If I may have a moment of your time, I would like to let everybody know that there are some baseball teams in this town that do not suck. Unfortunately you have to go back in time 138 years to experience it.
Saturday, the Cincinnati Vintage Base Ball Club is holding the 6th annual Queen City Vintage Base Ball Festival in Sharon Woods Park beginning at 10:00 a.m. A generous portion of the proceeds will go to charity. Once again, this year's charity is the Old Lefthander's Character Education Fund. There will be 9 games played on 3 separate fields throughout Sharon Woods park.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with vintage base ball (that's 2 words, not one) we recreate base ball as it was played in the 19th century. You may remember us from such events as playing after the Reds games on 4th of July weekend the past 2 years and the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. In our case we play by the rules of 1869. The game should look similar to the modern game but there are a few differences. First of all, players do not use gloves in the field. The ball we use is a little bigger and a little softer than a modern baseball but, believe me, it still hurts if you don't catch it right - and sometimes even if you do. The ball is thrown underhanded from flat ground 45 feet from from home base. DanO would love this game since the point is to pitch to contact. A strikeout in vintage base ball is rarer than a Reds victory. Balls and strikes are not called unless the batter or pitcher are warned first and it only takes 3 balls to walk. Another difference from modern rules is that a ball is foul only if the first bounce is in foul territory. If the ball bounces fair and it bounces foul - no matter where on the field it is - it is a fair ball. However if a fielder catches a foul ball on one bounce, the batter is out. Players are expected to act like gentlemen and may even be asked by the umpire - of which there is only 1 - if they were safe or out on a close play and they are expected to tell the truth. Sometimes the umpire will even ask the spectators their opinion on a close call. Here's a place to go for some more information on the rules and customs of the game http://www.1869reds.com/game/ Or you could just ask RFS62.
Games are at 10:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Come out and watch the game as it was meant to be played. You might even see a fellow RedsZoner out there.