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!

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!

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!