Vintage game at Fort Mackinac pays homage to 'base ball'

Associated Press

Mackinac Island — Players paying homage to how baseball once was played are expected to take the field behind historic Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island.

The Fort Mackinac Never Sweats will take on the Rochester Grangers Saturday evening in the annual vintage “base ball” game which will be played barehanded and by gentlemen’s rules.

Soldiers at the fort used the field as far back as the 1870s, and local residents and summer workers played baseball at the “fort ball grounds” throughout the 20th century, according to Mackinac State Historic Parks.

“The soldiers really did play ‘base ball’ on the field out there,” said Phil Porter, Mackinac State Historic Parks director emeritus and co-founder and shortstop of the current Never Sweats.

The vintage game got its start in 2003.

“It’s a fun way to share another chapter of Fort Mackinac’s really interesting part of history,” Porter added.