Field Announced for 5th Edition of Festival

Gettysburg, PA- The Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival announces its field for the 5th Annual event which will take place July 19-20 at the Schroeder Family Farm in Gettysburg in 2014.  Once again 11 clubs from the region and 7 national clubs from all over the country will converge on Gettysburg in July to show the public what a 19th century base ball event looked like in Adams County.

“We are really excited to announce this year’s field.  It once again has some of the most storied 19th century base ball clubs in America competing over 2 days.” said Bruce Leith, President of the Eclipse Base Ball Club of Elkton who is the organizer of the event.  Something new added this year includes games not just from 1864 but from many years from 1839 to 1891.  Fans will get to see the progression of the game from its earliest start to almost what it looks like today.

The clubs competing this year include:  the Providence Grays from Rhode Island; the New York Gothams, the New York Mutuals The Brooklyn Eckfords and the Brooklyn Atlantics from New York; the Flemington Neshanock from New Jersey; the Philadelphia Athletics, Harrisburg Keystones, and Pittsburgh Franklins from Pennsylvania; the Talbot Fair Plays and Elkton Eclipse from Maryland; the Lewes Base Ball Club and the Milford Excelsiors from Delaware; the Forest City Base Ball Club of Cleveland, The Columbus Capitals and the Cincinnati Red Stockings from Ohio; the Saginaw Old Golds and the Mt Clemens Regulars from Michigan.

If clubs are interested in competing in the event in 2015, the organizers are already taking spots for the 6th edition.  So far the Northville Eclipse from Michigan and Fulton Mules from Ohio are already on board.    Clubs will play 4 games over 2 days chiefly against clubs they have either never seen or have not played for some time.

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Interested in Playing for Gettysburg?

The 2013 Gettysburg 19th Century Base Ball Festival has come and gone and we have already started planning for the 5th one on July 19 and 20, 2014.  You don’t have to wait that long to get your 19th century base ball fix though!   A standing club is forming in Gettysburg that will play a full schedule in 2014 in the Mid Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League with its home games in Gettysburg.  If you are interested in playing for the new club or helping out in any way please contact us at elktonbase_ball@yahoo.com and we’ll get you over to the right people.  Players are generally between the ages of 21 to 70 and they don’t have to be former professional players or all star softball players!  Each age range has a different skill set that is needed to make the club successful–younger guys can run and hit the ball further, while older guys can place the ball in holes and gaps which was a big part of the 19th century game.  The season runs from early April until the end of October and most teams play a couple of days each month.  You don’t even have to commit to 100% of your games as well!    If you have any interest, please contact us so we can get the club up and running in time for 2014! 

They will also be looking for umpires, score keepers, and other sideline people as well as “front office” positions. If you ever wanted to work (voluteer) in baseball, this is your chance!

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2013 Festival a Huge Success

Gettysburg, PA— 17 clubs from all over the United States converged on the Schroeder Farm in Gettysburg on July 20 and 21 for some of the finest 19th century base ball matches ever seen.  Long time vintage base ball friends who had not seen each other in years got together to rekindle friendships and play base ball the same way it was played in the 1860s.  Those “old guard” players got to meet some new friends as well as some of the brightest new clubs in vintage base ball were also in attendance.  A constant crowd of almost 1,000 people each day came to watch 33 games of great base ball. 

Two time champion the Saginaw Old Golds continued their perfect streak in Gettysburg winning their 12th straight game but it was not easy.  They were able to squeek by the Brooklyn Atlantics 6-4 and the upstart Milford Excelsiors 8-4 but their toughest game may have been against the Talbot Fair Plays.  The Fair Plays spoted the Old Golds 10 runs to start the game but came roaring back only to come up just short 11-10.

The Cleveland Blues had a nice showing in their initial festival appearance going 3-1 with some impressive wins.  In the first game of the day they let Elkton score 5 in the first, but chipped away and scored a run in the 8th inning to beat the hosts 7-6.  An impressive win over Philadelphia and then a 1 run victory over Talbot 4-3 rounded out their wins.  In what may have been one of the best matches of the weekend, the Blues led the Atlantics 1-0 through 8 innings until Brooklyn scored 3 aces in the 9th to win 3-1.

Brooklyn fininshed with a nice 4-1 record including a 5-0 shutout over Bay City and a close 9-6 win over Milford.  Bay City though had a great weekend as well finishing 2-2-1 with victories over Flemington 16-14, and Philadelphia 31-6 and a 12-4 win over Harrisburg.  In another great match of the weekend, the tied Elkton after leading Elkton by 10 in the 6th inning.  Elkton came back chipping a little off of each inning until a dramatic 9th when they scored 4 to tie it and then held the Independents to a white wash in the bottom of the 9th for a tie.  Elkton also had two other nice wins against Providence and Columbus to finish 3-1.

Columbus finished 1-3 while spliting with the New York clubs defeating the Mutuals but losing to the Gothams.  The Gothams had a strong showing with a 3-1 record only losing to Milford 13-4 while picking up wins against Talbot, Columbus, and Harrisburg.  The Keystones from Harrisburg couldn’t match their 4-0 run last year and dropped matches to Bay City, the Gothams, the Mutuals and Providence.  Union Mills from Westminster came in on Sunday and went 1-1 with a win over Philadelphia and lost to Flemington.  West Chester who came in just for Saturday dropped two to Washington and the Mutuals. 

Overall, the Festival was a great success.  Once again General Lee and General Grant were on hand as well as Eddie Plank III to throw out first balls for each of the games.  All of the clubs had an experience they won’t soon forget!

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4th Annual Event One Week Away

The organizers are getting ready for the 4th Annual Gettysburg 19th Century Base Ball Festival which will take place July 20 and 21 at the Schroeder Family Farm which is located at 965 Pumping Station Road. Located in the heart of battlefield land, if you are near the Peach Orchard, just turn on to Millerstown Road off of Rt 15 and follow it until it becomes Pumping Station Road. The Festival is on the right hand side.

Some of the best clubs in the country will be competing as well as some of the most famous names in 19th century base ball. Clubs like the Athletic Base Ball Club from Philadelphia, the New York Mutuals, Providence Grays, New York Gothams, Brooklyn Atlantics, Cleveland Blues and Columbus Capitals will be playing. The two time champion Saginaw Old Golds from Michigan will once again be in town as will the Bay City Independents from the same state. The local favorite, the Harrisburg Keystones will once again be in attendance as well.

Its a completely free event, but fans are welcome to give donations to the Gettysburg Little League who will help them with parking and the Festival itself once you get in. You can dress in modern clothing or feel free to dress the part of a townsperson from 1864 and even make a donation of what 1864 ticket prices would have been! (50 cents for men, 25 cents for kids and seniors 45 and up, and 10 cents for the ladies!). Bring your own chairs and blankets and even your shade tents if you would like. You can bring in your own food and drink or purchase items from the concessions that will be there on site.

You will see games of base ball played the same way it was played in its formative years in Adams County. Stop and ask any player between games or even between innings any questions you may have. There will also be players walking around the crowd as well to answer anything you may want to know. Some come on out on Saturday starting at 9am and lasting until the early evening or Sunday starting at 8:30 until the mid afternoon and see baseball the way it was played before million dollar contracts, televisions, cars,…and gloves!

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First Pitch Event Held

April 27, 2013 Gettysburg, PA- Members of the Eclipse Base Ball Club headed to Gettysburg on Saturday night April 27th to meet the good townspeople of Gettysburg and business owners at Gettysburg Eddies to talk about the upcoming Festival.  Club members in uniform walked up and down the street handing out brochures and coupons about the July event and answering questions.  Before though, players were available for questions and introduced themselves to the media as well as all of those who came out to see what was coming their way in July.  We look forward to a great Festival!

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Schroeder Farm Site of 2013 Event

The Elkton Eclipse and the Schroeder Family are proud to announce that the site of the 2013 Gettysburg 19th Century Base Ball Festival will be at the Schroeder Farm on 965 Pumping Station Road just outside of town.  The idealic setting for the festival, the farm will feature 5 fields as well as plenty of parking for anyone who attends.  Known formerly as the Yingling Farm, which has been the site of several re-enactments, it will be a perfect place to hold the 16 club event with no seen modern intrusions.

The fields are located within a mile of the boundaries of the 6,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park, with Little and Big Round Top, the Eisenhower Farm and Sach’s Covered Bridge viewable from the property. “It’s an absolutely pristine site for the event, with beautiful views and it’s right next to the battlefield,”  said the event organizers.

More information to follow

(Note: Subject to permits from Freedom Twp.)

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Elkton, Mechanicsburg to Play in Gettysburg October 20

The Elkton Eclipse and the Mechanicsburg Nine will be in town in Gettysburg on Saturday, October 20th as part of the Adams County Fall Classic Road Rally 2012.  They will be playing a match just like would have been played in 1864 in Gettysburg using the same style uniforms and equipment and playing by the same rules and customs of the mid 19th century.  The match will take place starting at noon at Straban Township Parks & Recreation Park .  It is located at 100 Smith Road , Gettysburg , PA 17325. 

The Eclipse and Mechancisburg are 2 of the 3 champions crowned at this past season’s Gettysburg 19th Century Base Ball Festival which takes place the 3rd weekend in July each year in Gettysburg featuring clubs from all over the country.  If you didn’t get your festival t-shirt in July, there are a few left and the Eclipse will have them there as well as some information about next year’s event.

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Saginaw, Elkton, and Mechanicsburg Finish on Top

Despite the rain on Saturday morning, hundreds of people flocked once again to Gettysburg for the 3rd Annual 19th Century Base Ball Festival and they were not dissapointed.  All 14 clubs put on a great show for the town with two tremendous days of base ball. 

After a little rain, the festival started with Elkton playing Rochester, Flemington vs Springfield and Providence playing Genesee Country Village and the event was on its way!  14 clubs battled through 4 games each throughout the weekend and while it was rainy at times, the cooler weather was much enjoyed by the players in their long wool uniforms.  Fans who came to the festival saw all different styles of play and were treated to an event unseen in Gettysburg before.  Some of the best clubs in the country battled it out.  In the end, three clubs went undefeated and were declared festival champions: the Saginaw Old Golds successfully defended their title from last year and were joined by the host Elkton Eclipse and local favorite the Mechanicsburg Nine.  One of the highlight matches occured at 1pm on Saturday when two of the finest clubs in all the land crossed paths in the Atlantic from Brooklyn and the Saginaw Old Golds.  The defending champs held off the two time defending MAVBBL champs 18-11.

All in all, all of the fans and players in attendance were treated to a wonderful week of 19th century base ball.  A special thanks goes out to General Lee, General Grant and all of the other “distinguished guests” who threw out our first balls and a big thank you goes out to Hickory Hollow Farms, Gettysburg Eddies, and the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Huzzah for a great weekend! (See the 2012 results page for all the scores and standings)

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3rd Annual Festival Only 2 weeks away!

In no time, the 3rd Annual Gettysburg 19th Century Base Ball Festival is coming to town!  On Friday night, July 20, the clubs will be meeting at the Eclipse Dinning Room at Gettysburg Eddies for a reception.  Come on out from 6pm to 9pm and see most of the players from all 14 clubs that will be there.  All the final arrangements are now being made for the weekend and all 14 clubs are hoping on their stagecoaches, steam boats, and horse and buggies and are headed towards Gettysburg!  Clubs from the largest cities like New York, Indianapolis, Providence to the smallest towns such as Melrose, Royal Oak and Talbot are gearing up for a great weekend of base ball.

Make sure you come out early on Saturday, July 21st as the action starts at 9am and won’t end until somewhere around 7pm that night.  Clubs will be playing on 3 fields continuously throughout the day.  Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, event tents for shade and a picnic basket or enjoy the concessions that will be there including ice cream and water ice.  Sunday starts even earlier at 8:30am and will go until about 4pm on all 3 fields.

The fields are named after great soldiers from the battle of Gettysburg including Meade’s Meadows, Grant’s Grounds, and Pickett’s Field.  The 3 fields are sponsored by our 3 great partners:  Gettysburg Eddies, Hickory Hollow Farms, and the Gettysburg Visitors and Convention Bureau.  General Lee and General Grant will be throwing first balls and posing for pictures.  Feel free to stop any player between games or even between innings if you have a question.  If you are lucky, you may even hear a rendition of Casey at the Bat!

Admission to the festival is absoletly free.   Parking is being handled by the Gettysburg Little League so a donation to them as you park your car would go a long way to helping them raise funds.  If you really want to get in to the spirit of the day, there will be donation boxes at each field where you can deposit 50 cents for gentlemen and 10 cents for ladies and seniors over 45 which is what the big city first class clubs charged back in the mid 19th century–but totally not neccessary!

So come on out and see what a sporting event was like in Gettysburg in 1864–before million dollar contracts, televisions, steroids…and gloves!  Players will be wearing uniforms and playing with equipment that were styled after the actuals in 1864 and playing by the rules and customs of the day, so come on out and enjoy!

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2012 Festival Set

The 3rd Annual Gettysburg 19th Century Base Ball Festival’s field is finally set.  14 clubs will compete in the 2 day event starting July 21 and July 22nd.  What has quickly become one of the best events in vintage base ball, the Festival quickly expanded to 14 clubs in just 3 years when it started with just 6 regional teams.  This year’s field includes 2 clubs from New England: the Melrose Pondfelders and Providence Grays; 2 clubs from New York:  the Brooklyn Atlantics and Genessee Valley Club; the Flemington Neshanock from New Jersey; 2 clubs from Pennsylvania- the Mechancisburg Nine and Somerset Frosty Sons of Thunder; 3 teams from Michigan: the Saginaw Old Golds, the Rochester Grangers and the Wahoo BBC of Royal Oak; 2 teams from Maryland- the host Elkton Eclipse and the Talbot Fair Plays; and the Springfield Long Nine from Illinois and the Indianapolis Blues from Indiana.

Any club that goes undefeated during the weekend will have its name added to the trophy as an undefeated club joining the 2010 Talbot Fair Plays and the 2011 Saginaw Old Golds.  Stay tuned for more information shortly!

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