Cape Gazette

Playing baseball by 1865 rules

Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club in its fifth season
By Ron MacArthur | Jul 03, 2014
Photo by: Ron MacArthur Umpire Mike Reed of Bethany Beach keeps score the old-fashioned way during the Lewes-Brooklyn game.

The Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club is in its fifth season of playing the nation's past time the way it was played 150 years ago.

Although the game of yesteryear resembles the game of today, there are several very obvious rule changes. The first difference fans notice is that players do not wear gloves.

Additionally, pitchers throw underhand, batters are called strikers, strikes are called when a striker does not attempt to swing the bat after a warning from the umpire and foul balls can be caught on the bounce for an out.

So far, Lewes is 8-8 following a 22-8 loss to the Brooklyn Atlantics on June 22. The team has away games in July and August, returning to its home field at the Virden Center with 1 p.m. games on Sunday, Sept. 14, and Sunday, Sept. 21.

Lewes plays in the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League. The Lewes team is sponsored by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

The photos in the story are published in tint type, resembling the photographs of the mid-19 century.


Mike DiPaolo rounds third and heads for home to score a run for Lewes. DiPaolo, who is executive director of the Lewes Historical Society, was instrumental in forming the team five years ago. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Brooklyn Atlantics pitcher Ed "Pigtail" Elmore looks the part of a 19th century player. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Lewes pitcher Kevin Schultze of Harbeson fires one underhand to the plate. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Steve Scharff of Lewes waits for a pitch to hit. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Pat Zmuda of Lewes covers second as a Brooklyn player slides into the base. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Brooklyn's Matthew "Krawler" had four hits in the win over Lewes. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
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