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Take me out to the Ball Game in Gettysburg

A good olds-fashioned game of Base Ball from the 19th Century.
A good olds-fashioned game of Base Ball from the 19th Century.Gettysburg Travel

The good ol’ fashioned game of American baseball is coming to one of America’s most celebrated good ol’ towns this weekend with the 5th Annual 19th Century Base Ball Festival. Taking place Saturday and Sunday at Schroeder Farm in Gettysburg, come out and see the way the game we all know and love was played during its formative years between 1839 and 1899.

Baseball clubs from all over the country will be flocking to Gettysburg to participate in the game’s portrayal during these earlier years offering up a free, fun, family-friendly event. Games start at 9 a.m. on Saturday and will include Elkton vs. Brooklyn in an 1866 game, Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia in an 1869 game, Harrisburg vs. Forest City in an 1867 game and NY Mutuals vs. Milford in an 1864 game. The 11 a.m. hour will include a progressive 1864 themed game between Elkton and Providence and Brooklyn vs. Forest City, Saginaw vs. Eckfords in an 1857 game, Harrisburg vs. Mt. Clemens in an 1864 game and Cincinnati vs. NY Gothams in an 1869 game. At 1 p.m., enjoy an 1873 game between Flemington and Talbot, an 1864 playoff between Providence and Philadelphia, a Columbus and Milford game from 1867 and an 1864 portrayal between the Gothams and Washington. The 3 p.m. hour will include the following: the Eckfords vs. Columbus, Flemington vs. Pittsburgh and Saginaw vs. Washington in 1864 themed games, Mt. Clemens vs. Talbot in an 1866 game, and one from 1870 featuring Brooklyn and Cincinnati.

The ball will still be rolling by 8 p.m. on Saturday night with a special 19th Century Base Ball Walk. During this time guides, dressed in base ball uniforms modeled after the same ones worn during the 19th century will lead walkers of all ages to three different locations on Steinwehr Ave. to hear about the evolution of this favorite American pastime while it was still in its stages of infancy.

The first stop will take walkers to the site of A Lil Something, one of Gettysburg’s newest businesses located at 5 Steinwehr. Here participants will learn about the different styles of uniforms and equipment as they evolved over time including the use of primitive gloves and catchers’ equipment. They will also see the different balls, bats and learn how players went from no gloves to the modern ones used today. The walkers will then continue to Ragged Edge Coffee at 82 Steinwehr where they will be entertained by anecdotes about the sport of base ball and its many diverse characters and stories. Fans will be given the opportunity to ask questions throughout the performance. The last stop will take place at the Reliance Mine at the Quality Inn on Steinwehr where participants will hear closing comments and remarks on the development over time about “base ball” then to what “baseball” is today.

Sunday marks many great playoff games from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. First up is a series of1864 games between Elkton and Mt. Clemens, Providence and Milford and Saginaw and Talbot. Flemington vs. Forest City from 1867 will also be played during this time. The 1864 theme will continue on with Elkton and Forest City, Saginaw and Milford, Providence and Talbot, Mt. Clemens and Brooklyn and Washington and Eckford all being played at 10:15 a.m. Noon time happenings will include Columbus vs. Washington in an 1867 game, NY Mutuals vs. Philadelphia in one from 1876, the NY Gothams vs. Harrisburg and Flemington vs. Cincinnati both from 1864 and Pittsburg vs. Brooklyn from 1855. Conclusion games will begin at 1:45 p.m. and feature the following: Columbus vs. Philadelphia (townball), Cincinnati vs. NY Mutuals from 1870, NY Gothams vs. Pittsburg from 1862 and Harrisburg vs. Eckford from 1864.

Schroeder Farm is located at 965 Pumping Station Road in Gettysburg. For more information on the 5th Annual Gettysburg Natinal 19th Century Base Ball Festival, or to register for the walk, go to www.gettysburgbaseballfestival.com or email baseball@enjoygettysburg.com.