Todd DeFeo

Ohio Cup relives ‘base ball’ as it was originally played

Huzzah! Leg it, leg it!

Action during last year’s festival
(Photo by Todd DeFeo)

More than 30 vintage “base ball” teams are expected to converge on the Ohio Village in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 3-4 for the 20th Ohio Cup Vintage Base Ball Festival.

The game — yes, it’s “base ball” not baseball — is a somewhat different incarnation than the one played by today’s major leaguers. Regardless, the players — and spectators — are expected to display their love of the game.

“The idea is to educate people about how baseball started and its early days,” Jim Tootle, a baseball historian, said during last year’s festival. “Then they can watch, and from that window of baseball — which everybody likes to watch a baseball game – then they can become interested in the time period, learn more about the Civil War era, the 1840s, 50s and 60s, when baseball was just getting started. So, we hope this will stimulate and encourage and inspire people to read and learn.”

Base ball played during the Ohio Cup follows rules from the 1860s. So, batters can choose where they want their pitches, balls caught on the first bounce are still an out and sliding is prohibited. Of course, sportsmanship and decorum rules the field as players routinely congratulate the opposition on worthy plays.

About Todd DeFeo
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.