DANVILLE — 1850’s style baseball is making a comeback. It’s an old sport, and one team is bringing back the old rules.
The Vermilion Voles picked up their bats and took a swing at open tryouts today. Most baseball players focus on their batting average, but this team is anything but average. They’re putting a new spin on an old game.
The Vermilion Voles are stepping up to the plate and stepping back in time, back to the 1850’s that is. They’re bringing the history of baseball back to life.
Jim Knoblauch is one of the founders of the team. He says, “Well vintage baseball, what makes it unique is that playing by some of the rules, the bound out rule, it’s a slow pitch underhand game…it really opens it up to anybody.”
The team held open tryouts to gear up for the upcoming season. Age is just a number for the voles. From 16 to 64, this team has it all and anyone is welcome to join.
Knoblauch says, “I’m happy at this age that I can still be playing baseball.”
Randy Holman tried out for the team. He says, “I thought it was quite interesting. So today is my first trip out here to kind of see what it’s like.”
They have the same bats and the same baseballs, but they’re playing with a different style. The players look a little different, and so does the game.
“Nobody was wearing a baseball glove because in 1858 there were no baseball gloves. Because it was a gloveless game, one of the rules is a batter known as a striker in our game can be out if a fielder catches it on the first bounce. So outfielders don’t necessarily have to catch it in the air they can catch it on a bounce” says Knoblauch.
The rules of baseball may have changed over the years, but these players are more interested in what the modern game was based on.
Holman says, “I’ve loved it all my life, lived and played the game. I couldn’t wait to get out and play the game.”
After the tryouts, the team walked the field with their heads held high and their hopes for the next season even higher.