by Lisa Tome
You can now find your place in Rising Sun history.
It could be first base or maybe the outfield.
The Rising Sun Base Ball Club, which recaptures 19th century competitive base ball from days gone by, is recruiting players for the 2018 season. According to Greg Rodenbaugh, team organizer, players are needed to form the club for the season, which begins April 30.
The original Rising Sun Base Ball Club started in 1866. The team relaunched in 2012. Rising Sun Base Ball Club is a member of the Mid Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League. Their competitors include teams from Maine to Virginia. "It's not your standard baseball. It's a competitive sports league with 300 teams," said Rodenbaugh.
This season, the club will host six events - weekend at Dove Valley Winery in June and the Mason Dixon Cup, which will be held in October at Calvert Regional Park. The club is scheduled to play 14 events this year between April 29 and October 7.
There will be home team tournaments played locally. There will also be a weekend trip for an old fashioned baseball tournament in Cooperstown, New York. Other festivals in which the locals participate will be held in Old Bethpage, New York and Gettysburg, Pa. Home games are played at Dove Valley Winery and Calvert Regional Park.
Rodenbaugh said the games are played according to rules and customs that were established in the 1860s. That includes period appropriate uniforms and equipment.
The current roster includes players ranging in age from 22 to 62. Women have played with the team in the past but Rodenbaugh explained that during the 1860s, women and men played in separate leagues. "We maintain a 20 man plus roster. We'd allow women to play but it's a men's league acclimated to men. We have 90 foot bases. To be historically accurate, women played on their own," he said.
"Our ballists come from all walks of life. We have teachers, carpenters, bankers, plumbers, scientists, salesmen and everywhere in between," said Rodenbaugh.
Many of the players are local but the Rising Sun team also include members from Harford County, Baltimore City, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
"The time commitment during the season is usually two or three days a month. All instruction and guidance will come from experienced members of the club," said Rodenbaugh. He said the team is also in need of support members including umpire, scorekeeper, and other team officials. Anyone who joins the team is asked to commit to participating 50-75 percent of the time. "We want a nice heavy rotation," he said.
"I'm 52 years old. There is running involved. You should be in physical shape," said Rodenbaugh.
In order to play there is a financial commitment. Dues for club members is $100 per year. That pays for insurance and equipment. Uniforms cost $85 each for the shirt, which is custom made. Hats cost $35. Rodenbaugh said the pants cost $20 and can be found at Walmart.
An informational meeting will be held Sunday, February 18 from 2:30-4 p.m. at Fair Hill Inn Greenhouse and Biergarden, 3370 Singerly Road, Elkton. If you have an interest but cannot attend the meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the website risingsunbbc.com, find them on social media or call or text Rodenbaugh at 443-206-2534.
The club has local affiliations with Cecil County Parks and Recreation, Dove Valley Winery, Rising Sun Historical Preservation Commission, Fair Hill Inn, The Town of Rising Sun, and Oxford Main Street.
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