1859 Base Ball

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Old-fashioned, “base ball” match celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fox River Grove. Algonquin Road Elementary School, 975 Algonquin Road, Fox River Grove. Civil War-era game pits the McHenry County “Independants” against the Chicago Salmon. Learn about the rules in 1859 and how to cheer and jeer in proper 19th-century fashion. Free. Bring a blanket or chairs to sit on. Some refreshments will be available for purchase.

INTERESTED IN PLAYING?

Baseball has changed a lot since it was played in 1859. But it’s still possible to catch up on the original lingo and rules that first made the game great.

The McHenry County Historical Society’s “club nine,” the McHenry County Independants, will play the first of two games this season, starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Algonquin Road Elementary School, 975 Algonquin Road in Fox River Grove. A second "match" begins at 3 p.m. Aug. 24 in Grayslake. Prospective players must be fit enough to run the bases (even slowly) and be able to make the games. Both events are free.

This type of  Civil War-era baseball, or “base ball” as it was called, differed radically from today’s rules. Players did not use gloves. A ball caught on the first bounce was considered an out, and a ball was considered fair or foul based solely on where it first touched the ground.

A practice is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 22, in Prairie Grove's Village Hall Park, located at Barreville and Ames roads. It offers an opportunity for interested people to test drive the club and see if it right for them. Those interested in learning more should contact historical society administrator Kurt Begalka at 815-923-2267 or email kurt@mchenrycountyhistory.org.

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