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Chicago Salmon Celebrate Their 21st Season

Welcome to the website of the Chicago Salmon - Vintage Base Ball Club.

We play a vintage style of base ball dating back to 1858 and are affiliated with the Vintage Base Ball Association. We have a roster consisting of players from around the Chicagoland area and have matches against other area teams and “barnstorm” on the road to Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. If you are interested in playing for the Chicago Salmon Vintage Base Ball Club - contact us.

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The Chicago Salmon use the base ball used in 1858.In the 1860 Beadle's Dime Base Ball Player: Compendium of the Game book, the first section talks about the ball that was used during the game. It gave specifications of the ball, based on weight, circumference and materials.. Now, we also know that some clubs that were formed with big hitters, might try to sneak in a ball that was a bit harder than some, so they could knock the ball all over the field, and some clubs, who maybe relied on speed and short hits, might have preferred a ball that was a bit softer.

The design of an 1860 base ball is a bit different than a modern ball, in that they used a single piece of leather, in what is called a "lemon peel" design. You can see how the stitching all comes together at one point.

What I have pictured here, are 4 base balls that various clubs will have to choose from during their vintage games. There may be others, but these are the most common that I have seen.

The far left, from the Vintage Base Ball Factory, is bright white, with black stitching. It is a very hard ball. Travels well.

The next ball is from 19c Base Ball, white with white stitching. it is not quite as hard as a Factory ball, and has a bit softer leather cover, and tends to have a bit more bounce to it.

The third ball is from Phoenix Bats. It is a cream colored ball, with similar color stitching. It has a hard feel to the cover, but the ball doesn't travel quite as far as a Factory ball in our experience, but plays well.

The ball on the far right, many of our fans will recognize, is a hand made ball, made to better replicate what the ball looked like in 1860. It uses a softer, more supple leather, but travels just as far, if not further, than any of the other base balls.

Each ball has it's merits, but The Roosters prefer our own hand made base balls, not only for the feel and game play, bur for the historical feature of clubs using hand made base balls, since in 1860, factories to make these balls had not really started up yet, and many clubs did have players make their own base balls, just like Doc Adams did for his Knickerbocker club, and a few others clubs that needed base balls.

So, next time you are at a vintage game, check out the ball ! Learn a little bit more about the game. Ask a question or two..

For the love of the game !
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The Chicago Salmon use the base ball used in 1858.

Wouldn't it be great for the Chicago Salmon to play not only at Navin Field in Detroit but also Hamtramck Stadium another park that Ty Cobb played ball in.Detroit Stars owner John Roesink (right) and Detroit Tigers star Ty Cobb talk a little Turkey, circa 1925. ... See MoreSee Less

Wouldnt it be great for the Chicago Salmon to play not only at Navin Field in Detroit but also Hamtramck Stadium another park that Ty Cobb played ball in.

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been there, done that professor.