FIFTH ANNUAL HARTFORD VINTAGE BASE BALL INVITATIONAL ANNOUNCED
FOR BUSHNELL PARK
HARTFORD SENATORS TO PLAY 4th of JULY AT HISTORIC BALLPARK TRIBUTE
ORGANIZED BY FORMER NEW YORK YANKEES STAR & AUTHOR JIM BOUTON
HARTFORD, CT - 19th century baseball returns to downtown Hartford’s
historic Bushnell Park this summer as the fifth annual Hartford
Vintage Base Ball Invitational takes the field July 2,3,4 tournament
organizers announced today. Admission is free, and baseball action
is continuous daily from noon-8pm.
“The tournament continues to evolve into a very special mid-summer
Hartford holiday sporting event celebrating the roots and original
spirit of our National Pastime,” said tournament founder and
director Greg Martin.
Vintage base ball, a new and growing national sport, features amateur
clubs adhering to the rules, uniform styles, equipment and competitive
gentlemanly play while offering spectators an opportunity to experience
baseball living history.
Considered one of the signature vintage tournaments in the country,
the event will feature clubs from NJ, NY, CT, MA and RI participating
in 1871 and 1886 era bracket games involving nearly 200 ballplayers.
The previous Hartford Tournaments have drawn a combined 25,000 spectators.
Games begin at noon on Friday July 2 and Saturday July 3. Sunday
will feature the Capital City Cup Championship games for each era
bracket beginning at noon and 3pm.
Bushnell Park will include two 19th century inspired ball fields.
The primary field, Bushnell Park East, will include era backstop,
manual scoreboard, wood outfield snow fence, concessions, souvenirs/memorabilia
and baseball history exhibits. A new second field, Bushnell Park
West, will offer an inspiring State Capitol Building backdrop nestled
between the Pavilion Stage and Corning Water Fountain.
On Saturday, July 3, Hartford’s annual Riverfest celebration,
will include the region’s largest fireworks display preceded
by a mid-afternoon music and arts festival.
The tournament is produced by Hartford-based Vintage Base Ball
Factory, LLC, a baseball sporting goods company that manufactures
19th century uniforms, baseballs and gloves. The company has produced
uniforms and equipment for several Minor League and vintage ball
clubs throughout the country.
HARTFORD SENATORS TO PLAY TRIBUTE GAME AT HISTORIC WAHCONAH PARK
On Sunday evening July 4, the Hartford Senators Vintage Base Ball
Club, considered one of the finest vintage teams in the country,
will participate in a special “last game” tribute to
Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, MA. The event, organized by former
New York Yankees star and Ball Four book author Jim Bouton, is expected
to attract a sellout crowd of several thousand and will include
Shortly after the event, Wahconah Park, one of the oldest remaining
ballparks in the country dating to 1892, will undergo a multi-million
dollar restoration led by Bouton and his partner Chip Elitzer. The
ballpark, to re-open in 2005, will be home to a publicly owned Independent
League professional baseball club.
The game will also celebrate Pittsfield’s recent claim as
baseball’s true birthplace having discovered the earliest
known baseball reference anywhere in the United States. The document,
a Pittsfield bylaw which restricts the playing of baseball in Pittsfield,
is dated 1791, more than 30 years prior to the previously recognized
date. The first collegiate baseball game was also played in Pittsfield
in 1859 between Amherst and Williams College.
The newly formed Pittsfield Hillies Vintage Base Ball Club, assembled
under the direction of Bouton and Elitzer and comprised of former
college and professional ballplayers, will be the Senators’
opponent and reunites the two Eastern League rivals (1919-1930)
for their first meeting in nearly 75 yeas.
“Vintage baseball brings back the old-time feeling that has
gotten completely lost in the game’s recent years,”
said Bouton who won 39 games over two seasons on the legendary Yankees
clubs of 1963 and 1964 including a 2-0 World Series record against
the St. Louis Cardinals in ‘64.
Bouton’s recently published book, Foul Ball, chronicles his
group’s attempt to save Pittsfield’s historic Wahconah
Park from the wrecking ball with a unique privately funded ballpark
development plan. “Pittsfield is excited to host this special
vintage baseball event as part of the City’s celebration of
its place in baseball history,” he added. “We’re
expecting a very special night at the old ballpark.”
At the conclusion of the Hartford Invitational, the Senators will
board a chartered bus to Pittsfield.
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