The History of the Lewes Base Ball Club
The Lewes Historical Society is proud to be the home of the Lewes Base Ball Club (2016 Delaware State Champions!), sponsored by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Lewes Base Ball Club is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League and the Vintage Base Ball Association. It is an educational program at the Society designed to tell the story of baseball in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also demonstrates the history of social and athletic life in Lewes.
The earliest known reference to baseball in Lewes is from February 1874, when a match pitting Lewes against Milton was advertised for March 1, 1874. Unfortunately the outcome of that contest is not known. Lewes played home to a member of the Eastern Shore Baseball League in the early and mid 20th century.
The Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club plays by 1864 rules, which have several differences from contemporary baseball. The most notable differences are the ability to catch the ball on one bounce for an out and no gloves permitted for fielders.
Additionally, pitchers throw underhand, batters are called strikers, strikes are called when a striker does not attempt to swing the bat after a warning from the umpire, and foul balls can be caught on the bounce for an out.
Lewes Vintage Base Ball Games: Sponsored by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery