GLOVERSVILLE — Anyone out at “the old ball game” this week will see just that during the seventh annual Vintage Baseball Game and Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame 2019 induction ceremony Saturday at noon at Parkhurst Field.
The Vintage Baseball Game held annually at historic Parkhurst Field sees America’s favorite pastime return to its roots as ball players gear up with turn of the century uniforms and equipment while playing by the Major League Baseball Rules that were in place in 1895.
“Vintage Baseball is a tribute to the early days of Major League Baseball and our forefathers who played it,” said Mike Hauser, founder of the Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame in Gloversville. “Spectators will get a glimpse of what early baseball looked like and how it was played.”
This year’s Vintage Baseball Game will see the Mountain Athletic Club from Fleischmanns face off against the local A., J. & G Team comprised of former Gloversville Little Leaguers of all ages who played at the historic Parkhurst Field in their youth.
“We will have players from the 1970s through just three years ago,” Hauser noted.
Despite their years of experience, Saturday’s game will see players competing against the 1895 rules and period authentic equipment along with the opposing team. Under the 1895 rules batters call the zone they want the pitch delivered to, either high or low, and batters are walked after seven pitches are called balls.
If a batter catches a piece of the period authentic ball with their period bat, fielders trying to catch the hit with 19th century style gloves have their work cut out for them.
“Players used fielding gloves that are small and offer very little protection to the fielder’s hand. It is closer to today’s batting glove,” Hauser said.
But, according to Hauser, the pared down style of play observed during the Vintage Baseball Game is part of the attraction.
“I really enjoy the pureness of the game. It is a glimpse of the game when it was played for the sheer passion that players had, long before commercialization changed the sport. I also enjoy seeing the players suited up in uniforms that are exact replicas as those worn by the players who graced Parkhurst Field, then called A., J. & G Park, at the turn of the century,” Hauser said.
To honor baseball’s local history, between innings the Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame will induct the 2019 class including local legends Brian Mee and Fred Webb and the Andy Fusco Contributors Division will induct F. Rulison and Sons, the J.A. Peach Sporting Goods Company and the M. Denkert Company.
“Brian Mee and Fred Webb are two of the greatest players to come out of our area and play professionally,” Hauser explained. “And the three companies created products that helped revolutionize the game of baseball and the sporting world.”
As an added attraction, the Parkhurst Field Museum featuring documents on the history of the park dating back to 1906 will be open on Saturday, offering baseball and history fans alike another view of time gone by while they enjoy watching the game played as it was over 100 years ago.
“Anyone who enjoys the sport of baseball should attend this event because it is a ‘real game of baseball’ and a glimpse of the past,” Hauser said.
The seventh annual Vintage Baseball Game and Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame inductions will take place Saturday at noon at Parkhurst Field located at 50 Harrison St. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. There will be a $5 admission fee with all proceeds benefiting the Parkhurst Field Renovation Project. Little League players wearing their uniforms will be admitted for free.
For more information, call Mike Hauser at (518) 725-5565 or visit the Parkhurst Field or Fulton County Baseball & Sports HOF Facebook pages.