South Orange Takes Us Out to the Ballgame, Old-Style

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Who’s on first? It could be one of the crowd favorite South Orange Villagers or one of the famous Flemington Neshock, playing at Cameron Field for one historic game on Saturday, Sept. 20 at noon.

Sponsored by The Gateway South Orange, Cameron Field will be the site of a Historic Baseball Game, a 19th-century-style game featuring old-time uniforms and rules and held on the same field where Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig once played.

Cameron Field signThe game celebrates both the centennial of Cameron Field and the joy of vintage baseball.

It’s all a part of the epic “Stay and Play Weekend,” an entire weekend of fun, educational and entertaining activities hitting the town on Sept. 20 and 21. It kicks off with the Newstead 5K on Saturday morning, continues with the historic baseball game and then Eaglemania at SOPAC that night; and it wraps up with Newcomer’s Day, an art exhibit at the Pierro Gallery and of course — PlayDay South Orange.

South Orange Recreation and the South Orange Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) are presenting the Historic Baseball Game, billed as “part game, part show, part history lesson and ALL fun”!

The HPC will host the Flemington team, the town’s first for a baseball game played by the rules and customs of 1864.

It’s the “bound game,” explains “Brooklyn Brad Shaw” of the Flemington team, whose rules are dictated by the Vintage Baseball Association. Players will not wear gloves, and will be garbed in the style of the 1860s. Teams can replace players throughout the game, so onlookers are likely to see many familiar South Orange residents at bat.

A baseball enthusiast and historian, Shaw will lead the crowd and the two teams in “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and will perform “Casey at the Bat.”

“I have been doing Casey for more than 10 years and have done the poem for thousands of people and for ESPN,” explains Shaw.

“South Orange has a rich history of…baseball,” said Trustee Steven Schnall at Monday’s Board of Trustee meeting.

Schnall announced at the meeting that the granddaughter of Larry Doby — the first American League black ball player, who played for the Cleveland Indians — will be attending the event. “She will share thoughts and stories her grandfather shared with her about the importance of baseball and how it is relevant to our diverse community,” said Schnall in an email.

Pre-game events will begin at noon, with the first pitch thrown at 1:30 p.m. Don’t miss it!



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