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Vintage Baseball 2012


Grand Hotel (125 years old) and the State of Michigan (175 years old) celebrate their significant birthdays in 2012 and Grand Hotel will pay tribute to Michigan’s history and celebrate it’s own throughout the summer via the early game of baseball.

The nineteenth century logging communities of Douglas and Ludington will send their vintage base ball clubs to Mackinac Island on June 9th to play three games of 1860s rules base ball with the Mackinaw City Boys.  Logging and railroads were a major part of Michigan’s early history with the industry helping to give birth to many towns throughout the state.  As the loggers moved to a new area, the train lines followed with the Michigan Central Railroad and Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad spreading from Michigan’s southernmost boarders all the way to Mackinaw City.  These two railroads were investors in the building of Grand Hotel in 1887.  The Douglas “Dutchers” also represent the strong Dutch community on the western parts of the state.

Minor league baseball has been a big part of Michigan history since the 1870s and Grand Hotel will celebrate that history on July 7 when the Bay City Independents and Saginaw Old Golds travel to Mackinac Island.  The Independents and Old Golds were members of the Northwestern League in the early 1880s while their cities also layed rails and moved timber.

Michigan was one of the leading suppliers of men during the Civil War and many of those men went on to fight in battles in the east and south.  While they were in service they learned the east coast game of baseball and brought it home with them.  The Kent Base Ball Club of Grand Rapids and the Regular Base Ball Club of Mount Clemens were formed by many of those men immediately following the war.  Those clubs will join the Independents and Old Golds on July 7 for a few games of baseball and a tribute to the Michigan men who fought and died on the battlefields of Antietam and Fredericksburg 150 years ago this year.

Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Canada played important roles during the War of 1812 – which started 200 years ago this year. July 28 will be a special recognition of the beginning of that conflict which had British and American forces facing each other on Mackinac Island. The London Techumsehs will travel from Canada to Mackinac Island to face clubs from each of these states just as the British did during the War of 1812. The Huntington Champion Hilltoppers will represent the State of Indiana and Fort Wayne during the conflict. The Chicago Salmon—from Illinois—and the Welkin Base Ball Club of Port Huron representing their respective states will also represent the sailboat racing history each city shares with Mackinac Island.  The Welkins also faced a Canadian base ball club from the London area in 1867 during the first World Base Ball Tournament in Detroit.

Michigan is full of small towns but it is the small towns that bring our state together.  The Monitor BBC of Chelsea, the Sydney Stars of Sydney, the Fallasburg Cubs of Lowell and the Midland Mighty River Hogs travel to Mackinac Island on August 18 to represent the generations of Michiganders in small towns throughout the state who built the strong logging, manufacturing and furniture industries in their own communities.

On September 8th the National Base Ball Club and Lah-de-Dahs of Greenfield Village in Dearborn travel to Mackinac to face the Forest City Base Ball Club of Rockford, Illinois. What does Rockford, Illinois have to do with Michigan history?  Michigan’s automotive history is the link. The communities of the Rockford and Belvidere work and support the Chrysler Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois – a Michigan owned company.  Ford Motor Company operates Greenfield Village.  These three clubs will be joined by the Mackinaw City Boys to finish off a summer of vintage base ball.

With all of that in mind, Mackinac Island and Grand Hotel look forward to celebrating a summer of Michigan history in 2012.  Come and join us for afternoons of fun, baseball and 200 years of Michigan history.   Umpire / Grand Hotel Security Director Jason “Gypsy” Kladiva will take spectators on a trip into Michigan’s past during the games.  All games will take place in Woodfill Park near the Grand Hotel tennis courts and are free to the public.


2012 Vintage Base Ball at the Grand Schedule

 June 9 

12 pm – Douglas (MI) Dutchers vs. Ludington (MI) Mariners

2 pm – Douglas (MI) Dutchers vs. Mackinaw City (MI) Boys

4 pm – Mackinaw City (MI) Boys vs. Ludington (MI) Mariners


July 7  

10 am – Bay City (MI) Independents vs. Regular BBC of Mount Clemens (MI)

12 pm – Kent BBC of Grand Rapids (MI) vs. Saginaw (MI) Old Golds

2 pm – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2

4 pm – Winner of Game 1 vs Winner of Game 2

July 28

10 am – Chicago (IL) Salmon vs. London (ON) Techumsehs

12 pm – Welkin BBC of Port Huron (MI) vs Huntington (IN) Champion Hilltoppers

2 pm – Loser of Game 1 vs Loser of Game 2

4 pm – Winner of Game 1 vs Winner of Game 2


August 18 

10 am – Midland (MI) Mighty River Hogs vs Sydney BBC

12 pm – Monitor BBC of Chelsea  (MI) vs Fallasburg Cubs

2 pm – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2

4 pm – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2


September 8

10 am – Lah-De-Dah BBC of Dearborn vs. Forest City BBC of Rockford, Illinois

12 pm – National BBC of Dearborn vs. Mackinaw City (MI) Boys

2 pm – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2

4 pm – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2


2 thoughts on “Vintage Baseball 2012

  1. Mike Burrill says:

    I would love to see some of these games, and feature them on my website! Very interesting for baseball fans, thank you.

    1. admin says:

      You will find a schedule on our website for games coming up in August and September.

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