Vintage Base Ball is a pastime, with its beginnings and progressions mimicking those that occurred in America over 160 years ago. Teams competing today wear period reproduction uniforms, use period authentic equipment and follow baseball rules from the 19th century in order to accurately present the history of baseball to the public. Matches can be seen almost 12 months out of each year at open-air museums, living history villages, Civil War re-enactments and city parks and is played in over 20 states including Canada.
Teams start as a living history exhibit for a museum, an affiliate of a historical society, a marketing arm for a community, or simply as a collection of people interested in recreating the game as it was played more than 100 years ago.
Around the country, the Vintage Base Ball Association (VBBA) serves as an overarching non-profit organization helping to promote, perpetuate, and educate about vintage base ball. While not all clubs are members of the VBBA, the organization provides invaluable knowledge and resources to all clubs regardless of membership to help ensure accurate representations of the 19th century game.
For more information about the history of 19th century base ball, rules, customs, other vintage clubs, or the VBBA in general, check out their website at www.VBBA.org
The state of Michigan is one of many across the country that hosts a significant number of vintage base ball games annually. With the first clubs formed in the 1990's, there are now more than two dozen vintage base ball clubs that call Michigan "home" throughout the summer, with games found on both the east and west sides of the state every weekend.
While "vintage base ball" can encapsulate a number of rule sets from the 19th century, most Michigan clubs - like those throughout the Midwest - primarily utilize the rules from the late 1850's through 1867.