Menomonie Blue Caps
Vintage Base Ball Club
The Blue Caps
The Menomonie Blue Caps vintage base ball club formed in 2012 -- 71 years after the original Blue Caps last played -- to educate the community about the origins of our national pastime as part of the Playing Through: African American Baseball in Dunn County, Wisconsin exhibit.
The Blue Caps are fashioned after the team of the same name who were a highly successful amateur club from 1882 to 1941. The team is a member of the Vintage Base Ball Association.
The Original Blue Caps
The Blue Caps were one of the first teams to draw large crowds in Dunn County. While they were not the earliest established team, they were by far one of the most successful. Established in 1882, the Blue Caps were challenged to play the Eau Claire Crescents on July 4, 1882. The game resulted in the first game recorded in Blue Caps history, as well as the first win. The Blue Caps defeated the Crescents by a score of 16-0, netting a purse of $25.
For the next 60 years, the Blue Caps continued to play a high level baseball. The Blue Caps played teams from all over the country, while earning the nickname the “Invincible Blue Caps” along the way. By the time the 1940s rolled around, the Blue Caps, like most teams, were losing players to World War II. The Blue Caps played their last official game in 1941, before turning the remaining roster over to the local Menomonie Eagles, a team that still plays today.
1860 Base Ball Rules
The rules and regulations adopted by the National Association of Base Ball Players in March 1860, govern the game of base ball as played by The Dunn County Blue Caps, with some adaptations. There are fewer than 40 written rules for base ball of that era, all else was left to the codes of general behavior of the time. A summary of the rules appears below. Read the full rules and regulations at the Vintage Base Ball Association website.
Prior to a match, the umpire assembles the opposing nine for a review of the rules and home field ground rules.
The pitcher delivers the ball in an underhand manner to the striker. Strikes are called only on a clean swing and miss. Foul balls don’t count as strikes. The umpire may warn a striker who is not swinging at good pitches and begin calling strikes. He may not call balls. Calling balls was not added until 1864.
The umpire calls a baulk whenever the pitcher fails to complete a delivery after beginning his throwing motion or has either foot in advance of the line when delivering the ball. The umpire calls all baulks and foul balls immediately in a forceful manner. Fair balls are not called.
A hit ball is considered fair or foul by where it first hits the ground, or a player, first. A fair ball remains in play anywhere. Balls that hit trees, will be discussed in the home field ground rules by the umpire before the match.
A ball caught in the air or on the first bound, fair or foul, puts the striker out. Base runners may advance at their own risk on a fair ball caught on one bound. On a fair ball caught on the fly, base runners may advance at their own risk after first returning to tag their base. Base runners may not advance on a foul ball, caught on the fly or the bound, until the ball has settled in the hands of the pitcher.
A baserunner is out if he is forced at any base or tagged in a non-force situation. He may not over run any base, including first, and can be put out when doing so. Running more than three feet from the base path to avoid making an out is not allowed.
There are no free backs to base for base runners. They may be doubled off the base on a foul ball that is first returned to the pitcher. They may be doubled off base on a fair ball the fielder returns to the base before the runner reaches it; the ball does not have to return to the pitcher first.
An ace (run) is scored by the base runner successfully making all four bases.
At a match, spectators will see base ball when it was in its youth. It was truly a gentleman’s game played for pleasure. Soldiers returning from the Civil War camps brought the game home to their communities for all to enjoy, and the game continued to spread.
>> 2023 Menomonie Blue Caps Schedule [pdf]
The Menomonie Blue Caps welcome anyone interested in the game to join the roster. For more information, contact Dustyn Dubuque, at 715-232-8685.
Dunn County Historical Society
Brian and Norma Gabriel
Vintage Sign Shop
We are looking for business sponsors to help us promote the team and offset expenses. In return, we will work with you to promote your business on this site and at our matches.
Contact Dustyn Dubuque at firstname.lastname@example.org.