The old is new again when Milwaukee vintage base ball clubs meet in Richfield

By NICOLE KIEFERT - Special to TimeOut

August 14, 2014


WEST BEND - The Milwaukee Cream Citys will take on the Milwaukee Greys in an 1860s-style base ball game (as it was called then) at 11 a.m. Sunday in conjunction with a car show in the Richfield Historical and Nature Park, 1896 Highway 164.

The event is sponsored  by the Richfield Historical Society.

Daryl Grier, event chairman, said the park setting is so perfect that the Milwaukee Cream Citys Vintage Base Ball Club contacted her and suggested the event. After two years she decided to add a car show.

“After I had a couple of vintage base ball games, somebody suggested, ‘Hey, why don’t you try a car show?’ And to me a car is red or blue, so the first year I only had 12 cars there,” Grier said.

Grier said after talking to two car-savvy men, she realized planning for a car show needed to be done at least a year in advance.

“The car guys plan vacations and tour all over, so last year I had 62 cars,” Grier said.

There will be food, beer and wine provided by Bilda’s Friess Lake Pub, ice cream, kids skills competition, free chair massages by Richfield Chiropractic and tours of the historic buildings. 

Chris Nagy, a member of the Richfield Historical Society, said the event offers many different things for guests.

“If  you’re a car buff, you get the chance to see anywhere from 20-plus cars,” Nagy said. “And the old- fashion base ball game is kind of interesting in itself and I always tell people anytime they have a chance to come see the park they should come out and see the park and the mill and learn about the buildings and everything.”

Vintage base ball “club captain” Jeff Paige said he always enjoyed baseball but was “long on desire but short on talent.” Looking for something new to do, he contacted club founder Jerry Hazel.

“Jerry founded the club in 2004 when he was with the Milwaukee Museum and it was intended just for a project on vintage baseball and it has morphed 11 years later into a league,” Paige said.

Paige said people don’t just join the team, they are recruited based off skill and sportsmanship.

“They have to have moral character and commitment to bringing the 1860 base ball to children, families, senior citizens, the disadvantaged, the disabled and bringing the base ball to them,” Paige said.

Nagy and his wife, Barb, will be helping out at the event this year and are hoping to get a chance to watch more of the game this year.

“We went last year, but unfortunately we were at the farthest building from the event doing tours so we couldn’t see much of it,” Nagy said.

Grier said even people who don’t enjoy baseball will have fun at this event.

“I’m not a baseball person, but they play by 1860s rules,” Grier said. “You’ll get an admission booklet and  you’ll get a list of words.  You’re not a fan, you’re a crank. They don’t use gloves, they might call themselves out, if the players get warm they’ll ask permission from the ladies to roll up their sleeves because they don’t want the ladies to be embarrassed.”

“We do it all the way,” Paige said. “We don’t only play a base ball game, we create an event with the intention of creating lasting memories.”

Admission is $10 per car if entering through the classic cars entrance and $7.50 for adults, $4 for children ages 6 through 12 and free for children 5 and younger if entering through the park.