This annual historical base ball game is played at the softball field on Concord Avenue next to the school and church. The Ohio Historical Society Muffins challenge the Put-in-Bay Mossbacks every year using the original rules of base ball. Fun Fact: historically, “base ball” was two words! This family friendly game begins at 2:00 PM and island visitors are encouraged to attend.

The local Mossbacks dress in white shirts, blue ribbon ties and blue and white ball caps from Abner Doubleday’s era and play the game without mitts. It’s a gentleman’s game with no griping, arguing or “cussin'” allowed. The ball that is used is oversized and similar in a way to a softball. Fun Fact: the batting team pitches to themselves!

The Old Tyme Base Ball games are sponsored by Miller Boat Line. Miller also purchases hot dogs and soft drinks for the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society to sell during the event. This is purely for charity and to keep people fed and hydrated on a fun late summer afternoon.

The games are played at the ball field on Concord Avenue. This is also where the local island softball teams play during their summer softball series which many of the Put-in-Bay bars and restaurants field a team for. There is bleacher seating but locals recommend bringing a camp chair so you can enjoy the games from a shady spot. You can even hang out on your golf cart at the edges of the field!

Historical Base Ball Rules and Customs of 1860

  • The ball is pitched underhanded from anywhere behind the pitcher’s point.
  • The striker must stand on or straddle a line through home plate.
  • Pitches are not usually judged as balls or strikes, but the umpire may call a strike if the batter persists in not swinging at well-pitched balls.
  • The ball is judged fair or foul according to where it first touches the ground (people, structures, and trees don’t count as the ground).
  • Articles of clothing such as a hat may not be used to catch a ball.
  • An out is declared if:
    • A hit ball is caught on the fly or on the first bound, including foul tips to the catcher.
    • A striker misses swinging at three pitched balls and the third strike is caught by the catcher on the fly or bound. If the catcher misses the pitch, the umpire will declare the ball to be fair and the batter must make his run to first base. Foul tips do not count as strikes.
    • A ball arrives in the hands of a baseman whose foot is upon the base prior to a base runner who is required to make that base.
    • A ball in the hands of an adversary touches a base runner not safely on his base.
    • A base runner does not return to his original base before a caught fly ball reaches the same base.
    • A base runner overruns any base (including first) and is touched by the ball in the hands of an adversary.
  • A base runner may not advance on any foul ball and must return to his original base. He may be tagged out if not there after the ball has been settled in the hands of the pitcher.
  • A base runner may advance at his own risk on a fair ball caught on the bound under historical base ball rules.
  • A base runner may advance after a fair fly ball is caught provided he has tagged his most recent base after the ball is in the hands of the fielder.
  • A base runner must run for the next base if the ball is hit, and the force remains on even if an out is made behind the advancing runner.

*** This is a tentative date ***