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National Silver Ball Tournament

national-silver-baseball-tornamentGenesee Country Village & Museum is hosting one of the largest vintage base ball tournaments this weekend.

The 17th annual National Silver Ball Tournament runs from Friday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 11. Seven teams from across the Midwest, Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Canada will compete in a round-robin style tournament.

Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, teams will play 24 games over three days, using 1868 rules. This means no gloves, requiring players to only use their bare hands to catch and field. There may be a broken finger or two, but vintage base ball offers authenticity that makes it an even more exciting pastime for players and spectators.

Another difference between the modern and mid-to-late 19th century version of the sport is the spelling. Baseball today is spelled as a single word, whereas the 19th century spelling uses two words.

Furthermore, the hurler (pitcher) must keep within a designated area and throw the ball underhand to the striker (batter). Pitches aren’t automatically called balls or strikes, but are decided at the discretion of the umpire in accordance with performance of the hurler or striker. Home plate is a round metal disk, true to the pre-plastic era.

GCV boasts Silver Base Ball Park, which is the nation’s only authentic replica of a 19th century stadium. The two clubs with the best overall records will face off in the championship match on Sunday at 2 p.m. gcv.org

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