The Great Rematch:
Days after the ESPN Classic broadcast, baseball
chat rooms across the country are filled with conversation of
intrigue and interest having watched the Hartford-Pittsfield
game. A whole new audience of baseball fans have been introduced
to this fledgling new baseball sport. News stories appeared throughout
the country in many of the largest circulation newspapers complimenting
ESPN Classic's broadcast. Many within the vintage base ball network
receive numerous inquiries on how to start a vintage base ball
A rematch game had been briefly considered between Hartford
and Pittsfield for the following day (July 4) at the in-progress
Hartford Vintage Base Ball Invitational, but was dropped for
logistical reasons and likely fatigue. However, one week later,
it was clear both players and fans wanted more. Bouton and Martin
discuss an old-fashioned "home and home series" popular
during the 19th century. Commonly, clubs would schedule a "best
of" series that could take place over several weeks or even
A rematch game was agreed to in Hartford for July 31 followed
by a final game back at Wahconah Park on Labor Day Weekend. A
Hillies win would make the final series game a deciding one.
Hartford's historic Bushnell Park, site of the annual Hartford
Vintage Tournament, was once again assembled for old-time baseball.
Wood snow fencing was installed, wood/chicken wire backstop built,
and a 19th century styled infield created. A small but enthusiastic
crowd of 300 attends on a warm Saturday afternoon. Having had
time to practice further and learn game-live techniques, the
Hillies approached the Senators with aggressive play and free-swinging
The cozy dimensions of Bushnell Park result in four long Hillies
homeruns. These are the first homeruns in 74 years by the Hillies.
The game remained tight and competitive at 5-4 after eight innings,
with Pittsfield ahead. It is a solidly played and snappy 2:15
ballgame featuring many fine defensive plays and drama throughout.
A five-run ninth by the Hillies seals victory.
The "home and home" series is now even at 1-1. The
deciding game is one month away.