Hundreds flock to Engel Stadium for vintage baseball - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hundreds flock to Engel Stadium for vintage baseball

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Baseball as it was played in the late 1800's.

That's the name of the game here at Chattanooga's Historic Engel Field Sunday as these vintage baseballers are literal historical re-enactors, but the game they're playing is a bit different than the one we know today.

Big twigs of lumber, a relative dead-ball compared to modern times. There are no gloves, you play this game barehanded. Batters are called "strikers" and there's no umpires, just a single on field judge known as an arbiter.

"He is generally going to settle any disputes if there is a call he can't decide, he may ask the audience for a ruling," explains Franklin Farriers' Captain Trapper Haskins.

We saw and heard exactly what Trapper explained, as the Oak Hill Travelers "debate" a called out."We threw it to second base but there was a guy on second base and this guy got caught in a pickle, my question is is there any reason why the guy on second base would be out?"

"I was in the middle, I was not on the bag! Hey, whoa, whoa , whoa  I'm in the middle,I can still go to third," protests Franklin's baserunner in question.
"Your call arbiter", diplomatically states Haskins. " I have to call it two outs," eventually rules the arbiter.

These guys, and gals, play the game as a hobby..

Darci Stone, the wife of "Hound Dog" Stone of the Oak Hill Travelers, proudly stands by her man..   

"Dad wanted to play baseball with his son watching," says Stone from the Engel Stadium seats.

Hound Dog Stone and his Travelers team won the day's first game, and in gentlemanly fashion, there's no trash talking here, just good sports, as the losing team publicly congratulates the victors..

Tennessee's Vintage Baseball Association hopes to expand their current 8 team league with a Chattanooga addition in the near future.

If Sunday's attendance is any indicator, Chattanooga may be fielding a vintage team quicker than Haskins might envision.
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