Sponsors Lining Up for Festival!

As we approach the 5th edition of the Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival, the organizers are more grateful every day for the great support the community has put behind the event.  It is truly an event for tourism that shows the visitors (and citizens of Adams County) what a sporting event was like in Gettysburg in the 19th century and that more happened in town than just a battle.

The Festival started as an idea between the Elkton Eclipse and Destination Gettysburg with just a small 6 team tournament and has grown to a large 2 day 18 club festival featuring clubs from all over the country.  These clubs are staying in local hotels, eating at restaurants in town, shopping in the stores and looking for entertainment while in town.  The community has responded great to help us put the event on.

Shortly after the concept took shape in 2009, Gettysburg Eddies got on board and it quickly became the headquarters for the event.  They even have their upstairs dinning room permanently named the Eclipse Room.  If you get a chance, stop in and see all the pictures and memorabilia from past events!  Soon we had other partners on board such as Hickory Hollow Farm where you can get a unique tour of the battlefields by horse back.  When you come back from the Festival itself, make sure you unwind at Reid’s Tasting Room at the Jennie House before you head back out for your evening activities which may include a walk with Gettysburg Ghost ToursIf its sweets you are after, head down the road a piece to Mr. Ed’s to see his world famous elephant collection while picking up some peanuts, fudge or other candy.   When you get back, make sure you take a leisurely stroll down Steinwehr Avenue to see all the great shops and restaurants that the town has to offer.  If you want to pick up some memorabilia or maybe a replica uniform, head over to Baltimore Street to the Regimental Quartermaster for some great period pieces.   If you are staying the night make sure you check in to the 1863 Inn of Gettysburg, or the Quality Inn, Lodges at Gettysburg or the Gettysburg Super 8 or America’s Best Value Inn.

Whatever your passion or desire is when you get to Gettysburg for base ball weekend, you won’t be able to turn the corner without seeing one of our sponsors.  Its not too late to be a parter with the Festival.  We’ll tailor your sponsorship to fit your needs so we’re all winners!  Like Wellspan Health,  who is a great community asset, we hope to be around as long as they have been and be an asset to the community as well!

5th Annual Festival Almost Here

Gettysburg, PA- The 5th Annual Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival is almost 1 month away and all 18 clubs are anxiously making their arrangements to be in town for the weekend of July 18-20.  Action starts on Saturday July 19th at 9:00am at the Schroeder Family Farm on 965 Pumping Station Road just 2 minutes from the Peach Orchard and the day 2 battlefields.  Clubs will be showing the public how base ball was played in the 1800’s from town ball which was popular in the 1830s all the way up to the almost modern game of 1884. 

The weekend is kicked off at Gettysburg Eddies on Friday night July 18th.  Come to the restaurant between 6pm and 9pm and meet many of the participants who will be onsite.  Have dinner in the Eclipse Dining Room upstairs and see all the photographs and memorabilla of past Festivals.  Over the course of the weekend, you will see the reconstituted clubs from some of the most famous organizations in 19th century base ball including the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the Brooklyn Atlantics, the New York Mutuals, the Forest City Base Ball Club from Cleveland,l the Providence Grays and the Philadelphia Athletic to name just a few.  See a rematch of an original National League game from 1876 featuring the two clubs kicked out of the NL for not traveling west- the Philadelphia Athletics vs the New York Mutuals.  See the Mutuals and the Atlantics rematch the Cincinnati Red Stockings who were undefeated in 1870.  Can they do it again in 2014?  See a townball game performed by the Athletics.  Don’t miss a progressive game between the Elkton Eclipse and the Providence Grays highlighting a different year each inning.  There will be so many great games you will want to stay all weekend!  If you do, Saturday kicks off at 9:00am and will go to about 6:00pm and Sunday starts at 8:30 and finishes by about 3:00.  See our website for the full schedule.

If you are coming there will be concessions on site as well as a stand from Mr. Ed’s featuring peanuts, lemonade and sno cones.  19th century vendors will be there selling vintage base balls, bats, caps, books, t-shirts, pins, programs, and more.  The festival is free, but you can give donations for parking to Gettysburg Little League as well as to the Festival itself for coming in if you like what you see!  Bring you chairs, blankets, shade tents, and picnic baskets (please leave your alcohol and pets at home).  You won’t want to miss this family oriented festival which shows the public what a sporting event was like in Gettysburg before million dollar contracts, cars, …and gloves!  Don’t miss it!

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.

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!

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!