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Vintage baseball tournament to benefit ALS of Michigan

See how the game was originally played June 18,19 at Hartwick Pines State Park

Hartwick Pines State Park will host the inaugural “Hartwick Pines-ALS Classic” Vintage Base Ball Tournament on June 18-19 to benefit the ALS of Michigan Foundation. Four vintage baseball teams from across the Lower Peninsula will compete to help raise money and awareness about the disease commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Teams participating include the host Hartwick Pines Swampers, the Petoskey Mossbacks, the Saginaw Old Golds and the Walker Tavern Wheels.
There will be two games on Saturday, June 18, with the first game beginning at noon between the Petoskey Mossbacks and the Walker Tavern Wheels. The second game pitting the Saginaw Old Golds and the Hartwick Pines Swampers will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. On Sunday, June 19, the consolation game will take place at noon and the championship match will follow the first game. All games will be played on the field at the park picnic area.
“The inspiration for holding this tournament came when a friend of the Hartwick Pines Swampers and former Walker Tavern Wheels player, Don ‘Skeeter’ Barnowski, was diagnosed with ALS in 2010,” said Hartwick Pines Swamper manager and park historian Rob Burg. “We felt this would be a fitting tribute to Don and help him spread the word and help find a cure for ALS.”
The “vintage base ball” will be played by the rules of 1860 and feature the players fielding the ball without the use of gloves and being able to catch the ball on one bounce for a “fly” out. This is how baseball was played in the early days of the game at community picnics and other events.
In addition to the games, there will be food, a silent auction, sales of merchandise, and other activities. The ALS of Michigan Foundation will have a tent to provide more information. All proceeds from the event will go to help find a cure for ALS. On Saturday evening, a special “Music at the Museum” program at the Logging Museum at 7 p.m. will feature musician and educator Michael Deren presenting his “Past in Person: Lumberjack” program.
Hartwick Pines State Park is located at 4216 Ranger Rd., Grayling, MI 49738. There is no charge for the tournament, but donations to the ALS of Michigan Foundation are encouraged, and a Recreation Passport is required for vehicles entering the park.
Hartwick Pines Logging Museum is part of the Michigan Historical Museum Family. For more information please call (989) 348-2537 or visit www.michigan.gov/loggingmuseum
Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area.

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