Old Time Base Ball At Old Bethpage

Throwing it back to the days of base ball in the 19th century. (Photos by Mutual Base Ball Club)
Throwing it back to the days of base ball in the 19th century (Photos by Mutual Base Ball Club)

Have you ever wondered what baseball was like in the old days? Old Bethpage Village Restoration gives fans of America’s favorite pastime the chance to see what base ball (spelled that way in the 1800s) was like back then as teams from the 1864 League play the game following the rules and customs of the 19th century in vintage uniforms.

The original Mutual Base Ball Club began in 1857 and was named after Mutual Hook and Ladder Company Number 1. Players consisted of city employees who traveled to Brooklyn, Hoboken, Hartford and Boston for games.

Some of the rules back in 1864 included pitching in an underhand manner delivered below the waist; home plate was round; foul balls were not strikes, the striker (batter) would receive a warning before the umpire would call fair pitches and then he would receive three strikes and any reachable ball was a good one. Also, uniforms consisted of a hat, long pants and a bib type shirt.

Not without the issues of modern day baseball, the Mutuals also faced expulsions, debated championship wins, triple plays, loose cannon players and betting money on the game. The original club lasted until 1876, with the Mutuals finishing their season 21-35.

As for the 2016 team, which represents the 1870 National Champion Mutuals by wearing replicas of the actual uniforms worn by that team, the goal is to educate the public about the roots of old time base ball. The current club was established in 1999 as an extension of the Old Time Base Ball program at the restoration. The Mutuals travel across the country, playing established teams as well as instructing new players on how the game was played. They play home games at Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

shutterstock_291492917The Mutuals next home game will be on October 15, where the team will play at the MAVBBL Festival. Prior to that, they will also play Sept. 24, 25, Oct. 1, 2 and 8 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

For more information and a schedule on upcoming games for Old Time Base Ball, visit www.nymutuals.com.

Want It In Print?

We now offer matted and framed copies of articles upon request.

Jennifer Fauci
Jennifer Fauci is the former managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

Leave a Reply




Connecting While Maintaining Distance

I started a gratitude journal at the end of February. Around that time, I began to realize that I was focusing too much on...

Philanthropic Response Fund Launched To Support Long Island Nonprofits

The Community Foundation will work closely with sector leaders to understand evolving needs and gaps in funding.

Spring Gardening Tips From Old Westbury Gardens 

If there is a silver lining to the ongoing pandemic, it is that many of us in self-isolation have much more opportunity to discover...

FCA Pays Virtual Visits To Isolated Long Island Seniors

Article By: Lisa Stern, AVP Senior and Adults Services, FCA The stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19 has increased the vulnerability of Long Island seniors....

A Lost But Not Forgotten Season For St. Mary’s

First it was postponed, then St. Mary’s Athletic Director Patrick Welsh got the call from the league—their girls basketball state semifinal game was canceled....

Get Updates Via Email

Enter your email to be updated with all the latest news and special announcements.