Entries Tagged as 'Vermilion Voles Base Ball'

Vermilion Voles release 2011 schedule

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The vintage base ball team Vermilion Voles based in Danville, Illinois have released their 2011 schedule.

I am happy to see that not only is their schedule full (they have 15 days scheduled and 5 home dates) but it is quite imminent.  They will start playing next month.  Their first game is on May 8 at Springfield. 

If you want to see them at their home park, you’ll only have to wait till May 22nd when they play their rivals the Rock Springs Ground Squirrels. 

Good Luck this season, Voles!!

Guide to vintage base ball

For those who have heard about vintage base ball or seen me post articles about our local team, the Vermilion Voles and not really have a clue what it’s all about, here’s your answer. 

The Voles have posted an all-encompassing guide to vintage base ball.  It’s complete with the 1858 rules that vintage ballplayers adhere to, a glossary of game terms so that you’ll fit in when you watch a game and even photos of some of the vintage base ball teams playing the game. 

The guide was written by Dave “Beans” Heim of the St Louis Unions.  I’ve been a fan for three or four years and still found the guide quite informational.  Well done!

Here is a direct link to the guide in pdf format

Voles show the cranks a grand time

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The first ace is put up on the scoreboard.  The Voles are ahead!


On Saturday, the family and i went to see the Vermilion Voles take on the Deep River Grinders in some vintage base ball action. 


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Voles’ captain Jim Knoblauch who also took on the role of the arbiter


Seems to me that Voles’ captain Jim Knoblauch has been cracking the whip during practice because the Voles looked very sharp.  They won Saturday’s game 9-1.  They tossed the horsehide with ease in the field, making some really impressive plays. 

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Hurler Shawn Lee tossing his nasty stuff


Pitching for the Voles was Baseball Zealot bud, Shawn Lee.  Known as “the General” (that’s funny to me given Shawn’s easy-going nature), he took advantage of the good defense and kept the Grinders to one ace, a four-bagger that got lost in the weeds.

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A Deep River Grinder striker rounding third as Voles fielders look for the ball in the weeds


No doubt, Shawn cursed me after that one since I probably jinxed him.  Just the half-inning before, he and i were talking and I asked if any homeruns were ever hit. Not often, he said, “they would have to get lost in the weeds”

But that would be the only ace the Voles would give up and they would win handily 9-1.  Shawn even contributed three hits to the cause. 

The Deep River Grinders who hail from Hobart, Indiana are frequent competitors of the Voles and I’m sure there is a friendly rivalry between the two teams.  That said, the important thing from the cranks’ (fans’) perspective was that a good game was played by both teams and a good time was had.

I have a few more photos from Saturday’s game between the Vermilion Voles and the Deep River Grinders on the Photo Gallery (not as many as I’d like though as my camera card became corrupt and some photos I took didn’t come out).

Great job by the Voles and good luck next time Grinders!  For the Voles’ future schedule, see their website

Vermilion Voles vintage base ball has two home games this weekend

240 This weekend, the Vermilion Voles play their first two home game of 2010 at Kennekuk County Park.  The Voles are the local vintage base ball team, playing by the rules of 1858. 

Saturday’s game is against their rivals Deep River Grinders.  On Sunday, they play the St Louis Unions.  Their schedule doesn’t specify but I believe the games start at 1pm or so  the games start at 2pm. 

Check out the Vermilion Voles website for directions and other info.  PS… they’re on Facebook too.

If you want to get a sense of what a vintage base ball game is all about, I did a pretty good write-up when I went to the Uncle Joe Cannon’s Jamboree Tournament in 2008 complete with photos.

So if you are in the East Central Illinois area, stop by for some good ol’ fashioned base ball fun.

[Update] I saw Voles captain Jim Knoblauch (pictured above) in the local paper today.  They had him list his ten favorite baseball players.  My favorite was Chuck Knoblauch “because his name looked so cool in the box score”. 

To be honest, it took two seconds for that to sink in.  I guess only because Jim pronounces the ‘K”.

[Update] On Sunday, it’s a doublehheader.  Twice the fun!

Uncle Joe Cannon’s Jamboree vintage base ball Tournament- August 22

I had lunch with Shawn Lee today.  Shawn is the web person and occasional ballist for our local vintage base ball team, the Vermilion Voles. 

Aside from discussing what’s ailing major league baseball today, we talked vintage base ball.  Shawn reminded me that the annual Uncle Joe Cannon’s Jamboree Tournament is coming up.  For those in the East Central Illinois area, it’s a great chance to see some great vintage base ball (and lots of it!). 

This year, they’ll be having it at the Voles’ usual home park at beautiful Kennekuk State Park. The tournament will take place on August 22 at noon.  The Voles will be hosting the Chicago Salmon, Rock Spring Squirrels, St Louis Perfectos (and no doubt their bright red stockings). 


Some Chicago Salmon players taken at the 2008 Jamboree

I went to the Uncle Joe’s Jamboree in 2008 and had a blast.  I did a write up and posted some photos

If you’re interested, please come.  The teams love a crowd and really make try to get the spectators involved by speaking to them and informing them about how the game of base ball was played in 1858.

You can find more info (including their schedule) on the Voles’ web site.  

Vermilion Voles announce 2009 schedule

The Vermilion Voles, the local vintage base ball team, have come out with their schedule for this year.  You can find it on the Voles’ web site.

The Voles’ season begins on the road on May 31 playing the Fort Clark Pioneers at Edwards, Illinois.  Their first game at their home park at Kennekuk State Park outside Danville, Illinois, will be June 20 and will be against their friendly rivals the Deep River Grinders.

And mark your calendars for August 22.  That’s the date for the annual Uncle Joe Cannon’s Jamboree at Kennekuk.

Wearing their Vintage pride

On Saturday at the second annual Uncle Joe Cannon’s Base Ball Jamboree, I got a couple shots of some of the tee shirts that fans from the visiting vintage base ball teams wear.  Quite creative. 

This lady crank (that’s the vintage base ball term for fan) was rooting for the St Louis Unions.  I love their slogan.

The Chicago Salmon were done before anyone (having defeated all three other teams) so many ditched their 1858 outfits in favor of cooler tee shirts.  Their official shirts had a pretty cool sentiment (click for larger version if you can’t read it). 

Full report of 2nd annual Uncle Joe Cannon’s Base Ball Jamboree

More photos of 2nd annual Uncle Joe Cannon’s Base Ball Jamboree

Photos of Uncle Joe Cannon’s Base Ball Jamboree


Saturday, my friend Brando and I went to the Uncle Joe Cannon’s Base Ball Jamboree at Danville Stadium.  We saw five hours of glorious (and maybe not so glorious) vintage base ball.  Either way, we had a blast!

It was Brando’s first time at a vintage base ball game.  It does take some getting used to some of the rules.  The most prevalent ones being:

  • the batter is out if the fielder catches the ball on one bounce runners cannot lead off, steal, slide, and the batter may be tagged if he overruns first base.
  • infielders (except for the rover) must play on their base till the pitch is thrown.
  • no walks and strikes are called only when the batter swings and misses.

The Jamboree Participants

The four teams participating in today’s event were (links go to the team’s respective web sites):

It was a round robin tournament where each tournament where each team would play the other once.  The tournament began on time at 11;00 with the host team Voles taking on the Salmon.

I’ve never been much good for remembering scores at vintage base ball events.  To me, that’s not the attraction of the game.  I suppose that’s a good thing when the Voles, the hosts and the team I follow, give up 17 runs in the first three innings of the first game against the mighty Chicago Salmon.  The Salmon had a knack for hitting line drives that just wouldn’t bounce up so the Voles fielders could catch them on the first bounce.  The game was thankfully called via the mercy rule.   To their credit, the Voles were playing with many of their squad gone.  More Voles showed up later for their games against the Juniors and the Unions.

Before we get to more photos, I would like to thank Brando for coming with me for the day.  It made the day that much more fun.  Also thanks to host team captain Jim Knoblauch who doubled as arbiter for much of the day.  It’s my guess that a lot of the planning for the day fell on him, too.  Great job!

Also, thanks to tally-keeper Ed “Hambone” Hamilton and alternate arbiter Robert Hous both who did a excellent job. Oh, and thanks to Jim’s wife Joyce who scored me a tournament pin (you see a scanned image of it at the top of this post).  The pins were handed out to the players but she was real nice and gave me one too.

And thanks to the players too!

Some more photos (you can see a whole bunch more at the Photo Gallery):

The two faces of Voles’ team captain Jim Knoblauch


…and later, arbiter.

A few grim faced gentleman who were members of the Chicago Salmon.  They were actually nice and were a heckuva ball team.  They won all three of their games.

The Chicago Salmon men were a great team and all but they don’t fool me.  This woman was the real boss. She would sit in their dugout and fan herself.  With her sharp tongue, she would yell encouragements to the Salmon players and sometimes tell the arbiter how she thought things should be run.

My buddy Brando striking a pose with the bat they use in vintage base ball.


A close up of the bat label (click to enlarge).

Hey, there’s Zealot friend (and Voles’ webmaster) Shawn “General” Lee as hurler for the Voles against the New Baden Juniors!

He also drove in a run with a two-base hit in that game.  When I gave him congrats on that after the game, self-deprecating Shawn pointed out that he was probably responsible for nine of New Baden’s eleven runs.  oops.  Nice hit anyway, Shawn!

The look of intensity on this Vole ballist as he runs to first base is amazing.

The Unions catch a New Baden runner in a pickle.

A Vole hurler was hit squarely on the chest by a hit ball during the New Baden contest.  Within a minute, he was up and tossin’ the onion once again.


New Baden players salute with the traditional “Huzzah” at the end of the game.

Once more, there are more photos at the Baseball Zealot Photo Gallery.  Tons of photos.

(8/25/08) As an added bonus, I’ve just added a (slightly jerky) video of the Vermilion Voles introducing themselves before their game with the New Baden Juniors.  You can see it here.

Vintage Base Ball: Voles vs Ground Squirrels- Battle of the Rodents

Today my family went to see the local vintage base ball team, the Vermilion Voles, take on friendly rivals Rock Springs Ground Squirrels at beautiful Kennekuk Park outside Danville, Illinois.  It seems lately, it’s hard to find a parking spot at their ball field.  That’s a pleasant inconvenience because I know people are coming out to watch the Voles.

When we got there midway through the first game, the Voles were unfortunately down 9-3.  They did mount a rally in the seventh and last inning and put three aces across the plate to make it interesting but lost 9-6.

We thought we might get a chance to see a Voles win in game 2 when they broke a 4-4 tie in the 6th frame and made it 5-4.  Alas, the Rock Springs Ground Squirrels scored a run to tie it in the last inning.  Playing in extras, Rock Springs won it in the bottom of the 8th on a single ace.

For a hurler, Rock Springs had a member of the fairer gender.

Lately, Voles captain Jim Knoblauch who normally is the arbiter for the games, has taken to putting on a uniform and doing his part for the Voles.

A Rock Springs player crosses home plate and scores an ace.

Rita “Hustle” Hostetler may not be the best hitter on the Voles team but she’s probably the friendliest (even to the opposition).

Jim “Weed Eater” Knoblach knocks a two-base hit late in the second game.

Tally-keeper Ed “Hambone” Hamilton proves his versatility by singing “A Hurler’s Lament” between games to entertain the crowd.

A little girl asks the Voles players for their autographs.  Don’t let it go to your heads, guys!

Finally, much thanks to Robert Hous who acted as arbiter for today’s games and did a great job!

Many more photos at The Baseball Zealot Photo Gallery.  More info about the Vermilion Voles at their web site.

If you’re interested in seeing some vintage base ball and you are in the east central Illinois area, come to Uncle Joe’s Base Ball Jamboree next weekend.

Mark your calendar: Uncle Joe’s Base Ball Jamboree, August 23


If you’ve been waiting for the right weekend to go see a vintage base ball game in the east central Illinois area, next Saturday is the perfect time to go.  It’s time for the annual Uncle Joe’s Base Ball Jamboree.  I wasn’t able to make it last year and by god, if I have to walk to Danville, I’m going. 

Here’s the scoop:

What:  Uncle Joe’s Base Ball Jamboree, a tournament including some of best vintage base ball teams in the region. 

When:  August 23, 2008. The First game will begin at 11:00am.

Where:  The Jamboree will take place at Danville Stadium, home of the Danville Dans.  Map

What teams are playing?  Teams that are scheduled to participate include the Chicago Salmon, New Baden Juniors, St. Louis Unions and of course, hometown favorites the Vermilion Voles.

Who is Uncle Joe?  Joseph Gurney Cannon (photo above) was a Illinois-bred politician who at the height of his career served as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the early 20th century.  An excellent orator, he had an colorful career to say the least.  A little piece of trivia:  He was first person to be featured on the cover of Time magazine.  You can read more about him on Wikipedia.

Hope to see you there! 

Voles game tomorrow!

If you can’t make it next Saturday, the Vermilion Voles are playing tomorrow at their normal digs, Kennekuk Park at 1pm .  They are playing their popular rivals Rock Spring Ground Squirrels.  Don’t miss the battle of the rodents!!

Vermilion Voles schedule