photo by Daniel E. Kiernan
Billy Barnie’s Blue Boys come back to life with new 19th century Vintage Base Ball League forming. In the late 1800s, Hartford’s Eastern League team was managed by former major leaguer Billy Barnie. Known in the press as Billy Barnie’s Blue Boys, one of team members was Louis “Chief” Socksalexis of the Penobscot Tribe, and the first Native American to play professional baseball.
In 2010, the team, at least in name, will be reincarnated in the form of a group of men who play baseball by 19th century rules, wearing and using 19th century-style uniforms and equipment. They will be joined by three other teams, The Nutmegs, The Charter Oak and The Alert Fire Hose Company, to form the basis of the Coltsville Vintage Base Ball League. League play will occur weekly at The Hartford Baseball Grounds at Colt Meadows beginning in May and culminating in a 4th of July weekend tournament in Hartford.
“We had such a positive response after our successful first season at Colt Meadows, it made sense to think about forming a league in Hartford,” said Karen O’Maxfield, president of the Friends of Vintage Baseball.
Newly-appointed League Commissioner, Jeff Kornhaas, added, “This is a great opportunity for local guys to get involved in playing on teams where sportsmanship and team play is emphasized over batting averages and individual accomplishment. We’re looking forward to providing more people in the greater Hartford area the opportunity to participate in the game as it was meant to be played.”
Recruitment for team members will begin in mid-December with sign-ups to begin January 1, 2010. For more information on the Coltsville Vintage Base Ball League, please visit http://cvbbl.blogspot.com or email email@example.com
About Friends of Vintage Baseball, Inc.
The Friends of Vintage Base Ball is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of the game as it was played in the 19th century. Its purpose is to facilitate and preserve the rules, customs, culture, history and spirit of vintage baseball through public education, awareness and participation.