Saturday, July 5, 2008

An All-American Fourth of July

For Independence Day yesterday, our family celebrated by going to Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh where they were having a special event "Birthdays and Baseball". Now, combining George Washington and baseball on the Fourth of July - does it get any more American than that? The event was led by Mickey "the Lip" Tangel - a vintage baseball expert. Mickey held a show where he demonstrated the equipment used in the early days of baseball back in the 19th century and talked about the rules and how they have changed over the years. For example, it used to be that you were out if the fielder caught the ball on one bounce and there really were no official balls and strikes, although the umpire would issue "warnings" if the pitchers made bad pitches or the batter failed to swing at good pitches.

In addition to the show, Mickey organized a wiffle ball game where the kids played according to the baseball rules used in 1864. TJ, Jason and Brian all had a great time playing.

Here's Mickey setting the lineup for one of the teams:

Jason leads off and smacks the ball off of the tee.

Brian swings hard trying to bring a run home.

TJ makes a valiant effort to field the ball near third base.

This guy was the umpire for the game. I couldn't decide if he looked more like Willy Wonka or The Penguin from the old Batman shows.

We all had so much fun with all of the baseball stuff, that by the time we went in for a tour of Washington's Headquarters, we found we had missed the last tour of the day. We did spend a little time looking through the small musuem they had there and also checked out the Tower of Victory on the property.

Around 5, we headed out for some dinner, then came back to the grounds to watch the fireworks being launched out on the river.

All in all, a really fun day! Hope yours was as well!

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