1858 Base Ball
PRAIRIE GROVE – If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to play baseball in the Civil War era, now’s your chance. The McHenry County Historical Society's 1858 base ball club will host the Lemont Quarrymen at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at at Village Hall Park at 3125 Barreville Road in Prairie Grove. The park features a shelter and restrooms, but you will need to bring a blanket or chairs to sit on. Formed in 2013, the McHenry County “Independants” (spelled that way in a newspaper article more than 150 years ago) follow 1858 rules. That means no gloves, lemon-peel baseballs (stitches meet at the top), no pitched balls from the “hurler” and called strikes only if “striker” swings and misses. A ball caught on the first bounce is considered an out and a ball is ruled fair or foul based solely on where it first touches the ground. Fans – called kranks, bugs or rooters – are encouraged to use the terminology of the time, telling the players to “lay that willow on that onion” and “hit the apple out of the orchard.” Those with questions about the match or about joining the Independants should contact historical society administrator Kurt Begalka at email@example.com or call the office 815-923-2267.