Vintage Preface: The Game Seen 'Round the World'
One of the beautiful intrigues of vintage base ball is the unique blend of historical rawness and reality it delivers. For starters, there's no such thing as a routine play. It is also a game rife with historical interpretation and friendly rules debate among those who play and follow it. Just like the 19th century game, vintage base ball continues to evolve and define itself as it meanders along on some quirky little journey intent on creeping into empty fields in towns and cities all across America. Today, participation in the game grows slowly like algae on a pond. Tomorrow, the hoped for growth may be like crabgrass in your front lawn.

Its mission? To become one of the country's most exciting new national sports that will inspire baseball fans and players everywhere or maybe influence today's professional game into better understanding and remembering its roots.

Vintage base ball is an open fenceless field inviting creativity, direction, development and presentation for those with the wildest imaginations who are willing to experiment. Ballists (players) love it. Cranks (fans) adore it. Somewhere Mike "King" Kelly, Jim "Orator" O'Rourke and Albert Spalding must be smiling.

This past summer, something very special happened with vintage base ball in New England. Through a series of uncanny events, the planets aligned in a manner that only the Vintage Base Ball Gods could probably explain, or have directed. The final product presented was pure vintage baseball magic.

For purpose of educating and inspiring, these splendid candid pictures by freelance photographer Ray Shaw, and accompanying text by yours truly, will hopefully provide an insight to three games played last summer that just may have planted the crabgrass seed of vintage base ball's future.

Enjoy the games!

Greg "Moonlight" Martin
Vintage Base Ball Factory, LLC
Hartford Senators Vintage Base Ball Club

Photography: Ray "Shutta" Shaw
Copy: Greg "Moonlight" Martin
Cast: Hartford Senators Vintage Base Ball Club
Cast: Pittsfield Hillies Vintage Base Ball Club

Special thanks to ESPN Classic, Jim Bouton, John Thorn, Gary "Pops" O'Maxfield, Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Chip Elitzer, Steve Vozzolo & The Rookies, Town of Pittsfield, City of Hartford, Hartford Senators, Pittsfield Hillies, Herb "20/20" Bush and the 10,000 Cranks who attended these three games.