Matt Stone, President and Founder
Noah Pflueger-Peters, Director of Communications
Central Valley Vintage Base Ball is a historical organization that plays baseball by 19th Century rules and with period-accurate equipment in order to preserve the history of the game and the region and present it to the public by having a great time. The organization is based in Davis, though it serves the whole Sacramento region and makes outreach efforts to surrounding cities like Woodland, Dixon, and Sacramento.
Anyone is welcome to participate regardless of age, race, gender, or skill level. Septuagenarians have shared the field with teenagers, and many join vintage base ball without previous playing experience. All you need is good sportsmanship and a love of history and/or baseball. Information on how to join can be found on the organization's website or Facebook page.
Though 19th Century baseball looks pretty similar to the modern game, there are a few key differences, plus many more nuances. The key differences include:
- All pitching is underhand, in the style of slowpitch softball.
- If the ball bounces only once before it's caught, it counts as an out. This is known as "the bound rule."
- Since gloves weren't used until the 1870s, fielders used only their bare hands to catch the ball. This is daunting at first, but it's easy and doesn't hurt once you've done it enough. it helps that the vintage ball is larger and softer than a modern baseball.
- If a batted ball's first bounce is fair, then the ball is fair regardless of where it bounces after that.
- Foul balls are not dead balls, meaning that runners need to get back to their bases immediately or risk being thrown out.
Events are held roughly once a month, usually at Civic Center Park, behind City Hall. For more information on events, visit the organization's website or Facebook page.