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Deep River Grinders Vintage Base Ball

JUST ADDED:  On Saturday, July 26th at noon the Deep River Grinders will face off against the Sunset Hill
Colonels at Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian in Valparaiso in celebration of the 80th year of the Farm.  Admission is free. 

The beloved team plays from May through October, both at Grinder Field and in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

Home games are played on Grinder Field, across the river from Wood's Mill at Deep River County Park. They are free and suitable for the entire family.

Click here for Deep River Grinders Schedule

Click here to view The Lost Pastime (Vintage Base Ball on YouTube)
Winner of the Audience Choice Award 2013 Notre Dame Student Film Festival. Directed by Grace Carini , Andrew Cheng, Marty Flavin. YouTube video (Uploaded on Jan 28, 2013)

BASE BALL! When the first warm days of spring arrive, the players are eager to meet on Grinder Field at Deep River County Park for practices. Then the games begin, both at home and away. The team travels to Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and throughout Indiana playing their special game of vintage base ball. Other teams from around the Midwest meet the Grinders on their home field.

What is so special about this game? That's easy. It's the gentlemanly behavior of the players and the rules they play by. The men portray players of the mid-1800s, when courtesy prevailed on and off the playing field. There is no swearing, no spitting and no ungentlemanly behavior anywhere during the games. Rules written in 1858 govern the play.

Some differences in the rules of today that cranks (fans) might notice are: no bunting, no sliding into bases, no leading off and no mitts or other protective gear. Players are called hurlers (pitchers), behinds (catchers) and rovers (shortstops). Nine players at a time take the field and substitutions are made freely. Strikers (batters) are encouraged to strike the ball and "Leg it" to first base 90-feet away. Then if the runner is lucky enough to cross home plate safely, he is to proceed to the tally table where he asks that his ace be tallied for his team. He is then instructed to ring the tally bell, letting players and cranks know his score has counted.

Since this game was originally played for exercise instead of competition, friendly banter can be heard between the teams. Phrases such as "Hit a daisy cutter, Sir," and "Well done," are often shouted to opposing team members. Come enjoy this vintage sport, sip an ice cold sarsaparilla, munch a hotdog and join in shouting "Huzzah" for both teams.

Indiana's premier vintage base ball Club Nine, the Deep River Grinders, continue their 16th season of play under the original 1858 rules. If you've see a match, you know that they play barehanded and follow the maxims of gentlemanly behavior – no spitting, arguing, cursing, or wagering. It is commonplace for members of both teams to encourage and applaud the good play of each other. Games are played, as they were in baseball's infancy, more as recreation and exercise than competition. The Deep River Grinders truly play for the love of the game, using leather-covered hand-sewn hard balls, hand-turned bats, and homemade bases. Nine-inning games are played on ninety-foot base paths. Cranks (you, the fans) can enjoy an ice cold sarsaparilla, the official drink of the Deep River Grinders, and indulge in a hot dogs, both for sale at home games.

The Grinders, playing since 1991, are charter members of the Vintage Baseball Association, a national organization formed to preserve, promote, and perpetuate the game of baseball as it was played in its formative years in the mid-nineteenth century. For more information on our beloved Deep River Grinders, or to join the team, contact the Visitor's Center at 219-947-1958. The Deep River Grinders may also be contacted via email at DRGrinders@aol.com For the rules of 1858, the players roster, and other information about the Beloved Deep River Grinders: www.deeprivergrinders.com

Click here for Deep River Grinders Schedule

If you are interested in becoming a Grinders, call 219-947-1958 and say "I want to be a Grinder." Leave your name and number and you will be contacted.


For reservations and more information about the Lake County Parks Call 219-769-PARK
Mon-Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm Central Time (Chicago Time)

Lake County Parks and Recreation Department Corporate Office
8411 East Lincoln Highway, Crown Point, Indiana 46307
Just west of Deep River WaterparK 4.5 miles east of I-65 on Route 30