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Bonneyville Millers

Vintage Base Ball Club



Bonneyville Millers

When settlers chose a place to live, they usually chose a place that was close to a gristmill. People create communities because they need one another. Places become communities when the people who live in an area share food, work, buildings, and social and leisure activities. In 1837, the seed for the community of Bonneyville was planted with the construction of Bonneyville Mill. To keep the spirit of the community of Bonneyville alive, the Bonneyville Millers Vintage Base Ball Club was formed. The Club plays Civil War era Base Ball matches using the 1858 Rules and Regulations of the Game of Base Ball adopted by the National Association of Base Ball Players.



Bonneyville Millers 2013 Vintage Base Ball Schedule

All times listed are local Elkhart, IN time.

All Home Matches are held in the Chapel Field at Ox Bow County Park in Dunlap, IN.


Saturday, May 4 2 p.m. Tulip Festival match w/Douglas Dutchers

Holland, MI

Friday, May 17 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Civil War era Base Ball Demonstration

Northridge Middle School

Middlebury, IN

Saturday, May 19 2 p.m. Match w/ Deep River Grinders Hobart, IN


Saturday, June 1 2 p.m. Match w/Lafayette Couriers HOME
Sunday, June 9 1 p.m. Match w/House of David Echoes Benton Harbor, MI
Saturday, June 22 All Day Harbor Festival Tournament South Haven, MI
Wednesday, June 26 6:30 p.m. Match w/Sturgis Biscuits Sturgis, MI


Friday, July 12 6:30 p.m. Match w/Nappanee Embracers Nappanee, IN
Friday, July 13 2 p.m. Match w/Douglas Dutchers Douglas, MI
Saturday, July 20 2 p.m.

Match w/Chicago Salmon

Lincoln Park, IL
Saturday, July 27 All Day

Round robin hosted by Walker

Tavern Wheels

Brooklyn, MI


Sunday, August 4 2 p.m.

Match w/ Deep River Grinders


Fri. Sun., August 9-11 All weekend World Tournament of Historic Base Ball Dearborn, MI
Saturday, August 17 2 p.m. Match w/Lafayette Couriers Lafayette, IN
Sunday, August 25 2 p.m. Match w/House of David Echoes HOME


Saturday, September, 7 1 p.m. Match w/Huntington Hilltoppers HOME
Saturday September, 21

9:15 a.m. (lineup)

1:00 p.m.

Apple Festival parade

Apple Festival round robin
Nappanee, IN
Saturday, September 28 All day Pioneer Festival tournament Huntington, IN



Goals of the Bonneyville Millers Base Ball Club

To demonstrate and interpret nineteenth-century base ball.

To strive for historical authenticity in order to accurately portray the game as it was played.

To promote interest in vintage base ball and encourage the formation of new ball clubs throughout northern Indiana


Vintage Base Ball Terminology
Club Nine...................Team
Player Dead...............Out
3 Hands Dead.............Side retired
Foul Tic............Foul Ball
Leg It!..............Run!


1858 Rules & Customs

Base Ball is a Gentleman’s Game:
* Matches are conducted according to the highest standards of sportsmanship, gentlemanly behavior, courtesy and respect for others.
* There is no swearing, spitting, scratching, consumption of alcohol, chewing of tobacco or wagering.
* Gentlemen shall forbear from commenting on umpire’s judgement.

The Umpire:
* Calls foul tics immediately.
* May ask players and cranks for assistance in making calls.
* Does not call balls, and may call strikes, if deemed necessary.
* Levies fines, on the spot, for ungentlemanly conduct.

In Hurling:
* The ball must be hurled underhanded, not jerked or thrown.
* The ball must be delivered as near as possible over the center of home plate.

A Striker is Out When:
* A batted ball is caught on the fly or on one bound off the ground.
* After three swinging or called strikes. Foul tics are not strikes.

Other Differences:
* Players do not wear gloves or other protective equipment.
* There is no sliding, leading off or stealing bases.
*Players crossing home plate safely must then proceed to the tallykeeper’s table, place one hand on the table, raise
   the other hand and ask the tallykeeper to please tally his ace for his team. He is then instructed to strike the tally bell.
   Only then does his ace count.
* A runner may not advance if the striker’s ball is caught on the fly. He will be instructed to return to his base and may
   not be put out.
* A runner may advance at his own risk if the striker’s ball is caught on one bound, fair or foul.



The Vintage Base Ball Association

On February 11, 1996 delegates from thirteen clubs representing five states assembled in Columbus, Ohio to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first recorded base ball match between organized teams. Using the National Association of Base Ball Players (c.1875) as a model, the delegates founded the Vintage Base Ball Association for the purpose of preserving, perpetuating, and promoting the game of base ball as it was played during its formative years in the mid-nineteenth century and other historic periods.

All matches are presented in accordance with the rules and customs of the time period being portrayed. Through its efforts the Vintage Base Ball Association is working to support the formation of new clubs, encourage research of base ball history and educate the public on the early years of base ball. Memberships are available for both clubs and individuals.
For more information on the Vintage Base Ball Association, visit their web page at
The Bonneyville Millers Vintage Base Ball Club is a full member of the Association and supports the mission of the Vintage Base Ball Association.

The Bonneyville Millers Vintage Bade Ball Club is sponsored by the Elkhart County Park and Recreation Department. For more information about the club contact:

Bonneyville Millers

Elkhart County Parks

211 W. Lincoln Avenue

Goshen, IN 46526