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    Posted October 28, 2009 by
    Hartford, Connecticut
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Living in a time warp?

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    Reviving a Dream in Hartford


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     fovbb is the President and Treasurer of 'Friends of Vintage Baseball.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    There are baseball ghosts wandering the streets of Hartford. From the Charter Oak Base Ball Club of Hartford which was formed in June 1862, to Bulkeley Stadium, which saw its last game in 1953, Hartford has been host and sometimes home to great ball players and a few legends: Candy Cummings, Connie Mack, Carl Arborgast, Lou Gehrig, Leo Durocher, Hank Greenberg, Van Lingle Mungo, Stan Wentzel and even The Babe—they've all played here.


    Hartford will likely never host professional baseball clubs again but in the summer of 2009, the Friends of Vintage Base Ball brought the 19th century version of the game to the city. Vintage nines from New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut met up at the Hartford Base Ball Grounds at Colt Meadows to play the game by 19th century rules using 19th century-style equipment and uniforms.  From April through September, the crack of the ash and shouts of "Well struck, sir!" and "huzzah!" rang out, as cranks enjoyed the pastoral setting and learned about the history of the game and of the site from costumed personalities as they sipped vintage soda pop flavors with names like Handlebar Hooch, Pops' Pop and Dead Red. There are a lot of reasons why folks enjoy watching vintage base ball games but a visitor to the last game of the season probably said it best when he wrote:


    "My wife and I had a great time today at the game. From the beauty-of-a-day weather...to the soda pop...to the games...and to the chats, it was indeed a fun time.

    Of particular note was the "cleanness" of the activities. The ballists truly enjoyed each others' camaraderie...and to be at a sporting event and hear NOT ONE swear word was fantastic and refreshing. This is the type of fun our whole family would enjoy...from the young to the old.

    Pops, thanks for the patient answering of my questions and for explaining so much to all of the cranks. Karen, thanks for the organization of a GREAT day. Captain Snyder, thanks for leading not only a very fine group of athletes but a very well-mannered group of fine fellows. (I especially want to thank one player who took a few moments before game #2 to explain some things to me...I didn't get his name but he was the starting hurler for the second game...and a fine job he did too.)


    We've already ordered our Crank baseball cap and long sleeve shirt and will be ready for next season...our only regret is that the season has come to an end...well, at least we were lucky enough to have seen the one game!

    — Jefferey D.

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