Vintage baseball returns to Mid-Michigan

Vintage baseball fans called "Cranks" sip on their drinks while watching the game.

Baseball, it's America's national past-time, but if you were to catch a glimpse of the game's beginnings you might not recognize what you see on the diamond.

Right now, NBC 25 takes you back in time for baseball in it's purest form.

"It seemed just like a really good activity that combined history, family fun and nobody else was doing it in Flint," says Dr. Thomas Henthorn, a History Professor at the University of Michigan - Flint.

Not since the late 1800's has the Flint-area seen cranks, muffs and bare hands. Thanks to U-of-M Flint Mid-Michigan now has that chance.

"Really, it's a love of baseball, and a love of History," says Lumber City's Captain John St. John. "And when those two things come together we find ourselves in the 19th Century playing baseball."

Others have a different name for it.

Wyandotte's Captain, who only wants to be referred to as Dirt, says vintage baseball is "manly baseball."

Why is that?

"You have to worry about breaking digits. It gives that manly aspect to it."

Besides the risk of injury Dirt says there is another draw back.

"Our uniforms are terribly hot."

Regardless of the inconveniece, players say having the chance to relive baseball history in it's purest form is worth it.

"On these Saturday afternoons, these Sunday afternoon games, it's more of a gentleman's game, and we're really about having fun and eating up the history while we're at it," says St. John.

As for the action on the diamond, the return of the Lumber City Baseball Club didn't go how they planned. Their opponent, the Wyandotte Stars, came away with thw win.

Despite the loss, Dr. Henthorn says the experience of bringing vintage baseball back is enough.

"Nobody wants to go home without the W, but I think at the end of the day, as long as we just have fun and we enjoy what we're doing, I think that is what everyone is really here for."