We had one lady cut her toe as she got out of her car and needed band-aids. We had a player attempt to catch a ball between two fingers instead of with his hand and broke a finger (ice pack time). There were other minor scrapes, cuts and boo-boo's but I won't bore you with the details. The slow times, during the games, were filled up with a Barbershop Quartet, a strolling banjo player belting out tunes from the turn of the century, Keystone Cops tossing out drunks [pretend] and rowdy patrons. A group of Suffragettes made a few appearances to broadcast their temperance, tolerance, and women rights messages and a few "dandies" strolled around adding to the flavor. The Westfield Boys and Girls club donned period attire to hock programs, food and drink. The game was played by the equipment and rules of the late 19Th century. It was quite a spectacle and all of the games were well fought to add to the enjoyment.
We had Jim Bouton, pitcher [1962-1968 NY Yankees, 1969 Seattle Pilots, 1969-70 Houston Astros, 1978 Atlanta Braves] as the organizer of the event. Jim had started the Vintage Base Ball Federation and they were the sponsors of the playoffs and the World Series. Our own local team The Westfield Wheelmen were one of the World Series contenders and on the 1st week
When Jim Bouton was asked "How is vintage baseball different from the modern game?" his reply was: "In vintage baseball the games are a half hour shorter because there was no Velcro in the 19th century. And there are other modern improvements it does without. Besides no batting gloves, there are also no helmets, wrist bands, elbow pads, sunglasses, logo shoes, pajama pants, gold chains or earrings. No arguing with the umpire, stepping out of the batter's box, calling time out, charging the pitcher, posing at home plate, curtain calling, chest bumping, high fiving, pointing to the sky, or kissing jewelry. Just base ball." This was a tremendous endeavor with thousands of man-hours from the volunteers, thousands of dollars from Jim and the Federation, as well as much from the various sponsors of the games. Jim's goal and that of the Vintage Baseball Federation is to build a permanent base ball stadium in Westfield and we sure hope that works out.