If you play it, they will come. The Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center on Hwy F in Defiance, Missouri had a baseball look to it the weekend in honor of the MLB All-Star Game. Ball players descended on the grounds, but it wasn't baseball, it was Town Ball.
The Daniel Boone Home, nestled upon the rolling hills of wine country represents life in the early 1800s. It brings the legacy of Daniel Boone--the famous trail-blazer, explorer, and hunter-- to life.
Along with the home is a village which is a simulated town comprised of over a dozen 19th century buildings including the general store, school house, and grist mill offer a peek into life on the Missouri frontier.
The Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center is owned and operated by Lindenwood University. The site’s mission is to provide a center for fully integrated learning on all education levels.
It's a great spot for a family day-trip, or you can go to their website and find out about the wineries, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and attractions in the area. http://www.lindenwood.edu/boone/directions/index.html
Though the Town Ball event is over, the center is open to the public and a fun place to take the family. More information about the special baseball event they held, and also general information on the Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center is listed in article below.
Ready for All-Star week? The Town Ball players at the Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center are ready and looking forward to Saturday's big game. But wait, you say you never heard of Town Ball? It’s a game history buffs embrace and your great, great grandpa might have played.
In essence Town Ball is one of many stick and ball variations of the game played over 150 years ago that Baseball Historian Jeffery Kittel’s research traces to early-did 19th century. It’s a game where the rules are familiar. After three strikes you’re out. You’re also out if the ball is caught, or fielded on one hop, or crosses your path, or you hit it too far, or you get soaked – when a runner is hit with a thrown ball.
“Town Ball is Baseball’s kissin’ cousin,” said William H. Ray, Chief of Interpretive Programming at the Boone Center, who depended on Kittel’s research on developing the site’s Town Ball rules. “ Kittel's sourced-based research traces the game being played in the region in the early-did 19th century, which was key in our decision in hosting a game, since it is likely that the residents in this area would have been familiar with it and even though we are calling it town ball, it may have also been known as round ball or even base ball.”
Ray noted that the constant theme in attempting to establish a set of rules for their purposes were that there seems to have been no fixed set of rules. There were many variations in the rules and they could differ from town to town and possibly even from game to game. Town Ball played at Boone Center’s Village will follow the rules that are a compilation of rules from various historical accounts that was determined to be the most plausible for the area’s time and place. So before you batter up. Here are the rules for Town Ball.
• Their are two sides with no set number of players per side - one side hits and tries to tally runs while the opposite side defends and tries to put the opposing side out.
• Equipment used: a maul handle for a bat and a soft leather covered ball that is about the same size and shape of a modern baseball, there is no glove or mitt.
• There are four bases and they are laid out in a square rather than a diamond, the batter stands between first base and home base.
• Instead of bags, the bases are four-foot tall hardwood stakes
• The only two designated fielding positions are the pitcher (or thrower) and catcher; everyone one else on the defending side stands where they want, depending on the situation.
• There is no foul territory; anytime the bat makes contact with the ball, it is "in play".
• There are no called balls and even though a hitter can strike out, the object of the pitcher was to put the ball in play.
• Once a side is up to bat, the side is not retired until all of the players have been called out, as opposed to our three out and switch way of play.
You are "out" if:
• The ball is caught.
• The ball is fielded on one bounce.
• The ball is thrown in between the runner and the base he or she is advancing towards.
• The runner is hit by a thrown ball (also called "soaking" or "plugging").
• The runner is hit by a batted ball.
• The batter takes three strikes.
• The ball is hit beyond an agreed upon distance.
The Lazarus Rule
You can get all of your players back to bat if you are successful at the Lazarus Rule; if you represent the last out for your side you have the opportunity to bring all of your players "back from the dead" and eligible to bat again if you can successfully hit the ball, make it to first and then back to the batters box. If you can do that six consecutive times (one time per pitch), then everyone on your side is back in. It is more difficult than it seems and adds extra drama to the end of every half inning!
Duration of the game varies between an agreed on score to achieve, to a set number of innings, to a set amount of time. The game at the Daniel Boone Historic Center is expected to last four innings.
Anyone can come and play or watch Town Ball, that is part of the tours at Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center this Saturday at 1:30 pm. No equipment or experience necessary.
Tours at the Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center offered are one-hour house or village tours, as well as two-hour combined or self-guided tours. The Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center is located at 1868 Hwy F, Defiance, Missouri. www.danielboonehome.com
Upcoming Events at Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center
Play frontier games, learn candle dipping, see black powder demonstrations, and learn the importance of fire and much more at this day specifically designed for homeschool students. Visitors are welcome to bring a sack lunch and enjoy the outdoor setting while visiting the Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center.
Homeschool Day Flier
September 19 - 20
Spend the day at the Historic Daniel Boone Home learning about life on the Missouri frontier. Pioneer Days is a two-day event filled with activities for the whole family. Play pioneer games, hear music, dance, and learn about the different trades of the time. Step into the Daniel Boone Home and visit with the legendary hero himself and hear tales filled with exciting adventure!
Halloween, Spirits from the Past
Life in the early 1800s was filled with superstition and uncertainty. As night descends, walk the lantern-lit paths and explore a pioneer village where doubt lurks in the shadows. Watch as tales and stories are brought to life and learn why townspeople were always cautious—especially at night!
Christmas Candlelight Tour
December 4 - 5, 11 - 12
Night has fallen, the stars shine above, and thousands of candles illuminate a world on the edge of the frontier. At the Historic Daniel Boone Home & Heritage Center's Annual Candlelight Tour, guests step back to the 19th century and witness Christmas as it was celebrated in the past. Learn about different cultures and traditions while enjoying period decorations and hot wassail.
Directions to Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center
From ILLINOIS/ST. LOUIS: U.S. 40/61: WEST across the Boone Bridge, Exit at Hwy 94. Turn LEFT (South), travel 8 miles to Hwy F. Turn RIGHT, the Boone Campus is 5 miles on the LEFT.
From WESTBOUND 1-70: SOUTH (Left) on Hwy 94 (First Capitol Drive) approximately 20 miles to Hwy F. Turn RIGHT, travel 5 miles, the Boone Campus is on the LEFT.
From EASTBOUND 1-70: Take the Foristell Exit (Hwy T). Travel to the Hwy T/Hwy D intersection, continue traveling straight on Hwy D. Continue into the town of New Melle, turn RIGHT on Hwy F, the Boone Campus is 5 miles on the RIGHT.