MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) – The annual two-day 1860s-style baseball festival was held in Menomonie at Phelan Park. The Menomonie Blue Caps have hosted several teams from the Midwest and East.
“A had a few local Menomonie/Wisconsin teams that we play with a lot. We were lucky to have teams from Pennsylvania, Illinois, St. Louis and Detroit,” said Blue Caps team captain Dustyn Dubuque.
Playing the rules of the 1800s, there were no home runs, no gloves and no steals. Dubuque or “Mad Dog” thinks playing these rules makes the game less stressful and more about the game.
“Playing that way is more relaxed, we don’t play competitive softball here. We want to have fun and enjoy this kind of ridiculous game that we play,” Dubuque said.
The Blue Caps started again in 2012 and started their festival a few years later. After missing last year due to COVID-19, the players are happy to be back on the pitch.
Steve Shaw, aka “Chops”, moved to the area a few years ago. He was looking for a fun activity to do when he came across the vintage baseball scene.
“I’m not hardcore, so it’s perfect because all the people who play vintage are just there to have fun,” Shaw said. “There is a great spirit of camaraderie.
Men and women participate in the festival. Also, you can find players of different ages.
“I think our team has a few 14 to 15 year olds. I know we’ve played teams with 80-year-old players,” Dubuque said.
The older version of the All-American sport is found in about 25 states, according to Dubuque.
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