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About the Game

About the Game

We play by the rules and customs of base ball as it was played in the 1860s.

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This occured during the World Tournament in Michigan this past weekend, but serves as an excellent educational point for all of us that play, as it applies for at least all years of 1860s. If you read it and have questions, please use the comments and we will help clear anything up. It was the FINAL PLAY of the championship game..
The final play of the championship match was one that might require some explanation. The situation was that it was the bottom of the ninth inning, the score was tied, there was one out, and runners were on first and third. The Lah-de-dahs were at the bat, with the Wheels in the field.
The striker hit a foul ball that stayed close to home base. The runner on first apparently did not initially hear the call of “foul,” and broke for second base. The Wheels saw an opportunity for an out, remembering Section 19 of the rules, which states “No run or base can be made upon a foul ball; such a ball shall be considered dead, and not in play until it shall first have been settled in the hands of the pitcher. In such cases, players running bases shall return to them, and maybe put out in so returning, in the same manner as when running to the first base.”
In other words, unlike modern baseball, baserunners do not get a “free return” to the base on a foul ball. In 1867, if the team on defense can field a foul ball, get it to the pitcher, and from there to the base the runner left from before the runner gets back to the base, the runner is out. No tag is required – if the ball beats the runner (and is held by the baseman), the runner is out.
However, there’s another part to Section 19. After a foul ball, runners have to go back to their bases to tag up, and must tag while or after the pitcher holds the ball. Once the pitcher holds the ball and the runner has tagged, runners are again free to run (i.e., to steal a base). When the Wheels’ pitcher received the foul ball from the catcher, that action 1) allowed the pitcher to attempt to put the runner on first base out by throwing to first base, but 2) it also freed the runner on third to run. When Mr. Koslowski, the runner on third base, saw the throw going from the pitcher to first base, he broke for home. It’s unclear whether the runner at first was declared out (the throw was bobbled, the runner and fielder collided), but either way, that would have been only the second out, and Mr. Koslowski was able to secure the Tournament championship by stealing home.

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I've been reading some great articles on how current MLB players have trouble adjusting to the defensive shifts. Interestingly, defensive shifts have been around since the 1860s. Maybe not as drastic, but shifts nonetheless. Here are some examples.. there are more out there.. but just to give you a taste.. ...

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The summer edition of the VBBA Newsletter is out. It is sent to all PAID VBBA member clubs, so if you are part of a paid club, contact your captain to get your online copy.

If you arent a paid club, well, you can remedy that by joining VBBA.

Here is a teaser from the current edition...
a little quiz for those of you that like to learn history, and then a few articles in the "blast from the past" section...

ps. if you want the quiz answers, join VBBA to get the next newsletter emailed to you ! 🙂

For the love of the game

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After speaking to Marcus Dickson, one of our experts on the Rules and Customs Committee, we had this idea that was used in the Clipper, the Sunday Mercury, and the Ballplayers Chronicle (and others). We would like to put Correspondents in the VBBA Newsletter editions. In the picture is an example from The Clipper, Oct. 12, 1867. If you are interested in having questions answered in this format please reply with comments and I will use the Rules and Customs committee to help answer these.

Thanks for your time!

Dennis "Pops" Wiegmann
VBBA Secretary/Newsletter Editor

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As games are well underway now across the county, it is time to start discussion game issues that you might want clarified. Have you had any games where you had some struggles getting a call right, or understood, or maybe just have questions about certain situation ? Well, let us know. The rules and customs committee will do their best to get you squared away.

State the year (1860, 1864, etc..) rules you are playing.
State the game situation as best as you can with as much detail as you can.
Then let us know what you would like clarified.

Take advantage of this great (free) resource....

For the love of the game.

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