Old Tyme Base Ball brings out ‘Towns’ and ‘Gowns’; Representatives from WWII Girls Baseball Living History attend

By Dee Longfellow

Sunday, June 23 was a beautiful day for baseball on the Elmhurst University College Mall, where Elmhurst University staff and alumni (the Gown team) and City of Elmhurst staff and elected officials (the Town team) battled it out in this year’s “Town vs. Gown” old-fashioned baseball game, played by the wildly different rules of 1858.

As usual, decked in authentic 1850s garb, Dave Oberg from the Elmhurst History Museum served as “barrister,” or umpire, and did a fine job of not only calling the balls and strikes, but exchanging old-time banter with the players and the audience.

Representatives of “A League of Our Own” WWII Girls Baseball Living History League came to the event wearing their authentic uniforms from those days of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Due to other commitments, Mayor Scott Levin and University President Dr. Troy VanAken were unable to be participate this year—they are usually the captains of the Town and Gown team, respectively. 4

Instead, this year’s “Town” team was led by former Mayor Steve “Tater” Morley, while John “No-Quit” Quigley, of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce and an Elmhurst University alum, served as captain of the “Gown” team.

Before the game, each player was invited to announce his own “nickname,” bringing up monikers like “The Mitten,” “Squints,” “Stonewall,” “Black Foot,” and many others. If there was a prize for the best nicknames, it likely would be given to Scott “The Half-Italian Stallion” LaMorte and his son Luke “The Quarter-Italian Stallion.”

The “Town” team was down going into the seventh and final inning, but they rallied for five runs to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh. But the “Gowns” came back score again, ultimately winning the game 13-12.

But just wait till next year!