'Vintage' teams keep baseball tradition alive

Posted at 8:43 AM, Oct 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-04 10:43:42-04

Shouts of ‘Huzzah!’ fill the air as a striker hits an ace and fans are transported to a bygone era where baseball was played without gloves, batters were called strikers and a run was an ace.

The Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association offers a glimpse into how America’s pastime was played in the 1860s when "base ball" was spelled with two words.

With nicknames like Old Hoss, Catfish and Soda Boots, players wear uniforms patterned after photos from that era.

The Denver and Rio Grande Reds took on the Central City Stars Saturday afternoon in a game to decide which would advance to the championship.

"We consider this a gentlemen's game. So, there is still competitiveness. We want to win, winning is better than losing," said Roger "Digger' Hadix who is a player and a Colorado Springs sports historian and author.

Hadix has been playing for 23 of the Association’s 24 seasons.  Each team has its own song and they sing it after the players are introduced.

"The fans get a big charge out of it,” said Hadix who joined with his team the D & R.G. Reds in singing “Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah. Whada we eat?! Buffalo Meat! Whada we drink?! Whiskey!”

Teams play by the one-bounce rule. If a player catches a hit ball on the first bounce, the hitter is out.

"It's (the game) not as crisp. They didn't even take into account errors back then. You're going to have errors when you play barehanded,” Hadix said as he compared the games of the 19th century to how baseball is played today.

The ball is roughly the same size of those used today, but is softer and stitched together with an X.

There are several vintage base ball teams in Colorado and they travel to locations across the state each season.

The players also travel out of state for tournaments against teams from across the country.

"It's similar to the civil war reenacting. Those guys always know the outcome of the battle. But we never know the outcomes of our game," Hadix said.

The Denver and Rio Grande went on to win Saturday’s game. The will face off against the Denver Blue Stockings in the championship game at noon on Saturday October 10 in the field off west 136th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard in Broomfield. 

For more information visit: