Save the Date - 6th Annual Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament

Dates: Saturday and Sunday April 11 and 12, 2015 at the Historic Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, Arizona. Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. on both days. Games will be played all day. 

Added attraction: Last year our friend James “Mudcat” Grant missed the tournament because he was in Kansas City receiving the prestigious Negro League Baseball Museum, Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award. “Mudcat” is returning to the tournament in 2015. Bisbee loved Mudcat and Mudcat loved Bisbee. We look forward to spending time with him again. 

Stay tuned for further details as the date gets closer.

Cost:

Two-day ticket: $15

One-day ticket: $10 - Select Saturday or Sunday ticket

Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2014

Posted in category - Post tags: tournaments

Thanks for a Successful 2014 Tournament

The Friends of Warren Ballpark’s 5th Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament was a success, thanks to our volunteers, teams, vendors and cranks (fans) and Bisbee school district staff.

The Friends of Warren Ballpark’s 5th Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament was a success, thanks to our volunteers, teams, vendors and cranks (fans) and Bisbee school district staff.

 All eight teams played well keeping the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League (ATVBBL) tournament exciting to the end. Kudos to the Glendale Gophers for winning the championship. Your local team, the Bisbee Black Sox, deserve a lot of credit. They were the most improved team winning three out of five games. The Colorado All-Stars again entertained the crowds with their colorful uniforms and superb showmanship. Thanks to the other teams in the league for travelling to Bisbee and making the tournament competitive and fun for the cranks. So a loud huzzah to the Phoenix Senators, Tempe Tip-tops, Mesa Mutuals, the Bisbee Bees, and the Tucson Saguaros, 

KBRP, your local radio station spent two long days announcing the tournament. Their rapport with the players added a great deal of interest and fun. And no one will forget Gene Connors leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Support your local radio station in all they do for this community.

The tournament would not run smoothly without the Bisbee Unified School District staff. Their work was doubled this year because we used two fields. Thanks for lining the fields, keeping the restrooms clean and supplied and all the behind the scenes tasks that make for a smooth running event.

Moose’s Hotdogs, a vendor since the inaugural tournament in 2010 served their premier sausages and hotdogs. When in Sierra Vista, look for the bright yellow and blue umbrella outside of Lowes for a tasty, inexpensive lunch. Thanks also to Woody’s Barbeque for serving delicious pulled pork and brisket along with slurpy, delicious Hawaiian shave ice. Beast Brewery served their locally brewed beer. Stop by their Tap Room in San Jose Plaza to sample their hand crafted beer.

Cat Daddy and the 12 Barz Blues Band along with the Cholla High School Blues Standard entertained at Saturday night’s Post-Game Blues. The veteran musicians and the aspiring young musicians jammed together. Listen to Cat Daddy when he plays at the Copper Queen or Stock Exchange or other local venues. 

A tip of our baseball caps goes to our volunteers who provided security, sold tickets, beer and raffle tickets. Our many sponsors including Freeport McMoran, Copper Queen Hospital, Wick Communications, Bisbee Beverage, Christine Rhodes, Plaza Liquor, High Desert Market, Red Shoes Hair Salon, Suby Construction, Bisbee Chiropractic, Highway 92 Service, Bisbee Bug, Acacia Art and Antiques, and Turquoise Valley Country Club, helped defray the tournament costs. As always, we thank our sponsoring organization, the Bisbee Council on the Arts and Humanities. 

This letter would be much longer if all who volunteered were named but thank you so much. The money raised will fund our next project, construction of accessible public restrooms. The Friends have now raised 60% of the estimated $102,000 needed to construct restrooms and are hopeful of receiving a grant in the near future to meet this goal. If you are interested in joining the Friends or donating call 520 432-3813 or go to http://www.friendsofwarrenballpark.com. If you have interest in joining a vintage base ball team, check out the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League website (http://www.arizonavintagebaseball.com) or call 520 432-3813..

For more information about Warren Ballpark and Vintage Base ball check out the following videos:   https://www.azpm.org/s/16658-the-history-of-arizonas-oldest-baseball-stadium/ and https://www.azpm.org/s/19207-azs-vintage-baseball-league-wraps-up-season-in-historic-park/

Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Posted in category - Post tags: tournaments

It’s this weekend: The 5th Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament

Join us in Bisbee at Warren Ballpark for base ball played by 1860 rules as it was played when Lincoln was President. Eight teams in vintage uniforms vie for the Vintage League Championship at Bisbee’s 104-year-old Warren Ballpark. The Colorado All-stars are also attending to play exhibition games. 

Proceeds go to restore Warren Ballpark. Contact: 520 432-3813 or www.friendsofwarrenballpark.com

The Post-Game Blues

Saturday’s games will be followed by The Post–Game Blues, a concert at Warren Ballpark featuring Russell “Cat Daddy” Gillespie and his Twelve-Barz Blue Band. Opening for Cat Daddy is the Cholla High School Blues Standard, young musicians who were the opening act at the Tucson Blues Festival last year. Bring your chairs or blankets and enjoy a fun evening under the stars listening to great blues. Food and beer will be for sale. 6:00 p.m. at Warren Ballpark.

Dates:
  • Saturday, April 12th, gates open at 9:30 
  • Post-game blues, April 12th at 6:p.m.
  • Sunday, April 13th, gates open at 9:00 a.m. 
  • Games are played all day.
Buy tickets on-line or at the gate
  • one day $10.00
  • both days $15
  • 12 and under free with adult ticket
  • Sunday, active military free
  • The Post-Game Blues-Cost: $5.00 at the gate.

Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2014

Posted in category - Post tags: tournaments

5th Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament & Post-Game Blues

"Mudcat" Grant won't be there but the show goes on! Mudcat will be in Kansas City, MO at the Negro Leagues Museum getting his props from the Jackie Robinson Foundation but the music by the Cholla Blues Standard and Cat Daddy Gillespie's 12 Barz Blues Band will still rock Warren Ballpark April 12 - hopefully loud enough to reach our good friend back in KC.

The games go on. Enjoy baseball played by 1860 rules. Eight teams in vintage uniforms vie for the Vintage League Championship at Bisbee’s 104-year-old Warren Ballpark. Dates: April 12th and 13th, 9:30 a.m. until dusk. Buy tickets on-line or at the gate: one day $10.00, both days $15. 12 and under free with adult ticket. Sunday, active military free. Proceeds go to restore Warren Ballpark. Contact: 520 432-3813 or www.friendsofwarrenballpark.com. 

Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2014

Posted in category - Post tags: tournaments

Vintage Base Ball Tournament on April 12th and 13th in Bisbee, honors 1913-14 World Tour on baseball diamond/cricket field closer to home than Sydney, Australia

Vintage Base Ball Tournament on April 12th and 13th in Bisbee, honors 1913-14 World Tour on baseball diamond/cricket field closer to home than Sydney, Australia

As the Arizona Diamondbacks fly some 8,000 miles to commemorate the 1913-14 World Tour by playing the Los Angles Douglas Dodgers on Major League Baseball’s opening day March 22 at the cricket grounds in Sydney, Australia, another Arizona team will be getting ready to do the same thing three weeks later – but on a baseball diamond located much closer to home.  

The Bisbee Black Sox vintage base ball club will be the host team for an event that will honor the barnstorming major league teams and other teams that visited Bisbee - including the 1913-14 ‘round-the world tour by the New York Giants and Chicago White Sox - during the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League championship tournament scheduled for April 12 and 13 at Warren Ballpark in Bisbee. And like the Diamondbacks, they will play on a field used by the World Tourists during the 1913-14 trip, a 104-year-old field that, amazingly enough, also doubled as a cricket pitch for English-speaking immigrants living in Bisbee during the first decades of the 20th century.

“One of the best kept secrets in baseball is that John McGraw’s New York Giants and Charlie Comiskey’s White Sox stopped here in Bisbee Nov. 7, 1913, to play an exhibition game during their trip by passenger train across the U.S. to the west coast, prior to their heading across the Pacific Ocean to Japan, Australia, and other places around the globe,” said Judy Anderson, chair of the Friends of Warren Ballpark, a non-profit group tasked with raising funds to renovate and maintain Bisbee’s historic 104-year-old multi-sport facility.

“We had six future inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the field that day,” Anderson said. 

Also playing for the Giants that day was Jim Thorpe, the legendary Native American athlete who has been called the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century. Thorpe, gold medalist in the pentathlon and decathlon events during the 1912 Olympics, blasted a home run for the Giants during their 9-1 trouncing of the White Sox at Warren Ballpark.

Eight teams will be taking the field during the two-day event at Warren Ballpark. Seven teams in the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League will vie for the title during the double elimination tournament. Also taking part will be the Colorado All-Stars, a traveling team from the Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association.

The game that will be played at Warren Ballpark predates the version played in 1913 by the Giants and White Sox, Anderson said. “Our league plays by rules that were in effect when Abraham Lincoln was first running for president. The fielders have the option to wear a small glove similar to a modern gardening glove, but most play bare-handed.” There are other twists to the game as well, Anderson explained. “A ball caught on the first bounce is an out. Pitching is underhanded and the ball is a “lemon-peel” design, slightly larger and a little softer than a modern ball. There are other differences to the modern rules that we explain to the cranks (the 19th century term for fans) prior to the start of the tournament.”

The differences from modern rules are part of what makes the game so fun to watch, said Anderson  The old-school uniforms, heavy wood bats and archaic terminology also com help to give the game its unique flavor.

Playing on a field that dates back to 1909 adds to the thrill of playing and watching vintage baseball.

“This is the Real Field of Dreams,” says ballpark historian and author of “Warren Ballpark” (Arcadia Press, 2013) Mike Anderson. “The World Tour stopped to play a game here. Six major league teams – the Cubs, Giants, White Sox, Athletics, Indians and Pirates –played here on numerous occasions, from 1913 to 1947. Three of the Black Sox players banned for fixing the 1919 World Series played here during the 1920s in an outlaw league. This ballpark has been used for high school, semi-pro, minor league and major league baseball, for high school football, adult soccer, rugby and cricket over the past 104 years. And now it’s a venue for vintage base ball.”    

 The vintage tournament will also include something not offered in Sydney, said tournament organizer Judy Anderson.

“Saturday’s games will be followed by The Post–Game Blues, a concert at Warren Ballpark featuring a couple of real cool cats – James “Mudcat” Grant, one of the best pitchers in major league baseball during the 1960s who had a second successful career as a blues musician after retiring from the game and Russell “Cat Daddy” Gillespie and his Twelve-Barz Blue Band..

Grant and Gillespie met during last year’s vintage tournament when Mudcat sat in with Cat Daddy and his group for two memorable performances at Bisbee’s Copper Queen Hotel, Anderson said. Opening for the two Cats is the Cholla High School Blues Standard, young musicians who were the opening act at the Tucson Blues Festival last year.

“Baseball fans have a choice,” says ballpark historian Mike Anderson. “They can fly 8,000 miles down under to watch the D-Backs play the Dodgers on a cricket field where the Giants and White Sox played a century ago, or they can drive down to Bisbee and watch vintage teams play on a historic baseball diamond/cricket field where those same two teams played during the World Tour. Ours is by far the less expensive alternative and includes a blues concert.”

(Note) Photos from previous tournaments including photos of Mudcat Grant’s appearance at last year’s tournament are available.

Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Posted in category - Post tags: tournaments