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Sunday, September 14, Civil War-Era Baseball Game at Charlestown

September 10, 2014


A Sunday afternoon, September 14, Civil War-era baseball game (played with period game rules and uniforms) in which Charlestown retirement community residents in Catonsville will take the field with the Excelsior Baseball Team of Ann Arundel County, to play the Philadelphia Athletics.  This vintage game will be played on the baseball field in front of Our Lady of the Angels Chapel on the Charlestown campus. Its purpose is to:

  1. Root the 1st Place AL East Baltimore Orioles onto the World Series
  2. Celebrate the love of baseball when the game was played in its formative years
  3. Honor the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's writing of the poem that became our National Anthem

More than 100 Charlestown residents and their families will picnic and watch the game.


Noon -- Teams arrive and warm-up.

12:30 p.m. - Start of program, explanation of rules, and skill session practice involving Charlestown residents and players from the two teams.

1:45 p.m. - Singing of The Star-Spangled Banner (from an 1896 cylinder preservation project of Free Music Archives)

1:46 p.m. - A Francis Scott Key impersonator (aka Fred Taylor) will throw out the first pitch

2 p.m. - Game begins


Charlestown's five-piece resident Brass Band will play music Civil War-era and patriotic music between innings. Resident Gene Langbehn will play his harmonica.

Linda and Paul Bell from Salem Lutheran Church in Catonsville will be Civil War re-enactors throughout the game. Linda will wear a hoop skirt with vintage Victorian top, and Paul will wear a vest and cravat and a shirt with large sleeves. They will lead onlookers in baseball cheers.

"Let us go forth a while and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms. A game of ball is glorious."

--- Walt Whitman, poet (1846)