Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 22, 2010
This is the next installment of the photograph collection from my recent trip to Cooperstown, New York.
For "Part 1" of this series, click here.
On the first day of our Cooperstown visit, we ran into a gentlemen outside the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum who was dressed as a nineteenth century baseball ballplayer. We had a nice chat with him - in which he shared that he had played a "nineteenth century" style game at Doubleday Field that day, and, that another such game was scheduled for the next day at 12:30 pm.
We thought that it would be interesting to see a game like that played at Doubleday Field. So, we made it part of our plan for Sunday to be there. (We once saw a few innings of such a game at a local county fair. But, that was being played in an open grass field and not on a baseball diamond.)
However, when we got to Doubleday Field at 12:30 pm on Sunday, there was no sign of any nineteenth century ball players. Perhaps the good fellow had his schedule mixed up?
Nonetheless, once inside the park, we noticed that there was a game in progress - and it was the 8th inning of a 10-8 contest. So, we decided to watch it for a bit before grabbing some lunch.
Both of the teams in the game were eclectic groups - with the players wearing several different uniforms. And, the players seemed to range in age - from young adults to guys well into their forties. The players also ranged in terms of their conditioning - with a few of them playing somewhat overweight. Oh, and, one team had a young woman playing left field. (I didn't see her make any plays or come to bat, while we were there. But, she looked like a ballplayer in terms of how she wore her uniform and trotted to the dugout at the end of the inning.)
There were two umpires working the game and the contest seemed somewhat competitive. Although, I would estimate that the speed of the pitches was around 65 MPH and the teams (at times) allowed pinch runners for some guys who had obvious issues running. There were probably at least 30 people in the stands watching the game being played.
It was fun to watch these teams play - even if it was just for a couple of innings - in the intimate and vintage setting of Doubleday Field.
Listening to their chatter. Hearing the umpires make calls their calls. And, above all, it was wonderful to experience the serenade of their popping mitts in the field and the cracks of their bats when they made contact at the plate. (Yeah, wooden bats.)
Albeit a brief stay, it was as close to a "Field of Dreams" experience that you could have sans the corn field and the ghosts of past baseball greats.
Here are some of the sights that we saw that afternoon at Doubleday Field.
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos.