Local athletes go back in time to play ‘vintage baseball’ in Manitou Springs

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — Dozens of local athletes went back in time — to 1864 to be exact — to play some vintage baseball in Manitou Springs and preserve the history of 19th century diamond play in Colorado.

Stepping up to the plate at Roger Maestas Field, the Denver Rio Grande Reds and the Manitou Springs Heritage Center Lungers even dressed the part, donning traditional outfits for the time period.

The two teams abide by 1864 rules, including no mits or helmets.

However, they do play with a much softer safety pitch ball.

“We’ve taken the original covering with the two seams off and we’ve put our own covering on it that’s made of a softer leather and it’s actually a four-seam that comes to a point,” said Stephen Castellani with the Denver Rio Grande Reds.

In 1864 it was easier for players to catch the ball because it was made out of horse leather. Even with that, players say they see more hand injuries like sprains and jammed fingers.


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