The 12th edition of the Mid Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League has already started as the New York Mutuals opened the season on February 29th when they traveled to Orlando to play the Central City Awkwards. The Mutuals were in mid season form winning 2 off of the hosts who will be at the Gettysburg Festival in July.
The 2020 season is in a strange holding pattern as the pandemic sweeps across the world. The first games in the region are set for April 4th but some have already been canceled. Stay tuned to the website for updates on schedules as we get them.
This year is action packed with many festivals and tournaments dotting the landscape of our member clubs. The first one is May 9th in Smithtown, Long Island at the Atlantic Festival. At the end of May, the Ommegang Festival takes place in Cooperstown, NY. June 13 is the New England Base Ball Festival as well as the Pennsylvania 19th Century Base Ball Festival. At the end of June West Chester travels out to Wisconsin for the Menomine Base Ball Festival. Then on July 18-19 is the mother of all base ball festivals- the Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival where most of our members will be playing in front of thousands. Starting in August is the New Jersey Base Ball Festival, the Doc Adams Base Ball Festival, the Silver Ball Tournament, and the Rocky Point Base Ball Festival. The season winds down with the Mason Dixon Classic and the Philadelphia Base Ball Festival in October as well as the showdown at Colt Meadows.
Make sure you check with individual clubs before venturing out to make sure the games are still be played. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets and come out and see for yourself what base ball looked like in 1864…before million dollar contracts, televisions, …and gloves!
The Mohican BBC of Kennett Square won its second MAVBBL title in 3 years with a 14-1 overall league record and a .933 winning percentage.
It won by half a game over the Eclipse BBC of Elkton who had a chance to win the championship but had to cancel its matchup with the champions in October. Kennett’s lone league loss was at Talbot way back on May 19th when they dropped the 2nd game of a double header. Besides going through the MAVBBL schedule like butter, they also won 3 out of 4 games in the Gettysburg Festival downing Moscow of Ohio, Lewes, and Connecticut while dropping a close 4-3 decision to the Eckford. They also won both games at the Rising Sun Fall Festival downing the Brandywines and Addison Mountain Stars.
The Mohican now join several clubs as multiple winners of the league crown. In 2018, the Elkton Eclipse and Brooklyn Atlantics tied for the title. From 2014-2016 the Brooklyn Eckfords dominated the league win 3 in a row. The old Milford Excelsiors won their only title in 2013 while taking it away from the 2012 champs, the Eclipse. In 2010 and 2011 the Brooklyn Atlantics were on top and the initial crown was won by Elkton in 2009.
This year saw a lot of highlights including another Silver Ball Championship by the Talbot Fair Plays. While it was a scorcher, 14 clubs from the MAVBBL participated in the Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival in July. Several clubs participated in the Doc Adams Festival in Old Bethpage, NY in August while Providence also participated in the Rocky Point Historic Base Ball Festival. Many thanks to the hundreds of 19th century ballists who play up and down the east coast each Summer. Look for us again with even more clubs in 2020!
August 2019- Now that the dog days of Summer have hit and school is out, many MAVBBL clubs hit the road for festivals and tournaments all up and down the east coast and even across the country. While there were some smaller events in the Spring like the Atlantic 1864 Beer Festival and the New Jersey/New York Cup, the main events started at the end of June. The Ommegang Base Ball Festival in Cooperstown started it off with the host Atlantic Club of Brooklyn hosting the Delaware Diamond States and Elkton Eclipse as well as several other local clubs. Rising Sun hosted their 3rd Annual Weekend at the Winery where Providence, Lewes, and the Mutuals joined Rising Sun for a great weekend of base ball. July brought the heat and the mother of all vintage base ball festivals, the 10th Annual Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival. No less than 14 of our clubs were involved in the two day event which features clubs from all over America from Maine to Tennessee and Rhode Island to Michigan. It was covered by the Washington Post and HBO and all kinds of media in between. Not to far after that the Doc Adams Base Ball Festival in Old Bethpage took place August 3-4 with several clubs participating from the league. Finally, the Silver Ball Tournament will host Talbot, Delaware and West Chester this year on August 10-11.
The MAVBBL is looking to expand southward and is looking for players and organizers in Washington DC, Richmond and Fredericksburg, Virginia! If you have been transferred to the DC area and you played on a club in another part of the country, contact us and we’ll help you get it set up. We are looking for individuals or even community organizations, living history museums, tourism organizations, or parks and rec departments who see the value of adding historic base ball to their offerings.
We will help you set up your club, help you order equipment and uniforms, recruit players and even assist with your scheduling. A club can greatly increase your publicity (we’ve been featured in everything from the Washington Post to the New York Times and everywhere in between!) and give you a new recreation form for players from 18 to 68! If you support adult softball programs, you can definitely support a vintage base ball program. You don’t even need a baseball diamond- just a big flat piece of grass! Players can have little to no baseball/softball experience all the way up to a retired pro player. Once they play vintage base ball, they’ll never go back to slow pitch softball again.
Contact us for more details and we’ll get you started!
Its that time of year again where many of the MAVBBL’s clubs are off on Summer trips to Festivals and Tournaments all over the country. The Silver Ball Tournament which is one of America’s best and biggest vintage base ball events was attended by both the Diamond State BBC of Delaware and the Talbot Fair Plays. The Diamond States walked away with the championship after going 5-0 for the weekend with some victories over great clubs like the Cleveland Blues in the championship match (25-23) and a great 24-20 victory over Rochester after being down 15-1!
The Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival was off to a great start with 20 clubs from all over the country before the rains came and wiped out Sunday’s matches. Our league was represented by Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, West Chester, Kennett Square, Lewes, Elkton, Rising Sun, Talbot, Flemington, Monmouth Furnace, New Brunswick, New York, Providence, the Atlantic and the Eckfords.
The Doc Adams Base Ball Festival took place the first weekend in August in Old Bethpage as aways. Hosted by the Mutuals other league participants included Rising Sun, the Atlantics, Eckfords, Providence, Harrisburg, New Brunswick, Monmouth Furnace and Bouckville.
There’s more festival fun on the way too with the 19th Century Base Ball Exhibition at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia taking place August 25-26. Many MAVBBL clubs will be playing in this great event. The Mason-Dixon Cup will take place in Rising Sun, Maryland on October 6 and 7 as well with more of our membership.
The 2018 19th century base ball season is less than one month away and clubs up and down the east coast are starting to prepare for the upcoming 10th season of MAVBBL play. Schedules are being finalized, tournaments and festivals are being drawn up, uniforms and balls are being ordered and arms and limbs are starting to come out of hibernation.
Big festivals and tournaments member clubs are playing in include the 9th Annual Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival July 21-22 in Gettysburg, PA; the Silver Ball Tournament in Mumford, NY in August; the Philadelphia Festival at the end of August, the Mason-Dixon Classic in October 6-7 in Rising Sun and Kennett Square; the Atlantics Festival on May 5-6 in Smithtown, NY; and several other smaller events throughout the Summer. Stay tuned to this site and our facebook and twitter pages for the schedules and other information about all of our clubs.
It may be cold outside but in just a couple of months, the 9th season of the Mid Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League will commence again with matches all up and down the east coast of the US. Clubs are putting the final touches on their schedule now and tournaments and festivals are being prepared.
Clubs from the MAVBBL will be participating in great established festivals and tournaments like the Silver Ball Championship in Mumford, NY; the Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival in Gettysburg, PA and the Old Time Base Ball Festival in Old Bethpage, NY. New events like the Mason-Dixon Cup in Rising Sun, MD are added to the roster as well.
Stay tuned to this website for updates as our member clubs will be playing all over in little towns and big cities all up and down the Mid Atlantic area!
The Eckford from Brooklyn won the 2016 MAVBBL Championship on October 14 in Old Bethpage, New York. The Eckford downed the Eclipse BBC of Elkton 13-3 in the championship to take this year’s crown.
6 clubs from the MAVBBL took place in the championship tournament. In the first round the Brooklyn Atlantics downed its cross town rival the Mutual BBC of New York to set up a semi final against the Elkton Eclipse. The Eclipse were too strong for Brooklyn and won the match 10-6 to go to the finals. On the other side of the bracket, the Diamond State BBC from Delaware downed the Providence Grays to earn a spot in the semi finals against the number one seeded Eckford. The Eckford put the Diamond States away to set up the championship against the Eclipse.
A special thanks to all 6 clubs who participated in the championship as it closes the books on the 8th season of the MAVBBL. Hurrah!
The Talbot Fair Plays returned to Mumford, NY to participate in the National Silver Ball Tournament and came away as champion for the third time. Genesee Country Village & Museum was the setting for the 14th annual event that featured 12 clubs from the U.S. and Canada. The two day event featured stormy weather on Saturday and plenty of great matchups throughout.
On Saturday the Fair Plays got off to a good start by defeating Northville Eclipse of Michigan by a score of 25-9. After a two hour break followed by a one hour rain delay the Talbot team took the field against the Victory Base Ball Club of Phelps, NY. The Victory Club got off to a fast start with 6 in the first inning and took an 8-0 lead before the Fair Plays broke through with 5 in the bottom of the third. After enduring two more short rain delays Talbot was able to tally 5 more runs before the game was halted by a nearby lightning strike with the Fair Plays getting a 10-8 decision in the rain-shortened contest.
Saturday’s third match saw the Fair Plays take on the Spring Creek Nine from western, NY. Talbot held an early lead but could not take advantage of an opportunity to widen the margin before the team from Spring Creek battled back. The game ended in a 5-5 tie after six innings after another storm quickly washed out the rest of the match.
Sunday morning the Fair Plays took on the local Flower City club. After leading for most of the contest the Fair Plays found themselves with a two run deficit heading to the bottom of the ninth after two late rallies from Flower City. Fortunately the Fair Plays found just enough timely hits combined with aggressive base running to score the decisive run with two outs and come away victorious by a score of 11-10. After sitting through another match to see if the boys from Talbot would get to play another game things fell just right and the Fair Plays were on their way to the championship match.
It seems fitting that the final match would feature the Fair Plays and Spring Creek, the only two teams without a loss, but who shared a tie the previous day. The Fair Plays left little to chance as they jumped out to a 9-1 lead after one inning before eventually securing the championship with an 18-10 victory. It was a tough weekend as the Fair Plays competed with some excellent ball clubs and the weather but had just enough good fortune to come home with the trophy in one of the finest vintage base ball events in the country.
The Brandywine BBC of West Chester, PA made the trek out to St. Louis, MO at the end of July to participate in the 3rd Annual St. Louis Cup hosted by the St. Louis Brown Stockings. The trip was originally planned as a visit home for Matthew “Pins” Hagnauer, but it turned into a club reunion with their former player. The team flew into town on Friday and got right down to business the only way Brandywine BBC can…they rented a party bus. This would be the team’s means of transportation throughout the weekend setting the tone for how things were going to go. They drove through St. Louis a bit on Friday checking out the St. Louis Gateway Arch and the Budweiser Brewery, before heading to Pins’ mom’s house just across the Mississippi River in Dupo, IL where she generously put up the ENTIRE club.
Fast forward through some club hooliganry to Saturday, to the 3rd Annual St. Louis Cup. The setting for the matches was the beautiful Forest Park, home of the St. Louis Zoo and the site of the 1904 World’s Fair. Brandywine BBC was concerned about the rule differences going into their matches being that in the Midwest they play by modified 1860s rules instead of 1864 rules. The biggest concern was that someone would forget that taking a large lead, sliding or stealing was prohibited by the modified 1860 rules. One other major adjustment was that defensive positioning did not allow for any shifts. This meant that the first basemen, second basemen and third basemen must be within two steps of their respective base before the pitch is thrown. Only the shortstop was allowed to play anywhere on the field. Even the outfielders were not allowed to shift. This took some getting used to for the club. The Brandywine BBC played 3 matches in the St. Louis Cup and were defeated by the St. Louis Perfectos (11-3), the St. Louis Brown Stockings (9-5), and the Belleville Stags (31-9). All 3 teams played hard and earned their victories over the Brandywine club. Though Brandywine got beat, they didn’t let that get the best of them. Instead they vowed to come back with a vengeance on Sunday and let St. Louis know how the east coast plays base ball.
Sunday, the day of reckoning, it was hot and humid and a perfect day for base ball. The Brandywine BBC played 2 great matches against their opponents, the St. Louis Unions (8-7) and the Indianapolis Hoosiers (3-2), to pick up two one-run wins. The Brandywine boys were more relaxed going into these games and it showed in their on-field antics. The boys were jabbering back and forth from across the field at each other, something the home teams didn’t seem too accustomed to, but both wins were a combined effort from every player on the club, Bullseye got on base in almost every at bat; Splinter was about the smoothest shortstop you’d ever seen; Colonel was intimidating at the plate and kept the outfield guessing; Pins was stretching and scooping up balls like it was nothing at all; Shaggy displayed his best hitting so far this season sending two the opposite way; Rockwell didn’t let a ball bounce, showing just how manly he is in left field; Shield had the defensive play of the game coming from 2nd to 1st with a flip of the ball to make a crucial out late in the game; Stonewall brought out his heater and left the opponents as lost as a duck in high weeds; Manny broke out not one, but back-to-back triples; Slowhand was our “Midwest Muffin” displaying the poise of a veteran vintage player in left field, at the plate, and with a 6-string later that night!; King played so well his uniform and shoes couldn’t contain him! The captain of the Brandywine BBC more than earned his stripes in this Midwest trip.