethan "Bullcalf" Shane
Marc "Dynamite" Conway
Bob "Peachpie" Plott
Dave "The Rebel" Fadley
Zach "Trapper" Tiell
Andrew "Stonehands" Bille
Brad "Bandit" Easterday
Scott "Smiley" Goodman
Todd "Pigpen" Goodman
Chuck "Chuckles" Hoffer
Tyler "Stonecutter" Clark
Alex "Chickenfingers" Kenner
Guadalupe "Pito" Perez

Here are some of the basic rules for the 1860s play.

Base ball is a gentleman's game:
. Matches are conducted according to the highest standards of sportsmanship, gentlemanly behavior, courtesy and respect for others.
. There is no swearing, spitting, scratching, consumption of alcohol, chewing of tobacco, or wagering.
. Gentlemen shall forbear from commenting on the umpire's judgment, receiving it in entire silence.

The umpire:
. calls foul balls immediately, but does not call fair balls.
. may ask players and spectators for assistance in making decisions.
. may call strikes after warning a batter who repeatedly lets good pitches pass, does not call balls.
. levies fines on the spot for ungentlemanly conduct.

In pitching:
. the ball must be pitched (underhanded), not jerked or thrown to the bat.

A striker is out when:
. a batted ball is caught on one bound off the ground or on the fly, fair or foul.
. after three called or swinging strikes. Foul balls are not strikes.

A baserunner is out:
. when forced at a base, the force remaining on no matter where the first out is made.
. if he overruns first, second or third base and is touched by the ball in the hands of an adversary.
. if, after any foul ball the ball is returned to the base, after settling in the hands of the pitcher, before the baserunner returns.

Other differences between the vintage and modern game:
. Players do not wear gloves or other protective equipment.
. A batted ball is determined fair or foul by where it first hits the ground.
. A baserunner may advance at risk if a batted ball is caught fair on one bound.
. The leadoff batter is the player who follows the player making the last out in the previous inning.
. The striker must stand on a line drawn through the center of the home base.
. Because of the uncertainty of when sliding began, we do not practice it.

Terminology:

In addition to some of the rules, base ball terminology has changed since the early years of the game. The following guide to Mid-Nineteenth Century Base Ball Terminology may be helpful to spectators (fans) watching their first vintage base ball match:

Vintage Term Modern Term
Club ...................................Team
Home/Base .........................Home Plate
Pitcher's Point......................Pitching Rubber
Playground...........................Field
Spectator.............................Fan
Hand Lost............................Player Out
Adversary............................Opponent
Striker/Batsman....................Batter
Pitcher..................................Pitcher
Scorer or Game Keeper.......Score Keeper
Ace......................................Run
Leg It...................................Run to Base

Here's some clarification to some questions we had after our practice.

1. We will play 9 innings.

2. If the striker (or batter) hits and the fielder catches it on one hop, it is the same as an outright catch. Other base runners have the option of running to the next base if they think they can make it. It would be the same as an outright catch in normal baseball, but they don't have to tag before running, since it is off of a bound.

3. The adversary (opponent) is a pretty good team, as they know what they are doing, but I hope they don't beat us up too bad.

4. Here's a better definition of the scouts, (outfielders') role. Counter to what I was told earlier, the outfielders must each be in the center of their fielding position, not all clustered in shallow center field. Left, Right and Center Fielders can all play in their position, except that they can't be in shallow or back real deep. That is a very good clarification, because we found out in last night's practice that it would be virtually impossible to cover Left or Right if you have to wait to start running until after the ball is hit. The Scouts must play the center of their position, so they can't favor the line.

5. Our adversaries are made up of the following: Kent "The Crusher" Shane, Jesse "Inpatient" Shane, Jim "The Butcher" Shane, Brad"The Bull" Shane" Ethan " Bullcalf" Shane, Marc "Dynamite" Conway, Bob "Peachpie" Plott, Dave "The Rebel" Fadley, Zach "Trapper" Tiell, Andrew "Stonehands" Biller, Brad "Bandit" Easterday, Scott "Smiley" Goodman, Todd "Pigpen" Goodman, Chuck "Chuckles" Hoffer, Tyler "Stonecutter" Clark, Alex "Chickenfingers" Kenner, Guadalupe "Pito" Perez.

6. You are allowed a 2 step leadoff and stealing is only on a muff, ie if the ball gets by the behind (behind the catcher) or bounces more than once in front of him.

7. Everyone on the roster will bat through and we will staff the field with 9 at a time, taking turns so everyone can play.