The Farmers Branch Mustangs are a vintage base ball team that will be swinging for the outfield during the 2019 season hosted by the Farmers Branch Historical Park. These come-and-go games are free to the public and a unique way to discover more about the early years of base ball. Bring a picnic and a blanket or chairs and enjoy watching these dedicated players compete in a timeless tradition.
The 2019 game schedule is as follows:
Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, November 2, 2019 between 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Practices are held at the Farmers Branch Historical Park on August 28 and October 23 at 5:30 p.m.
The historical structures in the park provide a nostalgic backdrop for vintage base ball, which is as much about presenting history, as it is about the game. Yes, that’s two words for base ball. Baseball as one word wasn’t used until the 1890’s. It’s similar to a re-enactment of a Civil War battle in that it’s authentically bringing history to life, but unlike it in that no one knows who will win the friendly competition.
Everything about vintage base ball is done according to the rules, style and customs of base ball in the 1860’s. These were the formative years when the sport was beginning to gain in popularity, but before professional teams and the National League were established. The Vintage Base Ball Association encourages clubs to research the history of the game in the off season, so they will be able to faithfully represent the sport. Players wear replica uniforms, use the terminology common to 1860’s base ball and educate spectators about the origins of the game. Game watchers are encouraged to wear period dress, though this is optional.
Long before the days of stadiums and ground crews, clubs would play base ball in open fields, making parks and museum meadows good spots for America’s favorite pastime. Modern baseball rules haven’t changed much since the early 1900’s, but notable differences between today’s rules and those observed in vintage base ball include:
- Fielders do not use gloves but rather catch the ball bare-handed, usually after a bounce.
- Balls and strikes are only called by the umpire when the pitcher is trying to delay the game.
- The vintage ball is larger and slightly softer.
- There is no sliding, stealing or bunting.
- Pitching is underhanded.
The Farmers Branch Mustangs’ inaugural season was fall 2007. The co-ed club is part of the city’s historical education initiative and is a member of the VBBA. To get involved with the Mustangs, follow them on Facebook and Pinterest, or call the Farmers Branch Historical Park at 972-406-0184.