Marauders home-opener a ‘peach of a day’

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11472885603383.jpg’, ”, ‘The Midway Marauders Victorian-era baseball team opened its season May 7 against the visiting Creston Regulators. The Marauders proved victorius with a 20-7 victory.’);

Sunday, May 7, was opening day for the Midway Marauders. If you don’t already know who they are, one might wonder, “Who are these Midway Marauders?”

Judging by the rough-sounding nickname, one might guess they are the newest professional roller derby team in town. Sorry to all you roller derby fans—the Marauders are a group of gentlemen who come together to play Victorian-era baseball.

The Marauders play their home games at Midway Village and Museum Center. The game is slightly different from the modern-day game. Even prior to the first pitch, it is evident this is a game played by gentlemen. Both teams recite a pledge to the fans to play their best and to honor the game. The most notable difference on the field is that none of the players uses a glove.

Both teams wore vintage uniforms. The Marauders’ uniform consisted of a shirt with a shield-like piece of material on the front with the Old English-style lettering M in the center, and blue pants that looked like knickers. The Creston Regulators wore the shirts with a lace-up collar and old-fashioned white baseball pants. Both teams sported their team colors on hats that resembled modern-day painter’s caps.

The pitcher, or to use one of the terms from that era, the bowler/feeder/hurler/thrower/twirler, must have the ball pass below his waist. Therefore, only an underhanded or side-arm pitch is acceptable. If a fielder catches the ball on one bounce, the striker (batter) is out.

The Marauders tallied eight aces (runs) in the top of the first inning. After a player scores, he is required to ring a bell placed behind the catcher to announce their ace.

Fans can express their appreciation for a fine play by yelling, “That’s the Ginger!” Or they may express their disapproval of an especially hated or villainous player by calling him a “Lobster.”

The Marauders’ claimed victory in the home-opener, beating the Regulators 20-7.

The Marauders next home game is Saturday, June 3, against the Downers Grove Plowboys. Game time is 2 p.m. As they used to say in the 1850s, “I hope it’s a peach of a day!”

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at

From the May 10-16, 2006, issue

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