Vintage base ball tournament celebrates bicentennial

Jul 28, 2021 | Entertainment | 0 comments

Jonathan Franks, captain of the Spiegel Grove Squires, gets a hit during a game in 2019. The Squires are the host team for the State of Eight Presidents’ Cup vintage base ball tournament, which is Saturday, July 31, and Sunday, Aug. 1, at Spiegel Grove and Naderer Field in Fremont.

Vintage base ball teams across Ohio are coming to Fremont to compete in the State of Eight Presidents’ Cup vintage base ball tournament on Saturday, July 31, and Sunday, Aug. 1, at fields in Fremont.

The tournament, which brings together teams representing the regions from where each of Ohio’s eight presidents originate, is being played in honor of Sandusky County’s bicentennial. It will take place at Spiegel Grove, the grounds of the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, and at Naderer Field, 206 Sullivan Rd., Fremont. All games played on Sunday, Aug. 1, will take place at Spiegel Grove only.

The tournament schedule has been modified to allow for a double-elimination tournament. The schedule is specified below.

Admission is free. Attendees are asked to bring a chair or blanket for seating at both fields. Concessions will be offered at Spiegel Grove. The Sandusky County Bicentennial traveling museum also will be at Spiegel Grove throughout the tournament and open to visitors.

The Spiegel Grove Squires, the vintage base ball team at Hayes Presidential, are the hosts, as well as Hayes Presidential and the Sandusky County Bicentennial Committee.

The tournament will follow the rules of base ball in the 1860s, when it was first becoming an organized sport and spelled with two words. Players are called ballists, and they wear period-style uniforms and adopt the language of 19th-century base ball during their matches, as games were called during the 1860s.

The participating teams are: Alliance Crossing Rails, representing William McKinley; Tippecanoe Canal Jumpers, representing William Howard Taft; Cincinnati Red Stockings, representing William Henry Harrison; Clodbusters BBC, representing Benjamin Harrison; Cleveland Blues, representing Ulysses Grant; Akron Black Stockings, representing Warren G. Harding; Spiegel Grove Squires, representing Rutherford B. Hayes and James A. Garfield.

Due to the tournament being short one club, the Squires will represent Garfield in addition to Hayes. Garfield and Hayes were political allies. The bracket can be found online at:

The schedule, following the bracket:

Saturday, July 31

  • Noon – Tippecanoe Canal Jumpers vs. the Cleveland Blues at Spiegel Grove
  • Noon – Akron Black Stockings vs. the Clodbusters BBC at Naderer Field
  • 1:30 p.m. – Cincinnati Red Stockings vs. winner of the Canal Jumpers and Blues at Spiegel Grove
  • 1:30 p.m. – Spiegel Grove Squires vs. the Alliance Crossing Rails at Spiegel Grove
  • 3 p.m. – Winner of the Black Stockings and Clodbusters game vs. winner of the Squires and Crossing Rails game
  • 3 p.m. – Teams who lost the early games to play at Naderer Field.
  • 4:30 p.m. – Winners of the 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. winner’s bracket games
  • 4:30 p.m. – Winners of the 3 p.m. loser’s bracket game

Sunday, Aug. 1 – All games take place at Spiegel Grove

  • 9:30 a.m. – Game with teams that lost on Saturday
  • 11 a.m. – Game with team that wins the 9:30 a.m. game and team that wins the Saturday 4:30 p.m. loser’s bracket game
  • 12:30 p.m. – Winners of the 11 a.m. game
  • 2:30 p.m. – Championship game 1
  • 4 p.m. – Championship game 2 (if needed)

The Spiegel Grove Squires are sponsored by Wright Leather Works.

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