About The Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association
The Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association (CVBBA) is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1993 dedicated to the preservation of the history of 19th century base ball in Colorado, and the education of the public through demonstrations, workshops, lectures and living history performances in the form of matches.
The Association researches details of uniforms, equipment, lexicon and lifestyles in an effort to represent the sporting life in Colorado more than a century ago. Some teams that actually existed are recreated according to the best documentation available, with gaps filled by reasonable deduction from the progress of the sport outside the region.
Matches are played by rules representative of the earliest days of the game in Colorado, with a heavy emphasis on living history interpretation and ‘‘thespianism’’ to reflect the competitive spirit being tempered by Victorian ideals of gentlemanly and fair play. Prospective gentlemen and lady ballists (players) should be aware that the CVBBA is not a competitive league, and game results are always subordinate to its educational and entertainment goals.
The CVBBA is not only for ballists. A large number of civilian roles are utilized to carry off the full theatre of a late 1800s game: the umpire (who may tote a six-gun to maintain order and scare off the occasional coyote), tally-keeper, reporters, politicians, society ladies, suffragists, abolitionists and a host of cranks (spectators) are fully integrated into the show, and encouraged to make their presence felt.
Vintage base ball is a relatively inexpensive hobby to become involved with. Uniforms can be obtained for $175 to $250, and costumes for cranks can be even less expensive. Most activities are easily concluded on a weekend afternoon, but for the adventurous, several overnight trips throughout the region are also planned every season. There are functions for every member of the family, and what better way is there to spend a leisurely day than with your family, enjoying the national pastime the way it was meant to be played!
History of the CVBBA
The CVBBA was born out of a love of Civil War reenacting, baseball, and history in 1993 by Mark "Fearless" Foster, Pat "Deacon" Massingil, and a handful of other enthusiasts who are still apart of it today. These Gentlemen and Ladies pioneered the way for Vintage Base Ball in Colorado and the association grows larger each year because of them. There have been many clubs represented throughout the years and many town clubs that have come and gone but the CVBBA has remained nonetheless.
Mastodon Mine Minstrels - by Gary "Red Dog" Wickett (June 2010)
The Minstrels were born after Mike Moger attended an exhibition of the National Game at a summer festival in Broomfield, where he met Stretch Bosio, manager of the Sweepers. Mr. Bosio, when hearing that Mr. Moger wanted to field a time from Boulder, offered as a loan a full set of uniforms, and the team was born.
The first uniforms were put together mostly through the Gohn Brothers mail order house out east, and consisted of the plain workingman’s Ropp shirt (without the collar), the very much heavy duty drop front trousers, and red suspenders. Being miners, work boots were common, and the caps came separately shortly thereafter.
Deacon Massengill mentioned that a game reported in a local Denver newspaper and played in the 1860’s pitted the Mastodon Mine Minstrels against another respected team on the plains, but was forfeited before the traditional nine innings, as the mountain players were late for their musical show in town. It appears that the team staged a musical review for donations in order to pay for their traveling base ball habit. With Mr. Massengill’s blessing, the new team shouldered the moniker and was named the Mastodon Mine Minstrels. To uphold the musical tradition, the team’s third base tender and hurler, Tom Fats Casey, and his lovely wife Amy wrote the team song. The team, to the chagrin of a few of the local crowds, continued for some time to sing on purpose and out loud at their early matches. Those rare bugs with a good ear for music cheered them on.
The opening game for the Minstrels was played in Laramie, WY, where the greater association of players taught the new team the rules and more mannerly attitudes of the National Game as it was played in the 1860’s. Those lessons were not easily accepted at first, but thoroughly learned in that short summer season, and the more boisterous boys of Boulder became more respected as equal in talent and study before the year’s end.
Respectfully submitted for the historical records by Mike Moger, inaugural manager of the Mastodon Mine Minstrels.
BOOKS by CVBBA Members Past & Present
**Click Image to go to Amazon.com to purchase**