Thursday, August 14, 2014

Playing 1880s baseball in a ghost town

Bluesun emails to point to this bit of nostalgia in action: 1880s baseball technology and rules, recreated every year in a ghost town:

You can see the reverse side of the mitt. Not much to work with!

Center field is the hill covered in sage brush.  The mitts are basically big dinner plates of leather with minimal padding.  Use two hands to make the catches!

Lots more at the link.


Old NFO said...

Not that glamorous... :-) And probably no over the shoulder catches in center either!!!

Knucklehead said...

A bit off topic, I suppose, but...

For years we've heard the question, "Why don't players hit .400 anymore?"

IMHO, one need not look much farther than fielding gloves (only F2 & F3 wear MITTS!) to answer that question. I also suspect a higher concentration of very good fielders has contributed to the loss of the .400 hitter.

Here are a couple sites that show vintage gloves and mitts.

We had Rogers Hornsby in '25, then Bill Terry in '30, and then nobody until Ted Williams in '41 and nobody since.

Batted balls that couldn't be caught using those old gloves and anything approaching "ordinary effort" are routinely fielded in the modern game. Ted Williams was an outrider - a power hitter with something of the skills of the ol' time "hit 'em where they ain't hitters" (using mostly one side of the field though). Just goes to show what an incredible hitter he was.

Sherm said...

South Pass City, its neighboring Atlantic city, and the various historical sites in South Pass can make for an interesting time for those who care for that kind of thing. You've got "Parting of the Ways" where you can still see the wagon ruts where the California, Oregon, and Mormon trails diverge. Near there (just up the highway and a couple of dirt roads away) is a monument to Narcissa Whitman, who traveled South Pass in 1836 and was the first white woman to make the journey. Out of Atlantic City five miles or so is Rock Creek Hollow, where the Willie Handcart Company holed up waiting for help to arrive in 1857. Fourteen who didn't make it are buried there including the two who dug the grave for the other twelve. We stayed at a B&B in Atlantic City which I believe is the only lodging in the area. Missed the game though.