[DAVIS, Calf., Sept. 28—] Central Valley Vintage Base Ball (CVVBB) returns to Davis for a free 19th Century base ball exhibition at 10 a.m. on Saturday October 6th at John Barovetto Park. CVVBB will lead a morning of learning the rules and traditions of 1864 base ball and putting them into action by playing an exhibition game with period-accurate equipment. No experience is required and all are welcome to participate as a player or spectator regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation or skill level.
1864 base ball differs from the modern game in a few key ways. Instead of gloves, players simply used their hands to catch balls, pitchers throw the ball underhand and the umpire stands off to the first base side of home plate instead of behind the catcher. The early game also uses the “bound rule,” which means if a fielder catches a ball after it bounces only once, it still counts as an out, making it easier to catch the ball without a glove.
A recipient of a spring 2018 California Humanities Grant, CVVBB celebrates the history and traditions of both base ball and the Sacramento region. The organization hopes to build upon the successes of its first official game in early August in Sacramento and a first outing in the City of Dixon in September as it gears up for its first season in 2019. CVVBB will also be participating in the Yolo County Historical Society’s World War 1 Commemoration Parade on November 10 and playing its first game in Woodland the following day.
The Davisville Oletas are one of four local clubs that existed in the late 19th Century that CVVBB will re-establish as part of an association for 2019. The organization hopes to recruit players for teams in Davis, Sacramento, Dixon and Woodland initially, with the possibility of eventually expanding to other parts of the Central Valley.
Though he never played baseball when he was younger, founder Matt “Brandywine” Stone fell in love with the game when he joined an 1864 rules league while living in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley (hence his nickname). When he moved to the region in 2016, he couldn’t find a similar program, so he resolved to start his own.
Since CVVBB is an association and not a league, games are more about having fun and celebrating the history rather than winning and losing. This makes it a welcoming environment for anyone interested in history and the game of baseball.
For more information, visit cvvbb.org, follow the organization on Facebook and Instagram or contact Matt “Brandywine” Stone directly at CentralValleyVintageBaseball@gmail.com.