The Lewes Historical Society is proud to be the home of the Lewes Base Ball Club, 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.
“2015 is the sixth year for the Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club. Being more seasoned makes us better prepared than ever! We are very grateful for the continued support of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and we are looking forward to having our fans in the stands cheering us on,” said Mike DiPaolo, Executive Director of The Lewes Historical Society.
The club, a part of The Lewes Historical Society, is composed of men from around the Lewes-area. “When we started the team, our goal was to have fun, teach the public about 19th century base ball and life in Lewes at the time and reach out to younger members of the community and their families – it’s been tremendously successful,” said DiPaolo, who plays on the team, often at catcher.
Come cheer on the Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club! The club plays its home matches at the University of Delaware Lewes campus at the Virden Center Conference Center at 700 Pilottown Road. Most games begin at 1:00pm and most dates feature a double header. Call 302-645-7670 for confirmation.
April 12- Away vs. Elkton (Terrapin Station)
April 19- Home vs. Milford Excelsior
May 3- Away vs. Dover Days (Legislative Hall)
May 31- Away vs. Milford Excelsior
June 13- Home vs. Brandywine BBC of Westchester
July 12- Home vs. Talbot Fairplays
July 18 & 19- Away vs. Gettysburg Vintage Base Ball Tournament (as Southern Delaware 9 with Milford)
August 8- Home vs. Elkton Eclipse (2:00pm)
August 15- Away vs. Diamond State BBC (Hagley Museum)
September 19- Home vs. Diamond State
September 26- Away vs. Brandywine BBC of West Chester
For more information about The Lewes Historical Society or the Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club, click here or call 302-645-7670.
Photo: “The Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club’s first home game is on Sunday, April 19 vs. Milford Excelsior. Cheer them on at the University of Delaware Lewes campus near the Virden Conference Center at 700 Pilottown Road in historic Lewes, Delaware.”