Each season the museum’s vintage base ball teams unpack their woolen uniforms, brown balls and double-knobbed bats to play in Silver Base Ball Park, the first and finest replica 19th-century base ball park in the country.
They are carrying on a long tradition of base ball (yes, that's how is was spelled in the 19th century) in the Rochester area.
For three months the park is filled with all the ambiance of play in the 1860s—no gloves or other protective equipment, wooden scoreboard manned by young lads, bleachers, press box, tally-keeper's perch, top-hatted umpires and hawkers selling peanuts and birch beer.
Games are generally scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays June through September.
The program includes two women's teams - the Belles and Porters (nee Priscilla Porter's Astonishing Ladies Base Ball Club who hearken back to the women's barnstorming clubs of the era). More enthusiastic play you will not find.
The highlight of the season is the National Silver Ball Tournament Aug. 9-11 when vintage clubs from around the Northeast, Midwest and Canada visit the replica park to compete in a round-robin tourney, hosted by Genesee Country Village & Museum.
Because the museum is home to the nation's most comprehensive 19th-century base ball program, the tournament has become a national fixture.
The league season concludes in September with playoff games followed by the league championship game on Oct. 5. Admission to all league games is included with the museum day pass.
More on vintage base ball rules and slang of the day.
GCVM is open 10 am-4 pm Tues.-Sun.
Closed Mondays except for May 27, Sept. 2 & Oct. 14