The Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival and Tournament started out in 2010 as a small tournament between clubs from Western Pennsylvania and several Mid Atlantic base ball clubs. The first tournament was just 6 clubs: the Elkton Eclipse, the Talbot Fair Plays, the Flemington Neshanock, the Delaware Diamond States, the Frosty Sons of Thunder and the Pittsburgh Alleghenies.
From the beginning, the town of Gettysburg and Adams County embraced the event. Destination Gettysburg helped the Eclipse (the Elkton Base Ball Club and Exhibition Company) meet up with Bill Wills, the owner of Gettysburg Eddies Restaurant on Steinwehr Avenue and it started a great relationship. With Gettysburg Eddies’ help as well as help from Destination Gettysburg and support from the Steinwehr BID, the tournament grew to 12 teams the next year and then to 16 in just 3 short years. Clubs came from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Rhode Island to join the original clubs. In no time at all, we expanded to 22 clubs, and then, and this year in 2022 we have expanded to 32 clubs from all over the country.
This year, a tournament returns to the event for the first time since 2012 and we will crown the National champion. Come on out, bring your blankets, chair, shade tents, and picnic baskets, and see what base ball (two words) was like in 1864.