Press Release: 03/04/2016
The Essex Base Ball Organization (EBBO) is excited to enter its 15th straight season as a non-profit. The group plays base ball (two words) by the rules of 1864. This means using an original lemon-peel sewn ball that can be caught off one hop for an out; if the ball goes fair just once it becomes the defense’s responsibility; and of course, there were no gloves in 1864, just to name a few of the core differences. You can catch a game being played most every weekend from May through early October at the beautiful and historic Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm in Newbury, MA.
The league has expanded in many ways since 2002. EBBO now has two travel teams, the Essex Base Ball Club, and the Mechanic Base Ball Club of North Andover, which showcase some of the league’s best talent at events all over the country. This year EBBO has already been to a tournament founded by a former Essex player in Orlando, Florida. They will travel to New York to play the Brooklyn Atlantic’s on April 30th, following that up with a game against the Boston Beaneaters in Boston on May 7th, then they will be back at the Farm to host a celebration of the 150th anniversary of baseball’s first organized team, the New York Knickerbockers on Father’s Day, June 19th. The following weekend, Saturday June 25th and 26th, on the road again, the EBBO will host the first New England Vintage Base Ball Festival in Cornish, Maine. On July 9th the league will host a team from Colorado at Georges Island in Boston Harbor, and all this before the Grand Ipswich Ale Fallfest September 10th, and the culminating league championship on September 24th, and last but not least, they will cap their season off with a fundraiser for breast cancer and the arts at the farm with “Jan’s Pitch” on Saturday October 1st before they pack it in for 2016.
Clearly, the members of the Essex Base Ball Organization love to play the game, but their passion for the vintage stems from a passion for history, and from the beginning, its goals have been to educate people on the history of the game and expose more people to the unique style of play in the 19th Century. In keeping with this mission, the organization hosts classes for children and has developed weeklong seminars teaching the history and fundamentals of 19th century baseball (both available by appointment). Additionally, the head of the league, Brian “Cappy” Sheehy will be holding a pair of scheduled lectures to start off the season, Tuesday March 8th at the Hampstead, NH Public Library, and Tuesday March 15th at the Edgewood Retirement Home, speaking on “Boston Baseball Before the Red Sox.”
As Essex Base Ball eagerly anticipates its fifteenth season at the Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm, they would like to extend a thank you to Historic New England, Ipswich Ale, and Georgetown Bank, but especially to all of the fans that have come out to support their games for the first 14 years. If you are interested in playing, umpiring, or becoming a sponsor, please do not hesitate to reach out to Brian Sheehy at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our website essexbaseball.wordpress.com. Meet you at the farm!