Vintage Baseball

added 3/6/2010 by Darrell Pittman

I've forgotten the name of the cagey baseball manager who once said something like "We're just three players short of a pennant: Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Ty Cobb."

Such are the prospects of the Vintage Base Ball club styled the Houston Babies, in honor of the 1889 club that won the Texas League championship. Sadly, we took the field on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at the George Ranch against the Richmond Giants, and lost both ends of a double-header, 8-0 and 29-4.
The 2010 Houston Babies

This reporter committed two fielding errors that resulted in no less than four of those runs! (Although, in all fairness to myself, I should point out that I was 1-for-2 at the plate across both games.)

One might well ask "What is Vintage Baseball?". Well, I'm here to tell you, it's "Base Ball" played by 1860 rules.

This is what I learned:

Other than that, the game is pretty much as we know it today. (90-foot base-paths, etc.)

I wish I had a poetic story about how taking the field in some idealized fantasy where the joys of spring conjoin with the magic of baseball... ya da ya da... but it's just not there. It was cold and windy, and we were old and gimpy, and we got our butts handed to us. I felt like I was playing for the Bad News Bears, and I was "Booger".

That is not to say that Vintage Baseball should not be preserved. It should, but if you want to win, don't put me in right field, or any position where I need to be able to run. I'm the nerd who keeps score.

Still, Vintage Baseball captures a sense of the past. Its use in the present day, like battleships or steam locomotives, has yet to be determined.

A much better article is here.

Darrell Pittman is a general ne'er-do-well and curmudgeon at large. If you were able to read this article, check your virus protection settings. If you wish to reach Darrell, call him at 1-800-BITE-ME, or e-mail

Photos courtesy of Bill McCurdy.