The VBBA was formed on February 11, 1996, when delegates from thirteen clubs representing five states assembled in Columbus, Ohio. Their goal was to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first recorded base ball match between organized teams. Using the National Association of Base Ball Players (c. 1858) as a model, the delegates formed the Vintage Base Ball Association.
The mission and purpose of the Vintage Base Ball Association shall be to preserve, perpetuate, and promote the game of base ball as it was played during its formative years in the nineteenth century and other historic eras. This worthy objective shall be accomplished by the following activities and endeavors:
- Presenting the game of base ball as it was actually played in accordance with the rules, equipment, uniforms, field specifications, customs, practices, language, and behavioral norms of the period.
- Supporting the formation and strengthening of vintage base ball clubs by sharing vintage base ball information, setting standards of historical accuracy and participation, and providing a means to recognize and communicate with other vintage base ball clubs.
- Encourage research and disseminating information in order to recreate the game in keeping with the highest levels of accuracy and authenticity.
- Educating the public regarding the character, history, and growth of the game with attention to the historical context in which it originated and developed.
In order to achieve its goals and sustain the traditions and values which it seeks to honor and emulate, the Association and all of its members will conduct all matches, meetings, and other activities–both on and off the field–according to the highest standards of sportsmanship, gentlemanly behavior, courtesy, and respect for others which characterized the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, established, September 23, 1845.