Lakewood Historical Society To Host Vintage Base Ball
Sunday, July 8 beginning at 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., visitors to Lakewood Park will be able to step back through time and enjoy an exciting game of 1860s base ball. The Lakewood Historical Society is sponsoring games between the following teams: Akron Black Stockings; Forest City BBC; Cleveland Blues BBC; and Whiskey Island Shamrocks. Enthusiastic volunteers don old-style uniforms and recreate the game based on rules and research of the early years of base ball (yes, it was two words originally).
Although various forms of ball games were played in America before the Revolutionary War, in 1842 the New York Knickerbockers were the first team to officially adopt rules. And the 19th-century game was considerably different than today’s game.
Most “ballists” had minimal gear—no gloves and just a thin bat. Until 1865, fair and foul balls caught on one bounce were outs. Foul balls were determined by where they first hit the ground, regardless of where they roll afterwards. And the ball was thrown underhand in a shallow arc to the “striker” or batter. The team with the most “aces” (runs) at the end of a match is declared the winner. Considered a gentleman’s game, rules governed players behavior and uncivil language, spitting and wagering were not allowed.
Spectators will be able to purchase candy, popcorn and old-fashioned pop, provided by the Lakewood Historical Society. The Society promotes the heritage of our community through special events, tours of the Oldest Stone House museum and other activities.
Executive Director, The Lakewood Historical Society