Vintage Baseball Showcase an Overwhelming Success

Members of the Elkhart County Railroaders and the Indianapolis Blues address the crowd after a game on Saturday.

If you came out to the first annual Vintage Baseball Showcase put on by Old Fort Baseball Co., you know the event was a success.

If you didn’t make it, you missed out.

The Showcase on Saturday featured two vintage baseball teams, the Elkhart County Railroaders and the Indianapolis Blues. The two teams played two seven-inning games with 1864 rules.

Christopher Spataro, who is the president and captain of the Railroaders, addressed the crowd of over 400 people in between games and said that his team normally plays in front of 10-15 people, so to have a crowd that big meant a lot to him and his team.

“I am thrilled with the attendance. For the first time hosting the event to have over 400 people come out is truly amazing. It was great to see how many people were really excited about the game and made it a point to be there early” said Logan Wiening, owner and founder of Old Fort Baseball Co.

The teams came together for a photo at the end of the event and a couple of kids joined, and as one fan pointed out, that’s what this event is all about.

“I didn’t personally see it, but my wife who was running our merchandise said there was a family that got there at noon because their kids were so committed to making sure they were one of the first 50 people so they got a pennant. They had asked their parents to get there at 7 a.m.” Wiening said.

“Between that and seeing kids and other fans interacting with the players and getting autographs was really special. You sometimes forget the little things that impact people and if this event was influential in any young baseball fan’s life and love of the game, then we did our job.”

A member of the Indianapolis Blues autographs the shirt of a young fan.

Wiening put together a great event. It was different, it positively highlighted the game of baseball and it was free.

“I don’t think it could have gone any better in my opinion. I wanted to bring this event to Fort Wayne to give people the opportunity to see something new and have fun doing it. Based on the turnout and the comments I got both at the game and on social media afterward, people really enjoyed themselves and walked away feeling like they saw something unique, “Wiening said.

“The number of media members that came to cover the event, the support of our sponsors and vendors and the fans really shows that there was an appetite for Vintage Baseball in Fort Wayne and I am glad that Old Fort Baseball was able to make it happen.”

A member of the Elkhart County Railroaders shows off the type of bat that is used in a game played by 1864 rules.

In terms of the showcase moving forward, Saturday is just the start for Wiening. He hopes the event continues to grow and get more community involvement.

“I think next year we will just try to keep the same format but make it a little bigger in all aspects, do 100 giveaway items, more signage and more activities for kids. I would also love to get the History Center involved to help bring in some other elements of the time,” Wiening said.

“I want to get as many community members involved as possible whether it be food vendors, media, content creators, nonprofits, etc. I want to make it a can’t miss event and grow the game of baseball in the community.”

To hear more from Wiening and Old Fort Baseball Co., he was a guest on the latest NEI Pioneer Podcast.

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