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The Friends of Vintage Base Ball promotes living history by bringing the 19th century to life through base ball events that use the rules, equipment, costumes and culture of the 1860s-1880s. We provide cultural enrichment and education programs and activities to youth and adults that emphasize honor, team play, respectful conduct and community pride. Our goal is to exemplify to youth and adults alike the values that are lacking in modern-day athletic programs, and encourage a sense of belonging regardless of race, gender, religious conviction or physical ability.
Our organization was formed in the late summer of 2008 to create a permanent field for the demonstration of 19th century base ball games in a culturally-rich yet economically-depressed area of Hartford that is currently a National Historic Landmark.
Partnering with the Coalition to Strengthen the Sheldon/Charter Oak Neighborhood (CSS/CON) and the City of Hartford, the weekly living history events in Coltsville provided by the Friends of Vintage Base Ball has helped to revitalize the neighborhood, inform visitors on the history and legacy of Sam and Elizabeth Colt, educate visitors on the history of our national pastime and attract visitors to Hartford for our free, family-friendly events.
We have also worked to help promote Coltsville in the effort towards National Historic Park status.
The Hartford Base Ball Grounds at Colt Meadows has hosted teams from Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut to play games on what was once a cow pasture on the former estate of Elizabeth and Samuel Colt, the industrial genious who revolutionized precision manufacturing. Colt Meadows is within sight of the iconic blue onion dome with gold stars that sits atop the Colt Armory and has been a Hartford landmark for over a century.
In addition to sponsoring living history events, we provide educational programs to youth and senior groups, museums, historical societies, corporations and others that engage, involve and amuse while educating on an important piece of American history.
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