Your Prairie Chickens Base Ball Club of McLean County
The McLean County Prairie Chickens play base ball according to the rules and customs of 1858 when uniform shirts were long-sleeved, usually with collars, pitches were delivered underhanded and umpires had one job, to call foul, clearly and unasked.
At that time, base ball was played for recreation and exercise by adults looking for fellowship and stressed gentlemanly behavior. Amateur “ballists” had other occupations and, although performing well was important, there were more significant things in life than the outcome of a ball game.
Although there was nothing to prohibit the use of gloves, it was not considered manly to catch the ball other than barehanded.
As Henry Chadwick, considered the Father of Baseball, said, “Baseball requires the possession of muscular strength, great agility, quickness of eye, readiness of hand, and many other faculties of mind and body that mark a man of nerve…Suffice it to say that it is a recreation that anyone may be proud to excel in, as in order to do so, he must possess the characteristics of true manhood to a considerable degree.”