How can one improve on the nation’s favorite past time? By taking it old school, that’s how. That is exactly what the Tennessee Association of Vintage Baseball (TAVBB) has done.
Apparently, the organization has expanded since this video was produced. The TAVBB now includes ten teams, which are spread out around the state of Tennessee. I like the fact that they attempt a full impersonation of “vintage” baseball rather than just play the game. They include period correct uniforms, equipment (or lack thereof, this is bare knuckle ball), and rules. Of course, it is sort of hard to call the games played in the TAVBB, an actual re-enactment. Teams in the organization do not re-enact specific games so the winner of each competition is never predetermined. This is an aspect of living history not shared by War Re-enactors (Rev. War, Civil War, WWI & II, etc.).
Something else about the organization that I find alluring is the choice of venues. The TAVBB compete on a wide assortment of historical sites such as: The Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN; Historic Ramsey House in Strawberry Plains, TN; and the Old Polo Fields behind the 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Orglethorpe, GA. Each venue has a connection to the past that goes beyond baseball. Many of these venues have a rich Civil War history associated with them. Granted, the Civil War and Baseball go together like peas and carrots. One thing I did notice is that there was a noticeable lack of black participants in the TAVBB. According to the organization’s FAQ page, the TAVBB is inclusive of all genders, creeds, and races. One can rest assured that they are not reenacting that legacy of baseball.