If you are interested in playing vintage base ball but there isn’t a team near you then start your own team! Here’s a checklist to help get you started:

  1. Find a suitable field (village green, park, meadow, open field, but not a baseball diamond) preferably a place that people frequent (potential fans) and confirm that it will be available for your team’s use
  2. Plan your finances (uniforms, balls, and bats, travel costs, advertising, printing, etc)
  3. Insurance, especially if you play where you will have spectators – the VBBA full membership provides general liability insurance
  4. Field equipment – canvas bags filled with sand or sawdust, benches for teams, home base, pitchers point plate, flag poles with flags for foul poles, lime (foul lines)
  5. Ask your local historical society if they will sponsor your team (cover some or all of your costs)
  6. Look for local businesses that will sponsor your team – incorporating their business name into the team name can be ok in some cases, but avoid logos on your uniforms
  7. Find players for your roster – 15 is a good number to make sure you have 9 for each game
  8. Locate other teams and contact them to discuss scheduling games and ask for any guidance they might be able to offer regarding running a team
  9. Look for local events that you could play at – fairs, town history events, etc
  10. Decide if your team will travel and stay overnight for big tournaments (Doc Adams Festival at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Gettysburg National 19th Century Base Ball Festival, etc)
  11. Pick your team name – research local history to see if there were any teams playing during the 1860s
  12. Design your uniforms – if there are no local historic uniforms to model them on and you are designing from scratch avoid a uniform that looks too much like your local opponents
  13. Set up social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, as well as a web site, team email account, Google Group (for team email discussion list), etc
  14. Contact local media to announce tryouts for your team, announce your season schedule, upcoming games, etc
  15. Put together a press kit that spells out the rules that you play by, has a brief team history, lists other local teams, includes your social media accounts, has a team photo that the media can use and make this available on your web site
  16. Consider putting up posters to advertise upcoming games
  17. Merchandising – consider having a team t-shirt, vintage base balls, or team base ball cards at your games that you can sell, printed schedules that you can hand out