By Sara-Megan Walsh
“No gloves, no steroids” is the motto of the Atlantic Base Ball Club, which has a classic approach to playing America’s favorite pastime.
Smithtown’s vintage baseball club team hosted a two-day festival at the Smithtown Historical Society’s Atlantic Park off East Main Street May 5 and 6. The Atlantic Base Ball Club is a recreation of the 19th century Brooklyn Atlantics, wearing period-appropriate jerseys while remaining committed to playing the game by 1864 rules. The original team was organized Aug. 14, 1855, and played home games on the Capitoline Grounds in Brooklyn.
Spectators quickly noticed the hand-made baseballs are larger and made of rubber, and the wooden bats come in different lengths according to a player’s preference. Under the vintage rules, the catcher and field players don’t wear mitts, but a batter will be called out if a fly ball is caught on the first bounce. Runners must be careful not to overrun first base, or they can be called out. Those interested can find a full explanation of the rules changes on the team’s website at www.brooklynatlantics.org/rules.php.
The Atlantic team is 7-2 at the start of its 2018 season with games running through October. Admission is free. The schedule of upcoming home games is:
May 20 @ 11 a.m. Versus Talbot Fairplays
June 9 @ 11 a.m. Double header versus Old Dutch Day, Providence Grays
June 30 @ 11 am. Double header versus New Brunswick Liberty
July 14 @ 11 a.m. Versus Red Onion BBC
Sept. 15 [day-long] Smithtown Heritage Fair event
Oct. 27 @ 11 a.m. Annual ABBC Scrimmage
For those interested in attending, all games are held at Smithtown Historical Society’s Atlantic Park on Franklin Arthur Farm at 239 East Main Street in Smithtown.