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Take me out to the (Vintage) ball game!

Posted: Sun, Mar 27, 2016 6:55 PM
Rochester Roosters Vintage Base Ball Team

This coming Sunday is Opening Day for Major League Baseball.

The game of baseball as it is played now is a lot different from the way the game was played over 150 years ago, when it started.  Back then, it was called "Base Ball" and featured a ball that was bigger and softer than the present MLB baseball.  Fielders did NOT wear gloves and a ball caught on the fly or even on one bounce was an out--even if it was caught in foul territory.

Many pitchers threw underhand and balls and strikes were not counted in the same way they are today.  The Vintage Base Ball Association's website,, explains all of the original rules.

The game of baseball in the 1860s was mainly played for the enjoyment--and that's exactly why a Decorah man--Loyal Rue--is organizing a "Base Ball" team in Decorah.  Rue says he's looking for players--young or old, male or female--who'd like to learn the rules of vintage baseball and take part in a few practices and a game on June 18th this summer.

Vintage baseball has become very popular in Southeastern Minnesota, with teams such as the Rochester Roosters and Lanesboro Excelsiors.  There's a team put together by the Highland Church and a new team forming in La Crescent.  Players from several of those teams practices last Wednesday in Rochester's indoor facility (

Rue is hoping a Decorah team will be involved in such events in the future.  If you're interested in learning more, he says you can contact him at (563) 382-2593.

The vintage base ball