Baseball blast from past …

Swing back in time: Dirigo Baseball Club hosts fundraiser for MSHOF

Old-time hardball action with rules from 1864 at Dow Field
By Zack Miller | Jul 12, 2018
Photo by: Zack Miller Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Justin Kirk tosses a pitch.

Waldoboro — It was a beautiful day for baseball on the recently-mowed field beside busy Route 1.

The sun shone, a slight breeze moved through the air and players and fans stepped back in time for vintage baseball between the Dirigo Baseball Club of Maine and Sunrise Club of Brunswick on Sunday, July 8 at Dow Field near the Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame.

The game of baseball is referred to as “America’s pasttime” and on Sunday, around 20 players came together to give fans a taste of what the game looked liked, and how it was played, in 1864, as well as to raise money for the hall of fame.

Watch video, and see more photos, below.

“I think we’ve had great turnouts here,” said Jake Newcomb, Dirigo Baseball Club president and team captain. “The Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame and Dow Furniture love to hold this event.”

“We do two a year,” he said. “I’m actually a board member of the Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame, and every time it comes up in meetings people are always really excited. Obviously they are all sports people, and it’s a great way to bring a family-friendly sporting event to the public and raise awareness for the hall.”

The Dirigo Baseball Club of Maine team is based off an actual team that played the sport in 1865-1866 in Augusta, and, said Newcomb, “won some state championships,” through the 1860s and 1870s.

If one was in attendance at Sunday’s event, which included a host of Midcoast men of varying ages, one noticed differences between how the game is played then, to how it is today.

“There are no gloves, which is usually the first thing people notice when they come to our games,” Newcomb said. “You catch the ball on the bounce and you’re out, which is also a difference people notice. The pitchers pitch underhanded, but that does not mean it is slow pitch.”

“It’s definitely a little bit easier with a glove,” said Scott Hastings, Dirigo Baseball Club member. “This is just as challenging, if not more so. I think people think because it’s a bunch of adults that it might be an easy sport, but that’s not the case. Catching [the ball] on the bounce certainly helps, but you can still hurt yourself catching the ball without a glove.”

There even is a chalkboard-like scoreboard to keep score.

Despite those timely differences, some things have not changed through the 154 years.

Both teams play with nine players in the field, the base paths are 90 feet apart, and the game is nine innings with three outs per half inning.

“[What I enjoy most] is being able to continue to play baseball,” Newcomb said. “I’m 32 years old and played in high school. Just meeting different people and learning about the game, reading up on different rule interpretations and just trying to see what it would have been like back in the Civil War-era.”

“I love baseball and I love history and this is the perfect combination of both,” said Hastings. “You get to play the game that I love and I get to do it a little differently than when I was growing up.”

Dirigo was the home team during the game and came out victorious over Sunrise 14-2.

“It’s a really natural form of baseball,” Newcomb said. “You think of America’s pasttime and how this game spread through the country, it was definitely a version of a sport like this. It’s so accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be an experienced baseball player to play.”

Old-time baseball in Waldoboro
Old-time baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Scott Hastings. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Rob Rodriquez. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Justin Kirk. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Sunrise's John Coray. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Sunrise's Dan Gargan. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Sunrise's Chris Ferguson, right. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Brandon Hubbard. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Rob Rodriquez. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Brandon Hubbard. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Jason Kirk, right, and Sunrise's Scott White. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Brandon Hubbard. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Patrick White. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Scott Hastings, right, and Sunrise's Scott White. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Jason Kirk. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Gordon Paul. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Gordon Paul. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Bob Hubbard. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Adam Newell, the umpire. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Brandon Hubbard. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Justin Kirk. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Jacob Newcomb. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Rob Rodriguez. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Scene from old-timer's baseball on July 8 in Waldoboro. Dirigo's Patrick White. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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