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Outta The Park

Historical Society Presents Murpshyboro Clarkes Versus St. Louis Brown Stockings In Two “1860 Rules” Vintage Base Ball Games In Nashville

By Alex Haglund

The Washington County Historical Society held their second annual Vintage Base Ball game, on Saturday, June 30, at the Diamond Across the Creek at Memorial Park in Nashville.
The sweltering weather Saturday was offset by the shade around the ball field as the Murphysboro Clarkes took on the St. Louis Brown Stockings in two games in a row.
Members of both teams fielded balls with no gloves (they weren’t invented yet when the sport was getting its start), with balls caught on the first bounce counted as outs, and cheerful sportsmanship for both teammates and opponents (there were lots of handshakes and “huzzahs!”).

In between the two games, members of both teams handed out flyers with more information on them about the game as it was first conceived, as well a list of 1860s base ball terminology – strikes are “hands”, for instance.
Team Captains for each team also gave short speeches both before and after the games where they invited the crowd to ask questions of them or any of their players, and then complimented the town, the historical society and the other team for making the day happen. Both captains encouraged anyone interested to get involved with the sport, and said that they hoped to see more teams in and around the area get started.
Saturday was also the final deadline day for submissions to the Washington county Families and Histories Book that the Historical Society has been working on. Now, the Society will begin the long process of reading and proofing the articles that have been sent in and preparing the book to be printed and distributed in time for the holidays.
The Historical Society will be playing host again this week, when on the evening of Wednesday, July 4, they will open up the L&N Depot in Nashville to watch the fireworks, beginning around dark that night.

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