Vintage 'base ball' league makes old sport new again - WSMV Channel 4

Vintage 'base ball' league makes old sport new again

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Even lifelong baseball fans have likely never seen a game quite like the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball, where the players boast striped shirts, handlebar mustaches and no gloves.

"We play bare-handed, Civil War era base ball - 1864 rules," said William "Trapper" Haskins, of the Franklin Farriers. "The thing I like to tell people is it's similar to being a Civil War re-enactor, but the only difference is you don't know what the outcome is going to be when you step on the field."

While the vintage game they play is recognizable as the game fans know today, there are some key differences.

"The noticeable difference is obviously we don't have any gloves. It's not that we don't want gloves, they just weren't invented yet," said Michael "Roadblock" Thurmon, of the Nashville Maroons.

"It's the truest form of playing for the love of the game, I think," Haskins said.

The league, currently with teams in Nashville and Franklin, is ready to kick off its inaugural season Sunday at Carnton Plantation in Franklin.

Attendance is free, but fans are encouraged to bring a blanket or chairs. Live era-appropriate music will also accompany some games.

"It's like you are extending your childhood," said Jay "Lefty" Kholos, of the Maroons.

League organizers say they have interest from people wanting to form teams in other parts of the state as the league grows.

To see a complete schedule of games, rosters and learn the terms and expressions from 19th century "base ball," visit: http://tennesseevintagebaseball.com/.

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