ONE Short: Central Florida Vintage Baseball


>>THE HISTORY OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE PAST TIME IS CAPTURED IN MUSEUMS ACROSS THE NATION. BUT NO ONE DEMONSTRATES THE GAME’S BEGINNINGS BETTER THAN CENTRAL FLORIDA VINTAGE BALL PLAYERS THEMSELVES.>>THIS IS A GENTLEMAN’S GAME. FIRST RULE IS NO CURSING, NO SWEARING.>>TODAY WE’RE PLAYING WHAT WE CALL VINTAGE BASEBALL. WE PLAY EITHER 1860’S RULES OR 1880’S RULES. OUR TEAMS ARE EQUIPPED WITH THE EQUIPMENT OF THAT TIME PERIOD, AS WELL AS THE UNIFORMS.>>WE’RE PLAYING THE DUNEDIN RAILERS TODAY. NEVER PLAYED ‘EM DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST.>>I LOVE HOW, JUST RAW IT IS. IT’S HOW BASEBALL BEGAN.>>THERE IS NO MANUAL FOR VINTAGE BASEBALL. PLAYERS DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH TO KEEP THE GAME TRUE TO HISTORY.>>WE PITCH UNDERHAND. WE DON’T WEAR GLOVES. DIDN’T HAVE GLOVES BACK IN THE DAY. THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS LEARNING HOW TO FEEL WITHOUT A GLOVE. IT WAS DEFINITELY MORE OF A FIELDER’S GLORY SORT OF GAME. DURING THE CIVIL WAR THE SOLDIERS WAY OF GETTING SOME R&R WAS TO PLAY BASEBALL. THEY’D PLAY IN PRISON CAMPS, IN THEIR OWN UNIONS, CONFEDERATE CAMPS. ONCE THE WAR ENDED PEOPLE MIGRATED DOWN TO THE SOUTH AND THEY BROUGHT THE GAME WITH THEM.>>WELL I’VE DONE A LOT OF RESEARCH WITH THE NEWSPAPERS AND I JUST FOUND THE TEAM THAT WAS OUT OF CITY POINT, WHICH IS OVER BY TITUSVILLE. WE LIKE THE NAME BECAUSE IT WAS AWKWARDS AND WE’RE PRETTY MUCH AN AWKWARD TEAM WITH OUR DIFFERENT LEVELS OF SKILL. THE OTHER OLD TEAM I FOUND FROM ORLANDO WAS CALLED THE FAT MAN. AND I DIDN’T REALLY THINK WE’D LIKE TO PLAY UNDER THAT NAME. SO AWKWARDS SEEMED TO SUIT US.>>THE GAMES HISTORIC APPEAL ATTRACTS OTHER REENACTORS OF THE ERA.>>THAT’S A CORKER!>>CORKER!>>WELL RUN!>>WE’RE FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA SO WE’RE ROOTING FOR THE AWKWARDS.>>I HEARD ABOUT THIS VINTAGE BASEBALL GROUP SO I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A REALLY GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO COME OUT AND WATCH THE GAME. PUT SOME STEAM ON IT!>>THE VINTAGE EQUIPMENT USED IS MOSTLY HANDMADE. TED MAKES BASEBALLS, AND BY CHANCE FOUND A NEARBY BAT-MAKER TO SUPPLY THE BATS.>>JEREMY AND I MADE A WRONG TURN AND DROVE BY HIS HOUSE. HIS MAILBOX HAD A BAT AS THE STAND, SO WE JUST DECIDED TO STOP IN HIS HOUSE. THE WORST HE’S GONNA TELL US IS “GET OFF MY PROPERTY.” SO, AS SOON AS WE SAW HIS LATHE AND EQUIPMENT WE JUST ORDERED BATS RIGHT AWAY FOR THE TEAMS.>>ONE OLD STYLE BAT. VINTAGE.>>BESIDES THE MIX OF SKILL LEVELS, VINTAGE BASEBALL ALSO WELCOMES GENTLEMEN OF ALL AGES.>>I LOVE BASEBALL. OH I STARTED WHEN I WAS ABOUT TEN YEAR’S OLD, PLAYING BASEBALL. CAN’T MOVE VERY WELL ANYMORE, BUT HE NEEDED AN EXTRA HAND SO I THOUGHT I’D COME OUT AND CATCH AN INNING OR TWO.>>WHERE ARE YOU PLAYING TODAY?>>I’LL PROBABLY BE PLAYING EITHER THIRD SHORT.>>IT’S A LITTLE DIFFERENT. IT’S A LITTLE FUN AND NOW MY SON’S A PLAYER ON THIS TEAM AS WELL.>>I DECIDED TO GO TO THE VINTAGE BASEBALL PRACTICE, SEE WHAT IT WAS LIKE. I’VE NEVER PLAYED BEFORE. I’VE WATCHED HIM PLAY. I LOVED IT. IT WAS A LOT OF FUN.>>YOU’VE GOT THIS! YOU’RE IN! YOU’RE IN! YOU’RE IN! STANDING UP! STANDING UP! STANDING UP! STANDING UP!>>AFTER A HEATED GAME, THE AWKWARD’S TAKE HOME THE VICTORY, BUT NEITHER TEAM FORGETS WHY THEY PLAY.>>GOOD TEAMWORK.>>YOU’RE THERE TO PLAY A GENTLEMANLY GAME.>>THE GUYS ARE REALLY PLAYING FOR THE HEART AND BECAUSE IT’S SO DIFFERENT, IT’S SO ENJOYABLE IT’S COMPETITIVE, BUT YET IT’S FUN AT THE SAME TIME.>>THIS IS PURE BASEBALL. THERE’S NO DRUGS OR STEROIDS, OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT INVOLVED. THERE’S NO MONEY INVOLVED. WE JUST COME OUT HERE AND HAVE FUN.

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