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Vintage Baseball Arrives At Fort Trumbull

Groton— In baseball's infancy, the game was played without gloves, without called balls and where fly balls caught on one bounce were considered an out.

That will be the version of the game that will be on displayed Sunday (1:30 p.m.) at Fort Trumbull State Park, where the Thames Base Ball Club of New London will host its first home game against the Connors of Waterbury.

The game will be played under 1861 rules of the National Association of Base-Ball Players.

That means gloves have not yet been invented nor have called balls by the umpire.

Among the other differences between the modern game: the ball is pitched underhand; once the ball hits in fair territory, it is a fair ball regardless of whether it bounces foul; and strikes are called to prevent batters from stalling.

Both clubs will also wear vintage uniforms.

“I just wanted to try to reinforce the message that history doesn't only live in historic houses; it can be experienced directly,”Edward Baker, the executive director of the New London County Historical Society and team founder said in a press release. “And it can be fun.”

The Thames Base Ball Club made its debut Aug. 7 in the Vintage Base Ball Tournament at Old Bethpage Village on Long Island. The 14-team gathering included representatives from New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Thames went 0-2, losing to Connors and the Atlantic Club of Long Island.

Sunday's event is free to the public. For more information, contact the New London Historical Society at 443-1209.
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