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posted: 4/9/2014 8:18 PM

Players needed for McHenry County's 1860s base ball team

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  • Grayslake Heritage Center Executive Director Dave Oberg exhorts the crowd at the June 2013 home game at Siems Park in Union.

      Grayslake Heritage Center Executive Director Dave Oberg exhorts the crowd at the June 2013 home game at Siems Park in Union.
    Courtesy of McHenry County Historical Society

 
Submitted by McHenry County Historical Society

The McHenry County Historical Society needs ballplayers for its circa 1860 team, the McHenry County "Independants."

If you are fit enough to run the bases, even slowly, for you "ice wagons!" commit to at least one practice and play in two Saturday exhibition games at 2 p.m. June 21 at Village Hall Park in Prairie Grove and 2 p.m. Aug. 23 in Grayslake.

Both games will be against the Grayslake Athletics, which defeated the beloved "club nine" in both games of last year's inaugural home-and-home series.

Grayslake Heritage Center Executive Director Dave Oberg will umpire and emcee, explaining the rules and teaching the audience to cheer and jeer in proper 19th-century fashion.

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.

Those interested in playing should call historical society administrator Kurt Begalka at (815) 923-2267.

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