We had one of those weekends where we’ve stepped back in time. Vintage base ball yesterday and WWII encampment today. I’ll post of the encampment tomorrow but for base ball…here we go!
For a few weeks now I’ve seen different tweets and Facebook posts about Vintage Base Ball day with the Strasburg Railroad. We’ve gone to vintage base ball games before when visiting my family in Ohio but this event seemed pretty cool. You drive to the Strasburg Railroad and hop on the train to take a short ride to a field where you can get off and enjoy a vintage base ball tournament. We kept an eye on the weather and when it looked like it was going to be a great day we were in! We are both big baseball fans and love history so this seems a match made in sunny day heaven.
The Strasburg Railroad has a lot of themed train trips but this was my first! I think all the trips are the same route, about a 45 minute round trip or about 9 miles I think I heard them say. There are a few places to stop along the way if you wanted to make a day out of it. The old steam train doesn’t go very fast and the price of your train ticket depends on the type of car you want to sit in…coach, open air, parlor car, dining car etc. We opted for the cheapest coach car which was $14 each. We headed to the end of the line, the locomotive switched ends and headed back. It was on the way back that they dropped most of us off at the base ball tournament.
After we got off the train it was a little walk to the fields. Verdant View Field is the name of the farm field where the games were played. There were two fields set up and two games going on at a time. There was also a little concession stand set up with kettle corn, hot dogs and various drinks. We got there right as the first games were about to start, set up the blanket we brought on the third base side and settled in to watch the Rising Sun Base Ball Club vs. Mohican Base Ball Club of Kennett Square.
If you’ve never seen Vintage Base Ball it’s pretty different. They don’t use gloves, you can catch a ball after one bounce and the person it out, they pitch underhand, they all have fun nicknames and depending on the team and tournament they may have some other different rules and traditions. You can learn more about Vintage Base Ball here.
It’s a much more intimate base ball experience. Really a gentleman’s game. Usually the team members come into the crowd and show the ball and answer questions. There was one unusual play that happened during the game and the spectators didn’t really understand what happened and they stopped the game and explained to the crowd what the rule was.
During the game the Strasburg Railroad train came by a few more times and dropped more people off or others got back on the train. It was so relaxed and enjoyable. We stayed a few hours, until the end of the first set of games in the tournament and hopped back on the train. We were hungry, had a lot of sun and it was a pretty humid day.
They do this event in October and I can’t wait to go again!