If you think baseball has gotten too expensive, corporate and technical, and long for the pure, simple game of the past, the distant past, The Friends of Vintage Base Ball are here to help.
Every Saturday, the group runs vintage base ball games at the Hartford Base Ball Grounds at the corner of Hendricxsen Avenue and Masseek Street in Colt Park. The players wear authentic uniforms and use either 1860s or 1880s rules, depending on the teams. There often are special programs for children.
It's free and a lot of fun, and over Memorial Day weekend, about 600 fans showed up for a two-day tournament. This is a great niche for Hartford. Hopefully when Coltsville becomes a national park, there'll be an effort to build an early-style stadium that could also be used for college baseball.
In the 1870s there was a state-of-the-art base ball field on the Colt property. The field was the home of the Hartford Dark Blues, a charter member of The National League. It's terrific that the Friends of Vintage Baseball are building on this tradition; hopefully Hartford will become the vintage baseball capital of the Northeast. For information see http://www.friendsofvintagebaseball.org.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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