Spectators can enjoy base ball in its purest form through a Vintage Base Ball Game during the Steampunk Festival in Hannibal.
The Hannibal Nationals will play the Springfield Long Nine at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 at the Norfolk & Southern Multi-Sports Park at Sixth Street adjacent to historic Clemens Field.
Using 1860s rules of play, the two 19th-century-style teams will compete without using baseball gloves, when pitches were thrown underhand and bats were wooden.
Chris Hull has assembled of the team. He said the sport appealed to athletes of all ages and abilities. “It’s the non-competitive spirit of the game that attracts players, called ‘ballists,’ of all ages. It’s a lot slower game and it’s more gentlemanly.”
The game’s name is typically written “base ball” rather than “baseball,” as that was the spelling used before the 1880s. The ball of the 1860s was a bit larger, heavier and softer than the modern baseball.
He encouraged fans to bring lawn chairs and enjoy the game.