Ez Street Posted May 21, 2007 Share Posted May 21, 2007 I didn't take these pictures, but thought I'd share. I know some of you are interested in this kind of stuff.Gallery:http://spotted.cjonline.com/pages/gallery.php?gallery=379592The game was between the "Wichita Bull Dozers" and the "Topeka Westerns". It took nearly 128 years to do it, but Wichita got its baseball revenge over Topeka on Saturday.The Wichita Bull Dozers beat the Topeka Westerns 9-4 in a game played in a native grass field just south of the Kansas Museum of History.Staged in conjunction with "Game Faces: Kansans in Sports," the museum's special exhibit on the history of sports in Kansas, the competition was played according to the rules in effect in 1860."The Topeka Westerns were the elite in Kansas" in those days before "base ball" became "baseball," said Vance "Bull" Davis, a co-founder of the Old Cowtown Museum Vintage Base Ball Club of Wichita.So the outcome wasn't surprising in August 1879 when the Westerns took the train to Wichita for a game at the fairgrounds, where, the Wichita City Eagle newspaper reported, "there were about three hundred ladies and gentlemen in waiting to see the game.""The Westerns proved too much for (the Bull Dozers), and at the end of the seventh inning they were compelled to stop the game on account of the lateness of the hour, the Westerns having beaten the Bull Dozers nearly four to one," the Eagle said.It was a different story Saturday before about 100 spectators on the Kansas History Museum grounds.The Wichita players had the advantage of being used to the obsolete rules as the Bull Dozers and another club team, the Red Stockings, routinely play one another at the Old Cowtown Museum and combine efforts in road games against other vintage baseball teams.The Topeka Westerns, which were organized just for Saturday's game, had a learning curve with which to contend."Probably the hardest thing is remembering not to overrun first base," said Russell Burton, who pitched the first few innings for the Westerns.The 1860 rules call for a runner to stick to the base upon reaching it or be called out.There were other differences with which to contend.If the ball, whether hit fair or foul, is caught in the air or after one bounce, it is an out.Pitching must be underhand like in modern softball, and you couldn't advance to a base on balls. A batter could stand at home base and let pitches ? good and bad ? go by until he took a swing at one to his liking."It's much more of a gentlemanly game," Burton said. "The batter can actually call where he wants the pitch, whether he wants its high or low, and your job as a pitcher is to put it there for him.""In modern baseball, your job is to keep it away from where they want it," Burton continued. "That's quite a difference. It makes it more of a friendly kind of game in ways."There was a least one old rule players on both sides were probably pleased was eliminated in 1845. That was when "plugging the runner," which was done by throwing the ball at the runner to put him out, was banned.There was talk after the game about Topeka trying to organize a Vintage Base Ball Association-sanctioned team so the competition with Wichita could become an annual event.I'm all for Topeka getting a team. I wasn't able to attend due to a graduation party. But I was planning on going.Wichita's team site can be found at www.cowtownbaseball.org Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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