Everyone who knows me knows I love baseball. Heck, I even bought a 1950s baseball uniform (off eBay, of course) and 1950s cleats. I have no idea what I’ll ultimately do with this uniform (besides wear it around the house when my Phillies are on…Yes, my wife thinks I’m crazy). So, that’s why I’m so excited about an event coming up this weekend in Loudoun.
This Sunday, June 12th, it’s the 1860’s all over again! Two opposing groups of men in uniform will face off against each other. But instead of firing musket balls, they’re firing baseballs from third to first. It’s 19th Century Base Ball Day at Oatlands. This family-friendly event features three teams from the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Baseball League, the Potomac Nines Base Ball Club of Washington, the Chesapeake Nine of Baltimore, and the Elkton Eclipse Base Ball Club playing three games, following rules and customs from the 1860s. Gloves and helmets are not worn, catching gear is not used, and the uniforms and equipment are authentic replicas from the mid-1800s. There were no stadiums or bleachers back then; the game was played in an open area, usually a field. Games will be held at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.
The location makes perfect sense too. Oatlands, just south of Leesburg on Route 15, has a baseball connection. Nick Carter, the grandson on Oatlands’ original owner, George Carter, played professional baseball. Read more on Nick here.
Historically, the day was a social event and 19th Century Base Ball Day will be the same. There will be food vendors, merchants, re-enactors, informational booths, and other activities to interest attendees when not watching the game. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair for seating. No pets, alcohol, or coolers allowed. The event will run from 10am-5pm.
Admission to Base Ball Day is $20 per car, motorcycle, van, truck or RV. Admission is $50 per bus. The event is sponsored by the Loudoun Preservation Society. The LPS has a great article on the article on the history of baseball in Loudoun here.
Hats off (no pun intended) to the LPS for bringing a great event to Loudoun! See you there. (I’ll be the one in shorts and a t-shirt wishing he was in his uniform playing centerfield). Play ball!