Learn about baseball’s Civil War connection Saturday
Did Abner Doubleday, a Union General and Cooperstown, N.Y. native, invent the game of baseball? Why were there so many different rule books for the game and strange rules that included no foul territory, running outside the baselines, and pegging a batter with the ball to record an out? How did American baseball spread across the continent to places like St. Louis and Chicago, far away from where it was created on the East Coast?
These questions and many more will be answered in a unique program titled “Baseball and the Civil War” presented at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center by Site Manager Matthew Young and volunteer Jim Reifinger from 3-4 p.m. on Saturday. The program will illustrate the direct links between America’s deadliest conflict and our national pastime.
“We are very lucky to partner with the Down East Wood Ducks minor league baseball team on this project,” Young said. “In many ways, the game that Civil War soldiers and sailors played was very similar to the ones we see being played at Grainger Stadium. But there are some differences.”
He continued, “For example, a fly ball could still be considered an out if it was caught after one bounce. Remember, the fielders don’t have any gloves or mitts. They were using their bare hands on defense.”
Reifinger, a museum volunteer and long-tie baseball fan, helped develop the program and will assist in the presentation.
Attendees who present a ticket for Saturday’s Wood Ducks game will be admitted to the museum and the event free of charge.
The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, 100 N. Queen St., Kinston, is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission fees are: adults $5, senior/active military $4, Students (ages 3-12) $3, ages 2 and under free.
For additional information, please call Rachel Kennedy at (252) 526-9600 x222. The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center is within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.