Join Sadie and Scott Alberts of the Athletics for a presentation on 18th and 19th century ball games that influenced the invention of baseball.

April 19th at 12pm –  The Cynwyd Station Cafe and Tea Room
375 Conshohocken State Rd, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004

Games would include:

Stool Ball 12:00-12:30
Long Ball 12:30-1:00
Town Ball 1:00-2:00

All would be played with very soft balls, so no gloves will be required. We will provide all bats and other equipment. Come in your 19th century garb for extra kudos.

Scott Alberts is a native of Philadelphia and an amateur social historian. His best known project has been the reestablishment of the Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia in 2009. The Athletics recreate the game of “base ball” as it was played during the 1860s, competing in real games, with painstakingly reproduced uniforms & equipment against like-minded teams from around the country as members of the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League. Scott’s research has been particularly focused on the more obscure games in the baseball family and how these games fit into the lives of those who played them.

Stool Ball
First attested to in a document from 1450, an English folk game that is illustrative of the primitive origins of sports in general, and cricket in particular. Commonly played around Easter, the game is simple and easy for players of all ages. The game is played with a bat, ball, and a target (the stool) to be defended by the batter.

Long Ball
The contemporary term for a family of games still played throughout continental Europe that had an important influence on the development of baseball in America. The earliest recorded European bat & ball game in America was a long ball game. Hit the ball as far as you can, then try to run to the safe zone without getting struck by the (very soft) ball.

Town Ball
We will be playing the Philadelphia variety of this American game that was produced from the blending of English and other European games in the New World. Similar to rounders and baseball, but much simpler and fun for all ages. We’ve taught this game to kids many times, and the trick is getting them to stop playing it!