Vintage baseball game back at Parkhurst Field Saturday

GLOVERSVILLE — Baseball fans and history buffs will have a chance to see America’s favorite pastime played as it was in the past, with late 1800s era rules, uniforms and equipment, during the sixth annual Vintage Baseball Game and Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame inductions at Parkhurst Field on Saturday at noon.

This year’s Vintage Baseball Game will see the Mountain Athletic Club from Fleischmanns face off against the local A., J. & G Team comprised of former Gloversville Little Leaguers, ranging in age from 16 to 60, who played at the historic Parkhurst Field in their youth.

Both teams will be wearing turn of the century uniforms while playing by the Major League Baseball Rules that were in place in 1895.

According to Mike Hauser, founder of the Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame in Gloversville, the Vintage Baseball Game is the only event of its kind taking place in Upstate New York, honoring the history of Parkhurst Field as it enters its 111th year of continuous use.

“The Vintage Game is something unique that has never been done in our area and serves as a way to help play up the history of Parkhurst Field, which initially opened in 1906 as a professional ballpark,” Hauser said by email Wednesday. “It’s like stepping back in time and being at a turn of the century game.”

In addition to wearing period authentic uniforms, Hauser said players and umpires use period authentic equipment, including gloves, balls and bats.

“The gloves are like playing bare handed,” Hauser said.

Under the 1895 rules batters call the zone they want the pitch delivered to, either high or low, and seven pitches equal one strike.

“It is a combination of watching a real baseball game and watching a documentary [or the] history channel,” Hauser said.

Between innings of the Vintage Baseball Game, four local baseball legends will be inducted into the Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame.

Set to be inducted this year are Charlie Fredericks, Jack Sanford, Tom Foster and John “Chick” Musillo.

“All four inductees were Johnstown and Gloversville natives, who got started out playing on our local school yard fields and went on to pitch at the professional level,” Hauser said. “All four came back to Gloversville to work and raise their families.”

Sanford was a long time gym teacher in Mayfield and Foster was a long time gym teacher in the Gloversville Enlarged School District. Sanford and Foster started the Flairs Gymnastics team that trained and produced over 25 athletes who went on to receive National Collegiate Athletic Association Gymnastics Scholarships in Division I.

Sanford, Foster and Musillo will be present during the induction ceremony. Fredericks, who passed away in 1982, will be represented by members of his family.

Hauser said Saturday’s game and induction will celebrate the past and future history of Parkhurst Field, formerly known as A., J. & G. Park and current home to Gloversville Little League.

“Dozens of future and former Major League players played there in the minor leagues of professional baseball starting in 1906, including many Hall of Famers. It is considered to be the only remaining field in the world that the real Archibald ‘Moonlight Doc’ Graham played on that is still in existence. ‘Doc’ Graham was the central figure in the movie ‘Field of Dreams,'” Hauser said.

Hauser said Saturday’s event will give baseball and history fans alike a chance to see a quality level of play and a firsthand history lesson at one of the world’s oldest baseball fields.

“Parkhurst Field is one of the five oldest continuously used baseball fields in the world,” Hauser said. “It is also the oldest baseball grounds used by a Little League program in the world and the only Little League program in the world that can say they play on grounds that were once home to professional baseball.”

The sixth annual Vintage Baseball Game and Fulton County Baseball & Sports Hall of Fame inductions will take place at Parkhurst Field on Saturday at noon. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.

The Parkhurst Field Museum, which chronicles the history of the facility since 1906, will be open all day. For more information, visit www.fchof.com or contact Mike Hauser at (518) 725-5565.

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