Three strikes, you’re out at the old ball game
But some other rules will be different in 1880s-style Labor Day set-to at Rock Ledge Ranch
Line drive over the shortstop's head… snagged on one hop by the left-fielder… Nice play! The batter's out!
There will be some slightly different rules for the Rock Ledge Ranch's old-fashioned Labor Day baseball game Monday, Sept. 6. The out-on-one-hop stipulation is one of several from the 1800s that have long since been erased but are being reinstated for the annual encounter at the historic ranch site.
Starting at 1 p.m., the nine-inning contest will pit Rock Ledge's Camp Creek Cloud Busters against the Colorado Territorial All Stars. Both teams will be decked out in 19th-century baseball-style uniforms. Other differences will include the umpire standing outside the baseline between home and first, no overhand pitching, players without gloves, and batters telling pitchers where to throw it. The one-hop rule generally was abandoned after 1864 “in favor of the more 'manly' fly-rule,” according to an “Early Baseball Rules” document provided by Rock Ledge Ranch.
Spectators can get involved in the action. The umpire may consult them if he's not sure of a call. The fans - called “cranks” back then - can also throw a live ball back to a fielder to help him make an out… or not.
Spicing up the event will be a Suffragette rally (not an uncommon event in the late 1800s, when Rock Ledge Ranch was new and women did not yet have the right to vote).
Admission to the game will be free with admission to the ranch that day. All four historic sites (American Indian site, Homestead Cabin, 1880 Rock Ledge farm, house and blacksmith shop and 1907 Orchard House) will be open before and after the game from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, $1 for ages 6-12 and no charge for 5 and under.
People are encouraged to bring blankets and picnics. Hot dogs, popcorn and old-fashion Sarsparilla will also be available.
The ranch is located in the Garden of the Gods south of Gateway Road. The city phone number for the Ranch is 578-6777.
Westside Pioneer Article from press release