This Week at Rotary: June 28, 2018
Our speaker this week was John Everett, a longtime member of the historic Clodbuster Base Ball Club, who shared interesting information on the history of ball and bat sports!
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Bob Fry
June 15
Matthew Kuhn
June 17
Donald K. Gerhardt
June 22
Carol Kennard
June 28
Spouse Birthdays
Carlos Quiñones
June 1
Kate Huffman
June 4
Bev Callander
June 22
Harvey B. Smith
Carolyn Smith
June 8
Dick Hoback
Marilyn Hoback
June 16
John Beals
June 21
Peachy Metzner
Pamela Metzner
June 21
Chuck King
Elaine King
June 25
Donald K. Gerhardt
June 25
Raymond A. Merz
June 26
Boyd Preston
Deborah Preston
June 27
Don Stewart
Teri Stewart
June 28
Join Date
Michael Wier
June 1, 1981
37 years
Ann Blackburn
June 5, 2001
17 years
Bob Fry
June 8, 2005
13 years
Don Overly
June 13, 1972
46 years
Harvey B. Smith
June 13, 1972
46 years
Lee Hieronymus
June 13, 1972
46 years
Matthew Kuhn
June 30, 2004
14 years
Shelley Fisher
June 30, 2006
12 years
Bulletin Editor
Kitty Ullmer
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Jul 12, 2018
Haiti Water Pump Project
Jul 19, 2018
Saluting Our Grandmas: Women of WWII
Jul 26, 2018
Club Assembly
Aug 02, 2018
Washington Township Update
Aug 09, 2018
Centerville Strategic Plan
Aug 16, 2018
Habitat for Humanity of Dayton
View entire list
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
Rotary's Theme for 2017-18
Centerville Rotary Club Meeting June 28, 2018
The GREETERS​​​: ​​​​ 
06/28/2018 Ann Blackburn and Mark Febus
07/05/2018--No Meeting.....Keep celebrating the 4th
07/12/2018 Doug Bockrath and Arnie Biondo
07/19/2018 Jeff Senney and Pat Beckel
07/26/2018 Raj Grandhi and Greg Horn
08/02/2018 Sofie Ameloot and Don Overly
Our official greeters today were Ann Blackburn and Mark Febus, and Arnie Biondo, who filled in before the others came. Arnie came because I reminded him he was an official greeter this day,
when actually he is scheduled for July12, as you see above. Glad that Arnie was here though,
as he brought along a photo of our exchange student Mato from his visit with him at Myrtle Beach, where Mato has been serving as a life guard. Had trouble getting picture Arnie sent on computer into bulletin though it came up on my computer, so took picture of picture on computer. Arnie's wife Nancy is also seen in the picture.
Arnie (R) is seen here greeting John Callander.
Ron Hollenbeck has come in and for some reason Arnie ended up checking his name tag to
see if he was really Mark Febus, instead of Arnie, as Mark was the one scheduled to greet.
The two actually greeted again, once in a better lit spot.
Carol Kennard and Peachy have a chat before the meeting.
And Ron always has a story or to to tell.
The crowd was not big this day, though there was lots of sunshine outside.
Our guest speaker, John Everett, and our President-Elect Chuck King talk before the meeting.
Arnie looks like whatever Carol said makes him sad. 
Official greeter Mark Febus has arrived
Dan Johnson and Jim Briggs are having some fun
And Carl Gill and Matt Kuhn make a turquoise entrance.
And here's Frank Perez, our new Vice President, and Ron, a past president of the club, enjoying the day.
Mark Febus awaits his next greet-ee.
Our other official greeter of the Day, Ann Blackburn has arrived, but the light shines most
on our new president Boyd Preston. 
and Ann still is the most colorful in this photo, as Katie Neubert joins the scene.
and what's with this camera...a little better here, but not perfect.
And so they move around in the lobby to try some different lighting...
The two official greeters share a greet.
Joyce Young, the Grand Marshal for the Americana Festival Parade July 4th, arrives.
and it appears...
This young woman made a wrong turn at the Forum and arrived with a pillar. I Hope it's not
a pillar of salt...but suppose it might be a decoration for a wedding party.
Peachy stepped outside to enjoy the sunshine after the last meeting's downpour at Benham's Grove.
And our new doorman got to greet Ray Merz as he arrived.
And here's Boyd beaming with light again. Go figure.
This was a better picture from the previous week under the tent.
It looks like Ray has brought in some of the sunshine to share with Mark and Ann.
Mike Wier and Matt Kuhn, who was glad to be back in town, talk with Jim Briggs and Carol.
Dan Johnson and Mark Gerken share the latest news of the day.
Ray chooses a seat next to some talkative guys. 
Lunch recently has taken on a summery casual look, with potato salad and sandwiches and such. Somebody already ate the cake.
Here's Carl Gill, soon to be pictured as a greeter....
And the guy in the fancy vintage umpire's attire gets a chance to eat before he speaks.
The Centerville Rotary Club met at the Clubhouse at Yankee Trace at noon. Club President Peachy Metzner led the Pledge of Allegiance; Ray Merz gave the prayer, and Brad Thorp led the singing of God Bless America.
The guests at this week's meeting included:
Carl Gill of Hospice of Ohio; Dottie Overly; Scott Burcham, guest of Katie Neubert. Scott may be a prospective new member. Let's hope so; and John Everett, our speaker of the day.
Our out-going President Peachy Metzner presided over the meeting.
Peachy said he learned Tuesday that Kimberly Forster, a former Centerville High School student we supported in an exchange to Brazil, now to be hosted by our Centerville Rotary Club, has received all the funds needed to attend the School of Economics in London. She has already hooked up with the Rotary Club in London, he said.
Peachy reminded everyone of the e-mail he sent out about the Aug. 18 Rotary Day at the Dragons, which will cost just $10 and includes a hat and seat, with $5 of the price going back to the Rotary Foundation.
He said July 16 is the next board meeting, held at the Washington-Centerville Park District Headquarters, 221 N. Main St. in Centerville, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. It will be Boyd's first board meeting as president, he said. Someone shouted out "A.M.!" when Peachy said "P.M.," hitting on Boyd's tendency to say a few more words than expected at times. Peachy then noted that this might be a good meeting for Carl Gill to attend to help fulfill his new member commitments.
Scott Burcham, guest of Katie Neubert, and prospective member.
Our Sgt.-at-Arms Erich Eggers with the help of Ron Hollenbeck collected Happy Bucks at this meeting.
HAPPY BUCKS: The Happy Bucks this quarter go to help the Brunner Literacy Center, which tutors adults 19 and older in reading, writing, and math skills, etc.
Erich started the Happy Bucks by donating $5 for having a lucky break when his phone went out and a potential client couldn't get through. The person had been referred from a past client so the two eventually got together.
Our new Centerville City Manager Wayne Davis gave, noting he met last week with our speaker on the Dayton Air Camp, Vince Russo, and hopes to get Centerville involved, and Ann Blackburn gave, stating she was happy to be here and be an official greeter, and to see that Carl Gill would be joining us.
Katie Neubert gave for being happy to be here during camp season at SICSA, where the kids are always very active. The kids are 8 to 12 years old and there are three more weeks of camp, she said.
Her guest, Scott Burcham gave $10 for being here.
Mark Gerken gave $20, saying he was glad to be back after his daughter got her temps and he had her on the expressway....What he may not know is that she may now think he is her hero. Back in the day you did not have to take driving instruction before getting in a car and taking off, I realized what a brave man my father was when we got into the car and he said back out and we went about 60 mph out the driveway, as I pushed the pedal to the floor...and he said...What Are you Doing?! I certainly would not have gotten in the car with me at the wheel knowing nothing about driving and how much to turn the wheel...I had driven our boat on water...but a boat is different...and so my father became a hero in my eyes..forever. (I didn't think alot about his Naval service back then.)
Kitty Ullmer gave $10 for Joyce Young being Grand Marshall in the Centerville Americana Festival Parade July 4. Joyce also was her sponsor to join Rotary, so lots and lots of thanks are due.
After Erich had talked about his phone trouble, Mike Wier gave, noting that he uses POTS, plain old telephone service. He called it Foxline..Fox and Friends touch tone. You pick it up and it always works, he said.
John Beals gave for his sixtieth wedding anniversary with Sally, last Thursday.
Matt Kuhn gave for being back in Dayton, for a week.
Carol Kennard gave $10 for something regarding a building, and the Rotarians birthdays in June, and then Erich had everyone sing HAPPY Birthday to Carol and the those Rotarians.
Dan Johnson gave $5 to announce Habitat for Humanity's upcoming gala at the Schuster, Saturday, July 14.
Joyce Young gave, congratulating Peachy on his leadership as president.
Don Overly gave for the Cincinnati Reds doing well for a while.
Lee Hieronymus gave, noting that he now has a fire extinguisher on the fire truck that will be in the Americana Festival Parade. They had a little fire trouble at the last July 4 parade if memory serves me right.
Arnie Biondo gave $5 for he and his wife Nancy getting to spend three evenings with Mato at Myrtle Beach. Mato said he wasn't doing all too well with Scottish at the university.
Five dollars was also given to note that Joe Kramer, a 30-year Rotarian, had passed away and that the celebration of his life was to be held Friday.
Ray Merz gave to note that he and his wife Sue celebrated their 47th anniversary two weeks ago this week.
Carl Gill gave and then Brad Thorp gave a Happy five to let everyone know his office at 70 W. Franklin St. (south side of street), would be open for Rotarians from the club to park in the back parking lot and use the bathrooms in the office during the July 4 parade. You have to let the police know to let you through to the area, he said...but aside...Dale Berry said that didn't work for him in a previous year. (And we thought no one would question Dale's word)...Brad said he will be in Scotland for the next two meeting weeks, where he met his wife.
Peachy gave for incoming President Boyd, and Frank Perez gave for getting to be at the presentation of the club's gift of helpful books at the Habitat house warming recently.
President-Elect Chuck King gave $30...yes, $30, in Happiness for the 30th anniversary of he and his wife Elaine.
Ron Hollenbeck gave $5 to tell about two 12-year-old girls who were trying to walk a puppy around the block. It was chocolate and kind of chunky, he said. When he saw them again the one girl was carrying the puppy cradled in her arms. He asked her what kind of dog it was, and she replied, "It's a Newfoundland." Ron noted that she wouldn't be carrying the dog for long in that case.
Reminder Note...the July 5 meeting has been cancelled....though you can "make it up" by riding on the fire truck driven by Lee Hieronymus in the Americana Parade on July 4. You're to meet at the city building around 9:30 a.m. if you want to ride...Water will be provided for squirt guns. If you have a Super Soaker, bring it along, Peachy said.
This Week's Speaker: John Everett, a prosecutor for the city of Kettering and Washington Twp., and historian, who spoke about the Clodbuster Base Ball Club.
Club Vice President Chuck King introduced our speaker, noting that besides being a prosecutor, he has been speaking about the topics in history for 30 years. Chuck said John is a 1992 graduate of Kenyon College and a 1998 graduate of the University of Dayton Law School. He is married and has two children.
His topic was the Clodbuster Base Ball Club (vintage spelling is used), the area's oldest vintage base ball organization, which has played for 29 years in the Miami Valley. The local team portrays base ball as it was played in the 1860s and shows the history of baseball. They are affiliated with Dayton History and play home matches at Carillon Park. The next game is July 15, he said. Bring a lunch and have a great time, he said. They'll have two matches, with one using the 1860 rules and one using the 1865 rules (second match). 
John said at the end of a game winning or losing is not discussed, but it's said that the food was awesome. There are 30 clubs in the state of Ohio, he said.
John said he came dressed as an umpire would dress for the 1860s base ball games. The local team formed in 1989, he said, similar to those in 1860, a group of gentlemen whose goal was to enjoy the game of base ball. As gentlemen, they do not cuss or show other odious behavior.
In 1860, as today, there were nine men on the field with the bases 90 feet apart. Each side played nine innings. There were no fences though, and trees and water hazards often were in the fields where they played.
John said the only homerun he has ever hit since he joined the local club was when pounded the ball into the ground and it rolled down into the river.
Rules were different back in the day, he said.
There was only one umpire who is asked for a decision only when the players cannot agree on an outcome. His decision is final and there is no disputing a call.
A fair ball is determined by where it first strikes the ground.
John said the batter had to stand with one foot on either side of a 3-foot line extending midway through home base.
The batter can take as many pitches as he wishes and there are no called balls or strikes, as home base does not determine a fair pitched ball.
A batter has to swing and miss the ball three times to strike out. Foul balls are not counted as strikes, and a hit batsman doesn't take his base and runners may not advance.
Pitching has to be from below the waist, so its mostly underhand, John said. The pitcher stands 45 feet from the center of home base, he said.
A batter can be called out if the ball is caught in the air or on one bound, whether batted fair, foul, or foul tip. Runners who overrun first base can be put out. Other rules also apply.
In the above picture John is holding one of the bats he brought along to show how much heavier they are than today's bats, which are made of ash. Asked what the bats are made of, John said he can only guess that at least one of them was made of maple, judging from the density of the wood.
John said the only manly thing to do in catching a ball is to catch it bare handed. He handed around two balls they use, one larger than the other, more like a softball. The smaller one was more the size of a tennis ball and had more give to it, or as he said, is "mushier."
A pamphlet John handed out said base ball is a sport for gentlemen. "There is no swearing, spitting, scratching, consumption of alcohol, chewing of tobacco, or wagering.
Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball, John said. It was developed centuries before with a bat and a ball and it just grew. There was a drinking game called Stool ball. It was one on one and a drinking game. There were other games such as Trap Ball. There was a box with a lever on it, and when you hit the box with a stick, a ball would bounce up and you hit it. It's still played in some English pubs, he said. He mentioned Rounders and Town Ball. (See below)

John also mentioned Beadle's Dime Base-Ball Player, first published following the March 14, 1860 convention, held in New York.  The book provides a very brief history of base ball, the rules for the 1860 season and explains particulars of each playing position and how to lay out a field.  It is the first of its kind and was published each year until 1881, according to the Vintage Base Ball Association Internet site.


Bid McPhee [Public domain]

Bid McPhee [Public domain]

Until the start of the 1877 season, batted balls were considered fair or foul based on where the ball first struck the playing field or the player.

Although overhand pitching was legal in the National League in 1884 and in the American Association on June 7, 1885, the game took on a more modern appearance beginning with the 1887 season.  Starting that season, pitchers were required to start from a fixed position and pause between pitches.

Most players were bare handed until the mid-1880’s; however, a few catchers began wearing a glove or gloves in the mid 1870’s.  Cincinnati second baseman Bid McPhee, the last of the bare-handed players, opened the 1896 season on April 16, wearing a glove.

A Brief History of the Game (From the Internet site)

It is generally accepted by historians that American base ball evolved from an English game known variously as base, base-ball, or rounders.

In New York City, in 1842, the famous Knickerbocker Base Ball Club was formed by former members of the Gotham Club.  The Gotham Club was formed in 1839.

The Knickerbockers began the process of formalizing the rules they used (eliminating “soaking” or hitting base runners with the baseball and establishing foul territory, etc.) in 1845.  Establishing foul territory was a significant step in separating what would become the New York Game from the Massachusetts Game and Town Ball, which was popular in Philadelphia.  The Knickerbockers modeled their club after the gentlemen’s clubs that had been organized in cricket.  They seemingly had more rules and regulations about gentlemanly behavior than the game itself, such as being fined for using inappropriate language.

By the mid to late-1850’s, more than two dozen clubs in New York (Manhattan today) and Brooklyn began to play the Knickerbocker of New York style game of base ball.

At the conclusion of the 1857 base ball meetings in New York, the National Association of Base-Ball Players was formed.

The popularity of the game, changes in the work schedules of many laborers, and the prospect of charging admission (first done in July of 1858) lured some working-class clubs into the game such as the powerful Brooklyn Atlantics whose main interest was to win.

By 1860, the number of teams playing matches vastly increased as new clubs formed in surrounding states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut as well as Massachusetts and upstate New York.  The New York rules were preferred, virtually eliminating the Massachusetts game and Town Ball.

Baseball continued to be played during the Civil War. Interest and popularity of the game grew immensely during the post-war years.

Baseball in 1866 

Former Eckford of Brooklyn player Al Reach, opens the first player owned sporting goods business in Philadelphia in 1865.

As the popularity of baseball grew, clubs began to regularly charge spectators, increasing the need for the more popular clubs to attract talented players.

In 1869, former Knickerbocker Harry Wright announced his Cincinnati club as the first openly professional team.

The first professional league in America was formed in 1871, ceasing operation in 1875.  The National League was established in 1876 and remains in business today.


Ann Blackburn of our club asked about women playing Vintage Base Ball, and John said there weren't any in our area at least now.


However: according to the Vintage Base Ball Association site on the Internet, there were also ladies playing vintage base ball in the 1800s. It states:

In the novel Northanger Abbey, completed in 1803 but not published until 1818, Jane Austen’s character Catherine is described as follows:

“…It was not very wonderful that Catherine, who had by nature nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, baseball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of fourteen, to books…”

Enlightened ladies of the 1860s did understand the need for exercise, and baseball found a place in a few locales. However, most Americans considered it too rough and tumble for young ladies, and by the mid-1870s, inappropriate. Etiquette books of the 1870s and 1880s from the likes of Professor Thomas E. Hill suggested croquet parties and fishing excursions as suitable activities for women. According to the Vassar College website the first documented mention of women playing baseball anywhere in the United States was in a letter from Vassar student Annie Glidden to her brother on April 20, 1866.

“They are getting up various clubs now for outdoor exercise. They have a floral society, boat clubs, and baseball. I belong to one of the latter, and enjoy it hugely, I can assure you.”

The Girls of Summer

Vassar College Resolutes, 1866

A history of the Resolutes and period base ball at Vassar was published in the July-August 1994 issue of American Heritage. Titled “The Girls of Summer” by Gene Smith, the 1876 Resolutes were, in fact, one of the last two clubs at Vassar. In Annie Glidden’s day, the game was considered good for the mind. Base ball’s popularity peaked in 1875 at Vassar. However, Smith writes,

“But increasingly the baseball clubs were also seen as vulgar.”

Public pressure against girls playing base ball killed off the game at Vassar shortly after the June 1876 photo was taken.

However, times changed. In the 1890s, the novelty of barnstorming ladies “Bloomer Girls” teams attracted attention. These clubs usually had a few (typically 1-3) male players and would play against men’s clubs. Perhaps the most successful female player and ultimately team owner was Maud Nelson. Born April 27, 1911 in Italy in 1881 to the name, Clementina Brida, Nelson became the premier female pitcher of latter 19th and early 20th century. She played on the Boston Bloomers and the Star Bloomers before joining forces with her husband, John Olson, owner of the Cherokee Indian Base Ball Club in 1908. In 1911, Nelson created the Western Bloomer Girls club which was a huge success. After two years, she sold the Western Bloomer Girls to her partner and went on to create another ladies club–a pattern she would repeat several times.


Western Bloomer Girls

Ladies base ball would thrive until the Great Depression when many clubs (both male and female) folded in hard times. In addition, the game of softball was starting to take hold in the 1930s and women stopped playing base ball for the most part. The last gasp of air for ladies base ball was the The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, 1943-1954 which was, of course, the inspiration for the movie, A League of Their Own.

The women of the WWII Girls Baseball Living History League honor the women of the All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL) by playing recreational competitive 12″ softball games at various Historical Reenactments, Museums and special appearances through out the Midwest; primarily in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. The league portrays Women’s Baseball as it was played by the AAGBBL during their first season of play in 1943 when underhand windmill pitching and a 12″ softball was the rule. The original league was made up of only four teams which they portray: the Kenosha Comets, Racine Belles, Rockford Peaches, and South Bend Blue Sox. This living history league is four years old and is open to all women who wish to interpret WWII home front baseball history and have a little fun doing it. They also welcome men who are interested in team coaching and umpire opportunities. Help build the our league. “Dirt in the Skirt Ladies!”

This is a picture of one of the balls handed around by our speaker. It is a ball made and used today.

They run $30 apiece, John said.

The meeting was closed with the reciting of the Rotary Four-Way Test. 
Club Information
Welcome to our Club!
Service Above Self
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Golf Club at Yankee Trace
10000 Yankee Street
Centerville, OH  45458
United States
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