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Why the Phoenix Senators Bring 1860s Rules Baseball to the Desert

by Robert Isenberg | Friday, November 11, 2016

When vintage baseball players get together, the gloves come off – literally. The seven teams of the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League wear old-school uniforms, and they also use rules from the 1860s, back when players caught fly balls with their bare hands. The league played its opening game at Fort Verde last weekend, drawing amateur athletes from as far as Bisbee. The Phoenix New Times spent the morning with the Phoenix Senators, a team founded in 2007 but named after a legendary minor league franchise that dissolved 50 years earlier. Team captain David Marli explained the antiquated rules, the casual atmosphere, and the how a mild-mannered financial analyst stumbled back into America’s favorite pastime – from a past time.

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