Philadelphia, PA- The Mid Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League (MAVBBL) is ready to kick off its 5th year after a very successful Presidents and Scheduling Convention at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on January 6, 2013. 17 of the 18 clubs were represented along with 1 associate member swelling the room with over 40 representatives of clubs from New York to Virginia eager to start the 2013 campaign.
It was a very constructive meeting which started with the introduction of new clubs to the League which included the Milford (DE) BBC, the Carroll County (MD) BBC, the Brandywine BBC of West Chester (PA), and the Hoboken Nine (NJ). The only loss from 2012 was the Cecil Club of Chesapeake City which has decided to take a run at modern baseball and has withdrawn. The Jersey City Skeeters were introduced as an associate club who will be playing an era up to 1922.
The first order of business was constructing a forum for club executives and ultimately all of the players of the MAVBBL. This forum will house general rule interpretations and discussions, as well as historical information that each club has been charged with finding about their club. In this historical information will be language that was used by local newspapers to describe the action in each club’s individual game stories. The MAVBBL is making a special point of emphasis to use actual language that was really used in the 1860s and 1870s during a match so fans really know what it was like. The league will continue to research every aspect of game action that it can find related to 1864 (and for some 1873) to get the most realistic interpretation of how the game was actually played.
The next discussion focused on umpires and carrying out the rules and interpretations that we established. It was decided that each club should make it a top priority to find 2-3 umpires for their individual clubs. When match notices go out on Monday it should state if the home club has an umpire available. If it does not, the visiting club has an opportunity to bring their umpire. If one is not found by Tuesday, clubs are strongly encouraged to form pools of umpires made up of local clubs. A favor can then be asked of a non participating club to send an umpire. If still none is found by Friday, it is up to the individual clubs to self umpire which is frowned upon. Umpires should either be in civilian attire or in their own uniform which is different than the two on the field.
Uniform and equipment tweeking was next on the agenda. The Philadelphia Athletics gave a presentation on shoes and what kind were available to players. Being that there is nothing authentic out there at this time, and with safety trumping all else, it was still decided that players can just black out modern day logos. However, there were shoes with color so it is not completely banned to have them. A presentation on belt styles was also discussed. A discussion on approved vendors that supply authentic work was discussed and decided that only those who could supply period correct merchandise would be allowed to do business with our member clubs. Even hand turned bats have to meet the discription of the style that was used in the period you are interpreting.
It was strongly suggested that clubs supply the league office with emergency room information including location, directions and a phone number. Each home club should also give this to visitors the week before. There was also a discussion on match notices as well. Finally, the last half hour was devoted to scheduling and finalizing clubs schedules. All in all, it was a great time had by all the Presidents and they can’t wait to hit the field the first week of April. Stay tuned for more information