Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Douglas honors Dutchers vintage base ball club

Douglas Mayor Jim Wiley, center, reads a proclamation honoring the Douglas Dutchers Vintage Base Ball Club at Monday's city council meeting. Founder and owner Helen DeGeatano is to the right of Wiley.

Douglas Mayor Jim Wiley made it clear Monday night: He’s a fan of the Douglas Dutchers Vintage Base Ball Club.

“They’re a big asset to our area,” he said as he read a proclamation saluting the Dutchers on their upcoming 10th season.

The club, founded by Helen DeGeatano of Douglas, was formed to provide history and entertainment in Douglas and Saugatuck.

“City hall and the people here have really supported me,” said DeGeatano after receiving the award at Monday’s city council meeting. “We wouldn’t be here without the support of the community.”

The team opened its season last weekend at Tulip Time and will appear in the Muziekparade at 2 p.m. Saturday. The team’s next game is 2 p.m. May 19 against the South Haven Barkpeelers at Kids Corner Park in South Haven.

The team’s first home game at Beery Field is June 30.

In June, the team will head to Mackinac Island for a vintage base ball festival. Eighteen teams from four states and two countries will be playing near the Grand Hotel.

For more information, visit douglasdutchers.org.

Vintage base ball is different than baseball today. Vintage players do not have gloves. There is no sliding, lead-offs or stealing bases. When players make it across home plate, they go to the tallykeeper’s table and ask the keeper to record the score — called an ace. The player then rings a bell to note the score.

Perhaps the most striking difference from today’s game — There is no swearing, spitting, scratching, drinking alcohol or chewing tobacco. No comments can be made on the call of the umpire.

The city also honored DeGeatano for her service on the downtown development authority.

Douglas Mayor Jim Wiley reads a proclamation of appreciation to Helen DeGeatano on Monday, May 7, at a city council meeting. DeGeatano was lauded for her work on the downtown development authority.

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