Historically accurate contest will take place at Fireman's Field
PHOTO: Monmouth Furnace player runs toward second base during a recent vintage game.
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Monmouth Furnace, the Jersey Shore's team in the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League, will play the Elizabeth Resolutes on Saturday, August 11th, under the official rules of 1864.
The historically accurate contest will take place at Fireman's Field, West Highland Avenue at Avenue B in Atlantic Highlands. Admission will be free.
Following pre-game festivities, the "gentlemanly sporting match" will start at 11 a.m. The old-time ball game is sponsored by the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society.
The players will be swinging wood bats at underhand pitches, and there will a lot of bare-handed catches -- because the sport did not allow gloves 154 years ago.
The name of the national pastime was two words in 1864 – "base ball." The team names are historic, too. Monmouth Furnace was the original name of the 19th-century Allaire Iron Works, now a restored Wall Township village, where that team started. The Elizabeth club's name pays tribute to New Jersey's lone major-league team, which lasted only one season in 1873.
In fact, the birthplace of baseball was New Jersey. The first competitive game was played in 1845 in Hoboken (not in Cooperstown, New York, where the Hall of Fame is located).
“Our quirky but fast-paced games re-enact the roots of modern baseball,” explained Russ McIver, captain of the Monmouth Furnace team. “We play exhibition contests and serious matches against league rivals on weekends, and we're always looking for more players who want to have good old-fashioned fun.”
The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society is sponsoring Saturday's (8/11) "base ball" game.