View Full Version : Vintage Baseball League article

08-25-2006, 05:48 PM
NEW YORK -- Talk about turning back the clock.

Former major league pitcher Jim Bouton announced yesterday the launch of an organization that will play by 19th century rules: The Vintage Base Ball Federation. Yup, back then baseball was two words.

It will be six balls for a walk, and a foul ball won't count as a strike -- unless it's caught, in which case the batter will be out. A foul ball caught on a bounce counts for an out, and a hit batter is only a ball, with no base awarded.

Gloves will be tiny, bat handles will be thick and the ball -- that's right, one ball will be used per game unless it falls apart or is lost -- will be dead. There aren't any pitcher's mounds, and there's no such thing as a balk on pickoff attempts.

In a mixture of sport and theatre, umpires must be addressed as "sir." Fans -- called "cranks" -- will be encouraged to wear period costumes, so ladies get out those flowered hats and gentlemen doff your straw boaters.

Amateur baseball and softball teams are invited to join the VBBF.

Chris Moran, who plays for the Hartford Senators, said fans look at these games the same way as the spectators viewed old-time ballplayers in the movie Field of Dreams.

"Where did these guys come from?" he said was the reaction.

Teams will play about a dozen games and a six-team, double-elimination Vintage World Series is planned for Aug. 15-19 next summer.

"The game the way it was meant to be played," Bouton said during a news conference. "No batting gloves, helmets, wristbands, elbow pads, shin guards, sunglasses. No arguing with the umpire. No stepping out of the batter's box. No charging the pitcher or posing at home plate. No curtain-calling, chest-thumping or high-fiving. Just baseball."

08-25-2006, 05:51 PM
notice this was already posted sorry >