COLUMBUS — For the seventh consecutive year, the West Lawn (High Street) of the Ohio Statehouse will host vintage “base ball” (historically two words), as members of the 132nd Ohio General Assembly (OGA) take on the Ohio Village Muffins Thursday, June 8. Reminiscent of barnstorming tours of yesteryear, the “titanic struggle” begins at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The two teams will be fighting for bragging rights and the all-important symbol of victory, the Richard Schuricht Memorial Cup. Prior to the game, the Statehouse’s 1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery A will provide a cannon firing demonstration and discussion of leisure activities Civil War soldiers would have used to pass the time in camp.
Additionally, Tracy Martin, baseball historian and member of the Muffins, will exhibit a portion of his massive collection of baseball equipment and ephemera. Martin’s collection highlights the evolution of the game and has been featured at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, The Smithsonian National Museum of American History and The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Using vintage base ball equipment, the game is scheduled for seven innings and will be governed under The Rules and Regulations of the Game of Base Ball adopted by the National Association of Base-Ball Players, March 14, 1860. Major rule differences between vintage base ball and modern baseball are listed below.
• The ball is pitched underhanded from anywhere behind the pitcher’s line.
An out is declared if:
• A hit ball is caught on the fly or the first bound, including foul tips to the catcher.
• A base runner overruns any base (including first) and is touched by the ball in the hands of an adversary.
Enjoy an evening downtown, as you watch the Ohio General Assembly Capitol Cannons host the Ohio Village Muffins in an exhibition vintage base ball game. Come early and enjoy a ball park dinner. Concessions will be provided by the Paddy Wagon food truck.
Support for this event is provided by the Ohio Lobbying Association, the Ohio Village Muffins, the Capitol Square Foundation and the 1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery A.
About the Ohio Village Muffins and vintage base ball
Formed in 1981, the Ohio Village Muffins were the first vintage base ball team in America to play a set summer schedule, and the Muffins also hosted the founding meeting of the Vintage Base Ball Association. The Muffins play in uniforms period correct to the 1860s; the uniform consists of plain long pants, a white shirt with a bright shield containing the team emblem, a pill box hat, a leather belt and a bow tie. Recreational activities, especially base ball, were becoming more ingrained in American society during the middle part of the 19th century. The Muffins represent a changing America and highlight a game that would transcend all others and become America’s National Pastime.