19th-century baseball to return to Gettysburg

Written by Dustin B. Levy/The Hanover Sun | Jul 10, 2017 3:08 AM

The Gettysburg National 19th Century Baseball Festival will return for its eighth year, starting July 14, 2017. The event will draw 22 baseball clubs, replicating the sport in 1863, from across the country.(Photo: Submitted)

(Gettysburg) -- Take me out to the ball game, and take me back in time.

That's what will happen from July 14-16 in Gettysburg, as the eighth annual Gettysburg National 19th Century Baseball Festival will return, rewinding America's pastime to 1863.

The free festival, which will draw 22 retro baseball clubs from around the country, aims to create an authentic 19th-century baseball experience. Teams will hail from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. 

Players will wear uniforms and equipment from the era, which means no baseball gloves allowed, according to the news release. The ballgames will last until dark because there were no lights in 1863.

Vintage baseball player Mike DiPaolo discusses how the game was played during the days of the Civil War. The seventh annual Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival took place Saturday. Matt Allibone


Here is what will take place over the weekend:


The event will kick off at the Gettysburg Recreational Fields on 545 Long Lane in Gettysburg. 

Festivities will start with a kids clinic, sponsored in part by Gettysburg Little League. Children will experience baseball of yore by playing with the bats and balls the players will use on Saturday. 

Following the clinic, players from some of the clubs will participate in a match that will encourage fans to join in after a couple of innings.


The teams will begin playing vintage ball at 8:30 a.m. at the Peach Orchard at 965 Pumping Station Road in Freedom Township. Five games will take place simultaneously until about 5 p.m. 

The festival encourages visitor to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets but to leave pets at home. 

That night, the festival will hold a stroll down Steinwehr Avenue, which will offer a look at different aspects of baseball in the 1800s, including the history of players, teams, equipment and more.


The action is set to continue with games lasting from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Peach Orchard. 

Visitors are encouraged to chat with players between innings to learn more about America's pastime in the 19th century. 

"We welcome you back to a simpler time when baseball was just starting," the press release stated. 

This article is part of a partnership between WITF and the Hanover Evening Sun.

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