Vintage Baseball Game Hits Riverside

Vintage Baseball Game Hits Riverside

Vintage Baseball Game Hits Riverside


Sunday, July 21, 2019


Big Ball Park




The crack of an old time wooden bat against a “lemon peal” baseball will be heard again in Riverside’s Big Ball Park on Sunday, July 21 at 1:00 PM. This vintage baseball game, free to the public, will feature the Chicago Salmon versus the Deep River Grinders of Lake County, Indiana. Both teams will play by baseball rules prevalent in the 1860s.

“It’s a fitting tribute to Riverside’s 150th Anniversary,” says Cathy Maloney, chair of Riverside’s Sesquicentennial Committee. “Frederick Law Olmsted designed the Village in 1869 with Big Ball Park as an important green space. He advocated outdoor recreation.”

Vintage baseball is a popular sport with clubs located across the country. Players use period-appropriate equipment, such as the “lemon peal” ball, a four-piece hand-stitched dark leather ball. “Both the Chicago Salmon and the Grinders use 1858 rules,” says Gary Schiappacasse of the Chicago Salmon. “We’ll give an explanation of the rules before the game and introduce all the players.”

Games run nine innings and typically take about two hours. Both teams belong to the Vintage Baseball Association, a national group whose purpose is to preserve and enjoy America’s early baseball games. It is perhaps fitting that the match-up be played in Riverside since one of Riverside’s founders, David Gage, was president of the Chicago White Stockings in 1870.

Everyone is invited to bring a blanket or a chair and watch this classic game. Sponsors of this special game are the Village of Riverside Parks and Recreation Department, the Frederick Law Olmsted Society, and Riverside Foods.

Information on the baseball teams (Both teams also have Facebook pages):
Chicago Salmon:
Deep River Grinders:
Vintage Baseball Association: