"Old School" Sports Find a Home at French Lick Resort

Update:Vintage Base Ball is returning to West Baden September 13-14, 2014.

In the current climate of contract disputes, lockouts and egos, sports tend to be about everything but the game.

What if you could turn the clock back and bring back the old school finesse and pageantry of classic American sports? Two different vintage sporting events being held at the French Lick Resort this July will do just that--- and transport guests back-in-time.

Vintage Base Ball at West Baden Springs Hotel

Hickory Golf at Donald Ross Course
Sure to be crowd-pleasers, The Vintage Base Ball World Series and the US Hickory Open Golf Tournament will entertain crowds with their throw-back style and high entertainment factor.

Vintage Base Ball World Series

First in the line-up is the Vintage Base Ball World Series to be held on the lawn of the majestic West Baden Springs Hotel July 9-10. What’s different about vintage base ball? First of all they play by the 1860 rules. What’s that mean? No glove, balls are “fair game” after the first bounce and the umpire can ask the audience their opinion in calling plays.

In the official rules book it even says …”Matches are conducted according to the highest standards of sportsmanship, gentlemanly behavior, courtesy and respect for others.“ It just sounds like a different game, doesn’t it?

Speaking of sounds…here’s a little primer on the lingo so you can follow along. In the 1800’s the field was called a playground, a batter was called a striker or a batsman and a run was called an ace.

Still curious what to expect? Check out this video we found on YouTube from the event two years ago.

So, what are the specifics for this year?

The roster of teams includes the Indianapolis Blues, Batesville Lumbermen, Mulberry Manglers, Indianapolis Hoosiers, St. Louis Unions, and St. Louis Perfectos. Guests can bring a lawn chair and take in the action all weekend long at the free event.


Saturday, July 9

10 am
Hoosiers vs. Blues

11:30 am
Unions vs. Manglers

1:00 pm
Perfectos vs. Blues

2:30 pm
Lumberman vs. Manglers

4:00 pm
Hoosiers vs. Perfectos

5:30 pm
Unions vs. Lumbermans

Sunday, July 10

Finals with games at 10 am, 11:30 am and 1:00 pm

US Hickory Open

Another historic event is coming to the resort with the 4th Annual United States Hickory Open Championship being held July 11-13. The Hickory Open, which is run by the Society of Hickory Golfers, will be held on the resort’s historic Donald Ross Course.

In a Washington Post story published yesterday, columnist Fred Bowen attributes modern technology, at least in part, to the success of modern day athletes.

Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open golf tournament last week in Bethesda by blasting his drives down the fairways an average of more than 310 yards. Forty years ago, most golfers could not hit the ball as far because some golf clubs were made of wood. Now, the drivers that golfers use are made of strong, lightweight metals such as titanium. That change in technology helps golfers hit the ball farther.

Matt Dodd, longtime hickory golfer and Society of Hickory Golfers board member says that’s exactly why he likes the crack of the old school clubs. He explains it further in this fantastic article I found on the US Hickory Open's website.

These clubs are quirky and cool and all too responsive to my actions---especially my imperfections. But I revel in the feedback I get from the clubs I play, rather than asking them to atone for the sins of my swing.

During the three-day tournament, some 70 plus golfers from around the world will compete using only wooden-shafted clubs and club heads designed prior to 1935.

The clubs won't be the only nod to the past. Participants will also don their knickers, plus fours, dress shirts and ties as a nod to the golden age of golf.

Guests are encouraged to be a part of the action. Wouldn't it be fun if everyone showed up in period attire? Now that would be a photo op!

US Hickory Open
July 11-13
Donald Ross Course at French Lick

For more information on both events, please call 888-936-9360 or visit the resort's website