The Akron Black Stockings Base Ball Club was organized in 1995 to keep the history of the sport alive and to promote good sportsmanship. Mark Heppner, the Curator of Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens who was instrumental in organizing the Club in 1995 marvels, "I simply saw a need to remind people of what was important about the game of baseball--fun, entertainment, and gentlemanly competition. The success of the Akron Black Stockings has truly surpassed any dream that I had!"
The team is supported by members of the community and based at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. Home games are played on the front lawn of this historic Tudor Revival mansion. Thirteen costumed players, a mascot (bat boy), a tallykeeper (scorekeeper), and an umpire call this makeshift, all-grass diamond home field!
According to tradition, the gear used is minimal--no gloves (players catch balls with their bare hands), a slightly larger and softer ball than the type used today, and a thin bat.
The look and attire of the Akron Black Stockings Base Ball Club was originally based on the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, who are pictured at the right.
In 1996, the Black Stockings joined the Vintage Base Ball Association. Nearly 20 of the national organization’s member clubs are from Ohio. The Association provides both a forum to discuss the accuracy of historical representation and a place for teams to meet and swap stories and recount big games.
The Akron Black Stockings' Club motto:
"Playing the game of base ball as it was meant to be played."