The Dairymen are a close-knit group of young men and women hailing from Delaware County, New York. We are construction workers, lawyers, students, business owners, consultants, and everything in between. Our support staff consists of our families, spouses, partners, and community members who donate their time, money, and energy to make the project a success. You can come see the final product on about a dozen weekends over the warm months, when we don the black and white of our forebears and represent "DelCo" on the diamond from Boston to Gettysburg.
What is Vintage Base Ball?
Vintage base ball (yes, it was two words in the 19th Century) is a loose term for baseball played by the rules, in the uniforms, and with the philosophy of the 1800's. Depending on the year played, the rules can change dramatically: for example, in the 1860's, pitchers threw underhand and a ball caught on one hop was an out. Regardless of year, only the catcher wears a glove in most vintage games.
The Dairymen play primarily by the rules of 1895, which are easily recognizable as modern baseball. Yet, the philosophy and atmosphere are what set us apart from the modern game. To wit: Games are competitive, yet collegial. There is no "World Series" or league standings, although regional rivalries abound. Our club contains three sets of brothers. The umpire is always address as "Sir."
At its core, the vintage game is a chance for local ballplayers and their families to gather for an afternoon of community and competition in the sunshine. We leave the rest--the egos, names on jerseys, and charging for admission--to the professionals.
Founded in 2008 in Bovina Center, New York
Vintage base ball has been a part of Delaware County for many years. In the mid-2000's there were two clubs: the Roxbury Nine and the Fleischmanns Mountain Athletic Club. In 2008, Timothy "Harlo" Bray (left) formed the Dairymen with the help of John "Chico" Finn and Wendy Buerge. Bray's research unearthed records of Bovina teams dating at least to the 1890's, and the project took shape. With a uniform modeled on the work clothes of Bovina's booming, turn-of-the-century dairy industry, the early Dairymen mostly competed within the County.
In 2018, Nick "Roughcut" Frandsen (center) took the helm. Since then, the Dairymen have expanded their schedule and travel area, playing as far as Boston and Long Island. With new leadership and a young core of players, the Dairymen continue with over 200 teams nationwide in keeping the history, camaraderie, and passion of our great-grandfathers alive and well.