Archived Story

Vintage baseball game at SMC on Aug. 26

Published 6:44pm Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Museum at Southwestern Michigan College will host a vintage baseball workshop for children 10 years of age and older and adults from noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 26.

Participants will learn about early baseball in the United States and participate in a game using 1858 rules. The event is free.

Bob Myers, curator of the History Center at Courthouse Square in Berrien Springs, will do the presentation on early baseball. Participants will then learn the 1858 rules of the game before heading outside to play a game on Southwestern Michigan College’s baseball field. Myers played for the Cranberry Boggers, a vintage baseball team, and still umpires for some House of David games.

According to Steve Arseneau, director of the Museum at Southwestern Michigan College, the rules for 1858 baseball include: catching a ball on one bounce is considered an out because no gloves were used; the batter told the pitcher where he wanted the pitch; there was no spitting or cursing during the game; and there was no stealing of bases. Even the term base ball was spelled as two separate words during the early days of the game.

The program is geared for children 10 years of age and older and adults. Teams will be mixed ages and determined on-site. Jennifer Quail, museum educator, will lead other activities for smaller children and for children who do not wish to play baseball, including paper dolls, tops, graces and marbles. The game of graces was a popular leisure activity for young girls during the early 1800s.

Participants may bring a picnic lunch and the museum will provide lemonade and iced tea. Spectators can bring a chair or blanket to sit.

The museum, located at 58900 Cherry Grove Rd. in Dowagiac, Mich., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call the museum at (269) 782-1374 or visit the website at

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