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Town ball by 1864 rules

Lewes and Diamond State vintage teams will meet later for state championship
July 17, 2019

Under sweltering conditions July 14, the Diamond State Vintage Base Ball Club from Delaware City topped the Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club 9-8 to force a third game to decide the state championship in the near future.

Lewes plays its games in the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League under 1864 rules. Although the game of 150 years ago resembles today’s game, there are several obvious rule changes. The first major difference is that players do not wear gloves.

Pitchers throw underhand, batters are called strikers, strikes are called when a striker does not attempt to swing the bat after a warning from the umpire, and balls – including foul balls – can be caught on the bounce for an out. The umpire, known as an arbiter, stands to the side and not behind the catcher, who wears no protective gear.

Town ball in Lewes dates back to a game between Lewes and Milton on March 1, 1874.