This is the second in a two-part series about Mansfield baseball (or “base ball”).
As Labor Day weekend approaches, the Ohio History Center is gearing up to host an extraordinary event that promises to be a home run for both history buffs and sports enthusiasts.
The Ohio Cup Vintage Base Ball Festival is not just another sporting event; it’s a time capsule that takes you back to the 1860s, where the rules were different but the spirit of the game was just as vibrant. With over 25 vintage base ball teams converging on the grounds, the festival offers a unique blend of history, sport, and family-friendly entertainment.
The Mansfield Independents Are A Team to Watch
Among the teams participating, the Mansfield Independents stand out as a crowd favorite, certainly for fans from Richland County. With a packed schedule on Sunday, September 3rd, the team will be competing against the Monitor BBC of Chelsea at 10 AM, the Fillmore Fungi at 12 Noon, and the Addison Mountain Stars at 2 PM. All games will be held at different locations within the festival grounds, offering spectators a chance to explore the venue while cheering for their favorite team. The Mansfield Independents are known for their skillful plays and sportsmanship, making them a must-watch this season.
More Than Just a Game: Activities Galore
The festival is not just about the base ball games; it’s an immersive experience that offers something for everyone. For the little ones, there’s a Muffin Puppet Craft station where they can create their own articulated base ball player puppet. History aficionados can visit the Historic Base Ball Display at the American House Hotel to learn more about the evolution of the sport. And if you’re looking to improve your batting skills, don’t miss the Whiffle Ball Batting Practice sessions with historical base ball players.
But wait, there’s more! In a quirky twist, the festival also features a dog wedding ceremony and reception. Yes, you read that right—a dog wedding, complete with pre-wedding preparations and a reception to follow. It’s a nod to the trendy 1890s ceremony that adds a dash of whimsy to the event.
Satisfy Your Taste Buds: Food Trucks and More
No festival is complete without a smorgasbord of culinary delights. The Ohio Cup Vintage Base Ball Festival has you covered with a variety of food trucks on site. On Saturday, you can enjoy offerings from NAICCO, Tortilla Street Food, ChillJoy Ice Cream, and Icee Rainbows. Sunday brings in Biscuit Boss (until 1 pm), alongside Chilljoy Ice Cream and Tortilla Street Food. Whether you’re in the mood for savory or sweet, there’s something to tickle your taste buds.
A Weekend to Remember
With general admission priced at $16 for adults, $14 for those aged 60+ or college students with ID, and $10 for children aged 4–12, the Ohio Cup Vintage Base Ball Festival offers an affordable and enriching experience for the whole family. Ohio History Connection members and players and their families enjoy free admission, making it an even more enticing event to attend.
So mark your calendars for September 2nd and 3rd, and prepare to step back in time. Whether you’re a base ball aficionado, a history lover, or simply looking for a unique way to spend the Labor Day weekend, the Ohio Cup Vintage Base Ball Festival promises a grand slam of fun, nostalgia, and entertainment.
Source: Ohio History Connection; Photo: Creative Commons License