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Vintage Base Ball

The Fair Play Base Ball Club

The Fair Plays Want You

Take a Swing at History

Learn the Game of Base Ball as It Was Played in 1864
All Skill Levels Accommodated From Experienced Ballists to Muffins
Opportunities for Players, Umpires, Tally Keepers and More

In the 1860s, Base Ball clubs were committed to letting all their ballists (players) have fun and exercise upon the ball field. An error was called a muff. If you were prone to errors, you were a muffin. The Fair Plays stage vintage matches open to the public. Since the field is filled with novice ballists, we experience a good many muffs. But that is alright; everyone is having a good time.
To participate, contact the Historical Society of Talbot County at (410) 822-0773 or email Museum Staff

Fair Plays Game Schedule 2013
All Home Games are at Mt. Pleasant Park at 12 Magnolia St (intersection with Springdale St) in Easton and start at 12 noon unless otherwise stated.

Directions to Mt. Pleasant Park (Home Field)
From Rte. 50: Take the Easton Parkway (Rte 322) into Easton.
At the first light, turn left onto Washington Street.
Turn left onto Springdale Street (there is a 7-11 at the corner)
The street will round a corner and you will see a park on your left. A new parking lot provides adequate parking just past the field.

April 7 vs Milford at Milford, DE
April 14 vs Elkton Eclipse at Elkton, MD
April 28 vs Flemington Neshanock at Easton, MD
May 5 vs Arundel Excelsiors at Glen Burnie, MD
Sat May 18 vs Diamond State at Delaware City, DE
June 2 vs Mechanicsburg Nine at Easton, MD
June 8 & 9 vs Brooklyn Atlantics & Elizabeth Resolutes at Smithtown, NY & Elizabeth, NJ
June 23 "Curly Day" vs Brooklyn Atlantics & Elkton Eclipse Easton, MD 11 am to 4 pm
June 30 vs Philadelphia Athletic at Easton, MD
July 7 vs Rising Sun & Elkton Eclipse at Rising Sun, MD
July 14 Lewes at Mardela Springs, MD
July 20-21 Gettysburg Festival at Gettysburg, PA
August 4 vs Brandywine at Easton, MD
August 10-11 Silver Ball Tournament at Genessee Country Village, Mumford, NY
August 25 vs Potomac Nine at Easton, MD
September 8 Maryland State Vintage Base Ball Championship Tournament at Easton, MD
September 22 Philadelphia Base Ball Festival at Philadelphia, PA
October 5 & 6 Mid-Atlantic Regional Champtionship Tournament at Allentown, NJ

Vintage Base Ball

We are often asked, How does the vintage game differ from real base ball? The answer is simple. The vintage game is real base ball. It is a game played for fun and exercise by lady and gentlemen ballists (players).

Sadly, many of today's cranks (fans) remain familiar only with modern "baseball." The national pastime now stands under the control of its "owners" who hire tramp athletes that migrate from club to club in search of ever richer booty.

In 1867, the first match in Talbot County recorded with a box score was played between the Fair Plays and the Choptanks of Trappe. The Fair Plays enjoyed much fun and exercise that day, sending forty-seven runners across the home base (home plate). Unfortunately, the Choptanks tallied (scored) eighty-five times and thereby won the match. Such scores did not always indicate poor play. They resulted from the differences between real base ball and the modern game.

The differences included the following:
1) The pitcher must toss the ball across the plate so that the striker (batter) may hit it. The throwing of speedballs or the deceitful curve ball shall result in a swift twenty-five cent fine from the umpire. How can ballists have fun and exercise if they cannot hit the ball and run the bases? The more they hit the ball and run the bases; the more times runners tally (score).
2) The striker is dead (out) if the ball is caught on the fly or upon one bound off the ground. The vintage game is played the way base ball was intended to be played—bare-handed. Caps or objects of clothing may not be used to catch the ball. The enormous leather mittens worn by modern namby-pamby ballists are not allowed.
3) A base ball field is just that - a field. The base ball diamond is preferably laid out upon a field of grass, such as the Elysian Field that served as home to the great New York Knickerbockers. Sometimes the field resembles an undulating meadow. Occasionally, there might be a tree or a building out in the garden (outfield). There are no manicured infields to eliminate an errant hop of the base ball. In the vintage game, a ballist’s skills are truly tested

The Fair Plays
The Fair Play Base Ball Club takes its name from a club nine (team) that played in Talbot County in the 1860s. For more information about the original Fair Plays, see baseballhistoryblog. The re-created vintage club plays according to the rules of 1864.

Vintage base ball is now played around the nation at open-air museums, re-enactments and in city parks. We extend an invitation to those interested in learning the vintage game to join the Fair Plays. We are recruiting both gentlemen and lady ballists. We need young legs out in the garden (outfield) and former soft ballists often make excellent sack tenders (infielders). We accept players of varied skill levels. Base ball clubs arranged themselves into a first nine (best players) and a second nine. They also often maintained a muffin nine. In the 19th century, if you committed an error, it was a "muff." If you were prone to making a number of errors, you were a "muffin." In order to give everyone a chance to play, clubs staged "muffin matches." We intend to carry on in the spirit of fun and exercise for all.

In addition to ballists, the Fair Plays need tally keepers (score keepers), umpires and people to interpret the match for fans in the bullpen (spectators' area). If you love base ball but do not wish to play, the Fair Plays offer opportunities to participate in the vintage game.

Finally, the Fair Plays need spectators at their matches. Our goal is to demonstrate that the Eastern Shore is just full of fans. Prior to matches, our interpreters will offer an overview of the rules of 1864. Fans participate in a match by learning appropriate cheers. For the first time in over a hundred years, shouts of "Huzzah! The striker is dead" and "Well fielded sir!" echo across the Eastern Shore.

Base Ball on Ice
The End of Hockey Season and the Start of Base Ball Season
Saturday March 21, 2009

In the 1860s, base ball teams missed playing ball so much that they sometimes played a game in midwinter on a frozen lake. Talbot County's vintage team, the Fair Plays, re-created this very silly game at the Talbot Recreation Center's Ice Rink.

Fair Plays Game Record:
1 Club Match
vs Elkton Eclipse 6-26 (Defeat)
vs Atlantic BBC of Brooklyn 6-15 (Defeat)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac 22-6 (Victory)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac 11-2 (Victory)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac 11-0 (Victory)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac 11-1(Victory)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac 21-20 (Victory)
vs Little League Coaches 1860 rules: 4-0 (Victory)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac 1860 rules: 9-8 (Defeat),
1864 rules: 23-12 (Victory)
vs Elkton Eclipse 1860 rules: 9-5 (Victory),
1864 rules: 15-2 (Victory)
vs Amish Market of Easton 1860 rules: 10-3 (Victory)
Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament 1864 rules: vs Brooklyn 6-9, vs Farmington 7-8, vs New York 16-4, vs Elkton 17-18 (4th Overall)
Maryland/New Jersey Vintage Base Ball Festival 1860 rules: vs. Flemington 11-17 (Defeat)
vs Washington College Town Ball Team Townball rules 12-21 (Defeat)
Rematch vs Amish Market 1860 rules: 5-0 (Victory)
vs Washington College Town Ball Team Townball rules: 11-9 (Victory) 1860 rules: 17-3 (Victory)
vs Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum 17-5 (Victory)
vs Elkton Eclipse 1860 rules: 13-1 (Victory),
1864 rules: 5-32 (Defeat)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac 1860 rules: 12-2 (Victory),
1864 rules: 11-1 (Victory)
Rematch vs Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum 1860 rules: 6-5 (Victory)
Maryland State Vintage Base Ball Championship Tournament 1864 rules: Elkton vs C&P 18-13,
Elkton vs Talbot Fair Plays 12-2 (Defeat)
Maryland State Standings:
1st Place Elkton Eclipse,
2nd Place Talbot Fair Plays,
3rd Place Chesapeake & Potomac
vs Little League Coaches 11-7 (Victory)
vs Washington College Town Ball Team 14-21 (Defeat) Townball rules
Maryland/New Jersey Vintage Base Ball Festival 0-3 vs Flemington (Defeat), 14-1 vs Newark (Victory)
vs Amish Market of Easton 10-10 (Tie)
Gotham Cup 10-9 vs. Neshanook (Victory), 8-5 vs Gothams (Victory), 14-7 vs Gothams (Victory), 24-10 vs Westbury (Defeat)
vs Elkton Eclipse CANCELED
vs Amish Market 6-3 (Victory)
Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament 16-1 vs. Gothams (Victory), 15-2 vs Live Oaks (Victory), 7-3 vs. Ohio Muffins (Victory), 6-10 vs. Atlantics (Defeat)
vs Chesapeake 13-5 (Victory) 10-9 (Defeat)
vs Amish Market of Easton 6-5 (Victory)
vs Steamers of the EVFD 15-14 (Victory), 11-23 (Defeat)
vs Dauntless 18-2 (Victory)
Silver Ball Tournament 23-0 vs. Innerkip Quarrymen (Victory), 9-13 vs Knickerbockers (Defeat), 10-16 vs Wyandotte Ghostriders (Defeat), 15-7 vs Rochesters (Victory)
vs Elkton Eclipse 9-14 (Defeat), 2-13 (Defeat)
vs Elkton Eclipse 7-5 (Victory in 14th inning), 14-18 (Defeat)
vs Potomac cancelled due to rain
Maryland State Vintage Base Ball Championship Tournament 8-6 vs C&P (Victory), 11-13 vs Elkton (Defeat)
Maryland State Standings:
1st Place Elkton Eclipse,
2nd Place Talbot Fair Plays,
3rd Place Chesapeake & Potomac
vs Little League Coaches 2-1 (Victory)
Baseball on Ice at Talbot Community Center White Hats: 13, Red Hats: 11
vs Dauntlessin Easton 20-13 (Victory), 20-7 (Victory)
vs Little League Coaches in Trappe 8-7 (Victory)
Maryland/New Jersey Vintage Base Ball Festival in Elkton 18-20 vs Somerset (10 innings Defeat), 16-12 vs Diamond State (Victory)
Gotham Cup in New York City 23-0 vs Gothams (Victory), 5-4 vs Atlantics (12 innings Victory), 11-10 vs Flemington (11 innings Victory), 5-23 vs Providence Grays (Defeat 1873 rules)
Elkton Eclipse in Easton 11-14 (Defeat), 6-7 (Defeat)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac in Rockville 24-14 (Victory), 7-12 (Defeat)
vs Diamond State BBC on Pea Patch Island, DE 22-10 (Victory)
vs Dauntless at Stepping Stone Museum in Havre DeGrace 16-5 (Victory), 16-7 (Victory)
vs Amish Market of Easton at 4th of July Festival in Easton 18-7 (Victory)
vs Chesapeake & Potomac in Easton 19-9 (Victory), 21-3 (Victory)
vs the cast of TAP's Damn Yankees exhibition game
Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament in Washington DC 8-10 vs Akron Blackstockings (Defeat), 16-13 vs Minnesota (Victory), Rain out on Sunday
Silver Ball Tournament in Rochester, NY 5-10 vs Rochester Grangers (Defeat), 17-5 vs Woodstock Actives (Victory), 16-6 vs Genesee Live Oaks (Victory), 39-16 vs Northville Eclipse (Victory)
vs Elkton Eclipse in Elkton 3-13 (Defeat), 8-10 (Defeat)
Maryland State Vintage Base Ball Championship Tournament at Susquehanna State Park 14-11 vs C&P (Victory), 12-14 vs Elkton (Defeat)
Maryland State Standings:
1st Place Elkton Eclipse,
2nd Place Talbot Fair Plays,
3rd Place Chesapeake & Potomac,
4th Place Havre DeGrace Dauntless
vs Diamond State BBC in Easton 18-7 (Victory), 28-4 (Victory, 1866 rules)
vs Dauntless 18-5 and 30-7 (Victories)
vs Little League Coaches exhibition game
Maryland/New Jersey Vintage Base Ball Festival 14-6 vs. Somerset(Victory),
16-15 vs Bohemia Victory)
vs Elkton Eclipse 2-7 and 4-8 (Defeats)
First State Festival 5-8 vs Brooklyn (Defeat)
15-10 vs Elizabeth (Victory)
3-4 vs Waterbury (Defeat in 10 innings)
5-7 vs Diamond State Defeat)
vs Chesapeake 20-7 and 25-9 (Victories)
vs Philadelphia Athletics 20-3 (Victory)
vs Bohemia 9-8 and 14-10(Victories)
vs Potomac 10-4 (Victory)
6-13 (Defeat)
Gettysburg Tournament 9-7 vs Pittsburgh (Victory)
19-4 vs Flemington (Victory)
17-9 vs Somerset (Victory)
14-9 vs Elkton (Victory)
Tournament Champions!!!
vs NOAA geologists exhibition game
vs Arundel Excelsiors 9-4 (Victory)
13-6 (Victory)
Silver Ball Tournament 4-9 vs Knickerbockers (Defeat)
14-14 vs Woodstock (Tie)
20-6 vs Flower City (Victory)
23-12 vs Live Oak (Victory)
Maryland State Vintage Base Ball Championship Tournament 12-0 vs Anne Arundel (Victory)
9-3 vs Potomac (Victory)
7-15 vs Elkton (Defeat)
Maryland State Standings:
1st Place Elkton Eclipse,
2nd Place Talbot Fair Plays,
3rd Place,
vs Diamond State BBC 20-10 (Victory)
Mid-Atlantic Tournament in New Jersey
vs Chesapeake 28-3, 25-5 (Victories)
vs Havre de Grace Dauntless Canceled

vs. Elkton Eclipse

16-15 (Victory in 11 innings),
4-15 (Defeat)

vs Potomac 14-4, 16-5 (Victories)
vs Brooklyn,
vs Flemington
4-10 and 10-18 vs Brooklyn (Defeats)
10-9 and 29-11 vs Flemington (Victories, 1873 rules)
vs Mechanicsburg 11-5, 18-13 (Victories)
vs Cecil 15-9 (Victory), 13-26 (Defeat)
vs Diamond State 10-0, 10-2 (Victories)
vs Brooklyn 9-9 (Tie when game was called in the 11th inning)

Gettysburg Tournament

Fair Plays have Withdrawn
vs Philadelphia 13-2, 15-3 (Victories)
Silver Ball Tournament 18-5 vs Victory BBC, 14-5 vs Rochester, 16-14 vs the Flower City BBC 16-14 (Victories), 10-10 vs Live Oaks (Tie). Championship game: 5-20 vs the Cleveland Blues (Defeat)
Mid Atlantic Festival 19-7 vs Philadelphia (Victory), 18-12 vs Gothams (Victory)
18-4 vs Mechanicsburg (Victory), 8-10 vs Brooklyn (Defeat)
vs Arundel Game cancelled due to Hurricane
vs Diamond State BBC 4-19 Defeat), 9-6 (Victory)
Maryland State Vintage Base Ball Championship Tournament 24-2 vs Potomac (Victory), 6-9 vs Cecil (Defeat)
Maryland State Standings:
1st Place Chesapeake City,
2nd Place Talbot Fair Plays,
3rd Place Elkton Eclipse
Mid-Atlantic Tournament We're Number Two!
vs Arundel Excelsiors 25-4 (Victory), 15-4 (Victory)
vs Elkton Eclipse 2-13 (Defeat), 11-7 (Victory)
vs Chesapeake Nine 9-8 (Victory), 15-6 (Victory)
vs Diamond State 10-9 (Victory)
vs Brooklyn Atlantics
vs Brooklyn Eckford
vs New York Gothams
10-18 (Defeat)
7-15 (Defeat)
13-9 & 21-3(Victories)
vs Potomac Nine 15-7 (Victory), 10-6 (Victory)
vs Chesapeake City Cecils 6-9 (Defeat), 9-7 (Victory)
vs Mechanicsburg Nine 14-7 (Victory), 17-10 (Victory)
vs Lewes BBC 10-9 (Victory), 23-20 (Victory)
vs Elkton Eclipse, "Curly Day" at Wye House 15-15 (Tie)
Capitol Conference Festival
vs Potomac Nine
vs Old Dominion
vs Chesapeake Nine
14-2 (Victory)
11-1 (Victory)
17-1 (Victory)
Gettysburg Festival
vs Melrose Pondfielders
vs Wahoo BBC
vs Frosty Sons of Thunder
vs Rochester Grangers

25-5 (Victory)
26-2 (Victory)
9-3 (Victory)
10-13 (Defeat)
Silver Ball Tournament
vs Rochester Grangers
vs Live Oak
vs Great Black Swamp Frogs
vs Rochester Victory
Co-Champion with Flemington Neshanock

13-12 (Victory)
23-14 (Victory)
11-11 (Tie)
18-12 (Defeat)
Game Incomplete due to Rain
vs Arundel Excelsiors Forfeit by Arundel
vs Philadelphia Athletics 17-4 (Victory), 20-5 (Victory)
vs Diamond State BBC 4-9 (Defeat), 7-8 (Defeat)
Philadelphia Base Ball Festival
vs Mechanicsburg
vs Mutual BBC

18-3 (Victory)
10-5 (Victory)
Maryland State Vintage Base Ball Championship Tournament
vs Chesapeake City Cecils

16-9 (Defeat)
Maryland State Standings:
1st Place Chesapeake City
2nd Place Elkton Eclipse
3rd Place Talbot Fair Plays
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