It was during the Civil War that men from Cecil County, who fought on both sides of the conflict, learned the sport of Base Ball (and yes, it was originally two words). In 1866 the Cecil Base Ball Club of Chesapeake City played it’s first match and that year won the local championship, defeating the Olympic Club of Middletown, DE 38-9. Now the Chesapeake City Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to be sponsoring the Cecil Club on home turf and it’s generating lots of excitement in this historic village that already relishes and preserves it’s 19th century beginnings.
The Cecil Base Ball Club of Chesapeake City is set up just as it would have been in 1866, as a social and athletic club that shows the public how base ball was played in the 19th century. The Chesapeake City Cecils are the reigning 2011 Maryland state champions, hoping to retain the title for another year. They play between 25 and 30 games per year from April until the end of October against other clubs up and down the east coast from Maine to Virginia.
According to the 1864 rules that our League follows, the ball is pitched underhand, there are typically no fences, and the ball can be played off of one bounce to get a striker out. No gloves are used, and the uniforms are vintage. Base Ball was originally a hitting game, so the pitcher tries carefully to get the ball over the base and there are few strike outs. Most importantly, the game continues to be played with the original spirit of gentlemanly sportsmanship.
Following an excellent exhibition game on August 11, the team then blistered the Lewes Delaware team in a two game match, winning 24 - 4 and 24-3. The final game of this season is scheduled for September 23 at noon. Games are played at the elementary school field on 3rd Street in Chesapeake City. The players will be happy to stop during the game and explain the rules to newcomers. Hot dogs and refreshments will be available. Bring your lawn chairs and cameras and get ready for a fun time!