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Vintage Baseball Field Planned for Colt Park

Hartford News

February 12, 2009

The Friends of Vintage Base Ball, working with the City of Hartford and the Coalition to Strengthen the Sheldon/Charter Oak Neighborhood (CSS/CON), have established a designated field of play in Colt Park for the game of vintage base ball (using the vintage spelling of the word[s]).

Vintage Base Ball is played utilizing the equipment and rules that were used to play the game in late 19th and early 20th century.

While the 19th century version of the game has been played in the city in previous years, the two local vintage teams – Hartford Senators and Hartford Dark Blues – have never had a home field in Hartford.

Friends of Vintage Base Ball co-founder Karen O'Maxfield said “The goal is to not only have the Colt Park field host games between vintage teams from Connecticut and the region, but to act as a classroom to educate the public on the history of our national pastime as well as to encourage neighborhood youth to form teams and perpetuate this time-honored tradition.”

Teams who remember the vinatge tournament that was once held at Bushnell Park have expressed great interest in playing in a vintage base ball tournment over the July 4th weekend. "We are working hard to make that happen," said Friends of Vintage Base Ball co-founder Karen O'Maxfield. "We've had inquiries from teams as far away as Ohio who wish to play here this summer."

Co-founder Gary "Pops" O'Maxfield, a vintage base ball umpire as well as baseball historian, noted "The designated field at Colt Park is but a few blocks south from where the original Hartford Dark Blues played in the 1870's in the National League's inaugural year on land owned by Elizabeth Colt, who graciously allowed the base ball field and grandstands to be built. Hartford will be the first city to re-create 19th century base ball in virtually the same place as where its original ball field was located."

The recently established Friends of Vintage Base Ball is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of the game as it was played in the 19th century. Its purpose is to facilitate and preserve the rules, customs, culture, history and spirit of vintage base ball through public education, awareness and participation. For more information visit their website at www.friendsofvintagebaseball.org.

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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