Houston Babies compete under 1860s rules

From David Barron at the Houston Chronicle on April 5, 2012, with mention of SABR members Bill McCurdy, Larry Miggins and Bob Dorrill:

Everyone’s optimistic on opening day, be it the youthful Astros, who today begin the 50th-anniversary season of major league baseball in Houston, or the considerably more seasoned members of the Houston Babies, who represent another generation – and another century – of hardball tradition in the Bayou City.

The Babies won their opener 13-4 over the Katy Combines in a game similar to – yet substantially different from – the brand of ball the Astros will exhibit Friday at Minute Maid Park against the Colorado Rockies.

Named for Houston’s first professional team in 1888, the Babies play baseball the old-fashioned way – as in really old-fashioned, as in the rules of Vintage Base Ball, circa 1860.


It’s a game for all ages – the Boerne White Sox, who played in a tournament with the Babies last weekend in Sealy, range in age from 12 to 90 – and all levels of experience – the Babies-Combines game featured those who play the modern game, as in a redshirt freshman at Alvin Community College, and those who think about it, as in several members of the local chapter of the Society for Baseball Research.

“It’s the closest version to sandlot ball that I’ve seen,” said Bill McCurdy, Babies general manager. “The ball is lobbed to the plate, and people get to hit. It’s recreation more than education, but there is a curiosity that brings people out. People get into the pace of it. It’s the grand old game again.”

Read the full article here: http://www.chron.com/default/article/Houston-Babies-compete-under-1860-baseball-rules-3463089.php

To learn more about SABR’s Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter, visit sabrhouston.org.

Originally published: April 9, 2012. Last Updated: April 9, 2012.