"Lay the willow on that onion!" Shouted the crowd at the softball fields at Central park Sunday for the 1850's old-fashioned base ball game. For the second year in a row the Grayslake Heritage Center staged the game as a way to connect the past to the present.
"This really hearkens back to what our time was, and to the earliest years of the sport," said Dave Oberg, Executive Director of the Heritage Center. "We're really teaching how different the game is now compared to how it used to be."
Players aged 16 to 60 were part of the Athletics or Merchants. Many of them are civil war reenactors who enjoyed playing sans gloves. They were cheered on by dozens others, some even dressed in their 19th century attire.
"It's really a lot of fun," said Elaine Masciale of Palatine came to enjoy the game. She was wearing seven layers of clothing to make up her 'costume' including stockings, a corset, three petticoats, a hoop and her dress. "It's like time traveling and we really get into it."
Terry and Joyce Norton of the Grayslake Historical Society kept score and players like Bruce Mills of Gurnee took his turn at bat. He felt it was a great opportunity to see the differences in the game.
"I'm surprised at how there were no safety rules or precautions back then," Mills said. However, he did feel much of the basics of the game were the same.