Monday, May 23, 2016

Baseball in Victorian times

In honour of Victoria Day, a look at Victorian baseball.

Some differences:
  • Players not allowed to overrun first base.
  • Pitching underhand.
  • Mound was 45 feet away.
  • Umpire stood to the side of home plate.
  • No one wore gloves. They weren't considered necessary.
  • Players were out if a ball was caught after one bounce.
  • 3 balls for a walk. It was not considered manly or honourable to take one.
  • Strike zone started below the shoulders.
  • Played in wool uniforms.
Check out this collection of Victorian Baseball Trade Cards.

The coolest thing about the latter part of this era was they let the girls play the boys! Women were first paid to play baseball in 1875.
In the 1870s, an American woman could not vote. She could not own property in her own name after marriage. But she could play ball -- as well as it could be played in an outfit that weighed as much as 30 pounds and included a floor-length skirt, underskirts, a long-sleeved, high-necked blouse, and high button shoes.
Bloomer Girls, like the one right, would travel around and challenge local men's teams. They played from the 1890s until 1934 - the rise of the minor league system taking away their market.

Oh look! Someone sliding into a bag in a skirt!

Enjoy your day off, everyone! Tomorrow we kick ass.