Baseball in the 21st century is decidedly different than it was when professional baseball started in the mid-19th century, and the Adena Mansion and Gardens Society in Chillicothe is turning back time with its own team, the Adena Worthingtons.
Kathy Styer, executive director of the society, said the vintage baseball takes after the style of 1860s baseball, which means the players don’t have mitts, play in long pants and long-sleeve shirts, the ball is pitched underhanded and rules around balls and strikes are a little different. She also said that the game isn’t played on a regular baseball diamond, Instead, a sdven-inning game will be played in a field between the mansion and the visitor’s center.
People looking to attend the match need to bring lawn chairs because there are no bleachers. Team members will sit on straw bales since there are no dugouts.
Styer said she thinks the upcoming game on Sunday, July 11, between the Worthingtons and the Ohio Village Muffins will be the seventh time the two have played one another. That match will begin around 2 p.m. and until around 4 to 4:30 p.m. The two teams play every year in July. Each year’s winner takes the game ball back home.
The Worthingtons played the Muffins in May in Westerville because the Ohio Village “isn’t open” and will play again in October at Paints Stadium in Chillicothe.
Styer said the Worthingtons started because the Muffins have been around for a while and the mansion is an Ohio History Connection Site. She said that the people on the team represent different businesses in the area’s local community, adding that some are media members or hospital employees.
She said the Worthingtons are already a full team, but for anyone interested in playing, they can reach out to the mansion through its website.
“I think that it’s probably community support is the big reason that people participate… These are young men and older men… that work in the community and when we do this, we host the game, there’s no cost to come up and watch the game. …But to just come up and sit down and watch a good game of baseball and have fun,” Styer said. “It’s a community event and these guys don’t do it for the accolades of anything. They do it to support our community.”
While the game is free, there is a fee if those attending want to enter the mansion.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.