Baseball: Jouett Meekin lives; vintage baseball games scheduled for August 10.


Just my luck.

About the only Bicentennial event ever to tempt me into attending turns out to be scheduled on the same day that I’m in Wisconsin for the Great Taste of the Midwest. Oh, well.

What can I say? I’m a lifelong baseball fan, and New Albany’s diamond past interests me. Billy Herman is a Hall of Fame member, and his career is fairly well documented, but let’s not forget players like Steve Stemle, who got his chance to experience “The Show” back in 2005.

Of course, Jouett Meekin remains the deadball era player from New Albany who always has interested me the most. We’ve mentioned him from time to time here at the blog, as in when I named my beer dispenser after him: Now on the Jouett Meekin Memorial Keg Box …

As recently as 2010, Meekin was mentioned in Keith Olbermann’s Baseball Nerd blog in a piece about the Temple Cup in 1894: This Just In…From 1894. The photo above appears in Olbermann’s essay. When the pitcher returned to New Albany, he lived in a house on the corner of 13th and Market, and worked for the fire department. He was alive in 1941, when Teddy Ballgame broke .400, thrilling my youthful father a few miles away in Georgetown.

Barb Zoller has posted the event description on Facebook.

If you, your family or friends have every played baseball or softball in New Albany – you won’t want to miss this next Bicentennial Event.

The public is invited to attend the “Old Fashioned Day in the Park and Vintage Baseball Games” to celebrate New Albany’s rich history and revisit some favorite childhood memories. The Old Fashioned Day in the Park and Vintage Baseball Games is a FREE and Family Friendly Event and will be held at New Albany’s Binford Park located on Graybrook Lane. The public is encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets, family and friends to enjoy an old fashioned day in the park while watching vintage baseball games.

Playing baseball in New Albany has always been a part of the city’s history– from the very early days of baseball. When New Albany’s Civil War Soldiers returned home from the war, one of the things they brought home with them was a new game called “Base Ball”. It quickly became the city’s favorite pastime and as early as 1866 there were already at least 4 men’s baseball teams in New Albany. In 1894, New Albany resident, George Jouett Meekin, pitched for the New York Giants and helped them win the Temple Cup – which is now called the World Series. In 1931 Billy Herman started his major league baseball career with the Chicago Cubs and he is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Then in the 1950’s, the BPW Hoosiers, a women’s softball team, came in 4th in the National Softball Tournament.

The Living History Committee wants to spotlight the history of the game of baseball by re-creating games played by some of the earliest rules. Each of the three games that will be played on Saturday, August 10 will be played according to a different set of rules so the spectators can see how the rules of the game of baseball has changed over the years. When baseball first started in 1860, the only equipment used was a bat and ball – baseball gloves had not been invented – so the players caught the ball bare handed. Ladies played baseball in long skirts and long sleeves blouses– making sure not to show any elbows or ankles when batting and running the bases.

Schedule for the Day

11:00 – Welcome

11:15 to 12:30 Huntington Champion Hill Toppers from Huntington, IN will be playing the Cincinnati Buckeyes using 1862 Baseball rules

12:45 to 2:45 Lady Diamonds Vintage Base Ball Team from Columbus, OH will be playing New Albany’s Ladies Vintage Baseball Team using 1862 Baseball rules

3:00 to 4:15 – Huntington Champion Hill Toppers from Huntington, IN will be playing the Cincinnati Buckeyes using 1869 Baseball rules

4:30 – Closing