Baseball club takes a journey back in time for “vintage” games

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - It appeared history came to life outside of Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment on Saturday as players rounded the bases during a vintage baseball game.

"We play by the 1864 rules of baseball," Huntsville Vintage Base Ball Club Founder Guy Kerby said.

Teams of Generation X and Y baseball players knocked 19th century history out of the park for a sporting event unlike any other in Alabama.

"No ball gloves, if you catch a ball on the bounce, it's an out," Kerby said. "The bats are wooden, they're hard balls, so they hurt."

Vintage Base Ball Player Cotton Clark said he learned quickly about the challenges of playing the old school way.

"Line drive came right back at me, and I wasn't thinking, and thought I had a glove on my hand and just reached out," Clark recalled after a game last year. "I got introduced to bare-hand baseball very quickly."

Players from Huntsville and Tennessee spread out on a field for the first ever Vintage Base Ball Game in Huntsville.

"We want Huntsville to bring their families out, learn about baseball, enjoy the games, enjoy Lowe Mill," Kerby said.

Kerby said his goal was to create a sporting event just like the ones families looked forward to after a long week at the mill many years ago.

"It's built around these mills, you had Dallas Mill, you had Lincoln Mill, you had all these mill teams," Kerby said.

Kerby said in 1935, Dallas Mill and Lincoln Mill combined their teams to form the Redcaps, and this name still sticks, more than 80 years later. He said he hopes this is just the beginning for the Rocket City.

"We're hoping to grow to maybe four teams so that we're not having to always invite people here, or go to Tennessee, like we're traveling to Philadelphia in September," Kerby said.

You can check out the Huntsville Base Ball Club's website for a complete schedule, their history and sign-up information. Just go to www.huntsvillevintagebaseball.com.